Graeme Souness was bankrolled by Rangers to make big money signings to change the face of Scottish football during his Ibrox revolution but the Light Blues legend has revealed how convincing the club to splash out £30,000 to upgrade the SHOWERS was his first job.
Those dressing room improvements came before splashing the cash to land English superstars such as Chris Woods and Terry Butcher who led the Anglo invasion in Govan and kickstarted a period of dominance for the club after years in the doldrums.
Souness spoke as Rangers launched their new kit for next season with the design inspired by one worn by him and his former players in the late 1980s with the leaked images of the soon-to-be-released away strip also coming from the same era. The 69-year-old shared his memories from that spell and in a top level playing and management career which spanned almost four decades, Souness told how the greatest atmosphere he ever experienced in football.
That came in the 1987/88 season when Rangers overcame a 1-0 first leg deficit against the mighty Dynamo Kiev side of that era to win 2-0 at Ibrox thanks to goals from Ally McCoist and Mark Falco, one of the English players brought north of the border. But long before signings Souness had more important issues to deal with when he accepted the job of player manager in 1986.
Sitting in the dressing room at Ibrox, he told Rangers TV: “It evokes great memories being in here. I remember David Holmes falling off his seat when I told him what I wanted to do in here in terms of increase the power on the showers, change the shower heads. The quote was £30k which was a fortune 40 years ago but he eventually relented and we gave the players what I wanted.
“It was about upping the game at a special football club and we should have had the best of everything – great memories. I could sit here on my own for hours and just enjoy the moment. Rangers have always done things to a certain standard. When I was there the club was kicking on with the corporate hospitality – we did it better than anyone else in those days.
“Rangers have standards that very few people are able to match and that’s what so unique about this football club. We’ve had our difficulties but the standards have been maintained and that’s what makes us a class act.”
On the kit, he picked out a 5-1 thumping of Celtic and that Kiev night as his two favourite memories. He said of the design: “It brought memories back. It’s quite unique, the squares on it. Some fabulous players wore that shirt and I hope we can repeat that success because they were special times for me and this football club.
“I remember we beat Celtic well here 5-1. The crowd were a wee bit upset because they felt we went into relaxed mode after we scored the fifth and they wanted more but they’d take five every time they play that game.
“I also think of the Kiev game. I have to say in all the big stadiums I’ve played in and the wonderful European nights at Liverpool – and there was a lost of them – the atmosphere against Dynamo Kiev that night was the greatest atmosphere I’ve ever played in.
“We managed to win 2-0 that night and go through having lost 1-0 in the first leg. That was the greatest football atmosphere I ever played in. I played for two football clubs that once you’ve played for them it gets into your skin in a unique way. I’m often asked why that is the case and I think it’s because of the passion the supporters show for the club.”