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Chick Young remembers 1986, the year when Graeme Souness sparked a revival in the fortunes of Rangers that would shape Scottish football for years to come.
Former Scotland international Souness arrived at Ibrox as player/manager from Sampdoria in 1986 and immediately set out to re-claim lost ground on arch-rivals Celtic and stop the emergence of Scotland’s ‘new firm’.
In the years preceding his arrival, Billy McNeil’s Celtic side had swept all before them between 1980 and 1982 whilst Dundee United and Aberdeen had shown their potential with a trio of wins between 1982 and 1985.
However, with the financial backing of then Rangers chairman Lawrence Marlborough, Souness was immediately able to halt the club’s decline and build the foundations of a team that would go on to rule Scotland’s league championship for over a decade.
The signings of England internationals Terry Butcher and Chris Wood during the summer of 1986 surprised many and reversed the standard practise of English teams poaching the best talent from Scotland. Youngsters Ally McCoist and Ian Durrant had also shown promise under previous regimes and would subsequently flourish under Souness.
With the target of grappling the league championship away from Celtic set firmly in their minds, the ‘Souness revolution’ was put into motion at Rangers….
More on Souness’ Rangers Revolution
Also in Football Years: 1986