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Wednesday, 17 July 2013 15:17

Former Boss White Passes

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SAD LOSS: Davie White was the fourth man to manage Rangers SAD LOSS: Davie White was the fourth man to manage Rangers

RANGERS have been struck by deeply saddening news for the second time this week following the death of former manager Davie White.

White, who was only the fourth man to manage Rangers, passed away today at the age of 80 following a short illness.

His death has come just two days after the passing of former vice-chairman Jack Gillespie and the Rangers players will wear black armbands tonight in their friendly match against Gutersloh in Germany as a mark of respect.

White was manager of Rangers between 1967 and 1969 and even although his time at Ibrox was unsuccessful overall he remained a regular attender at Ibrox when he had retired from the game – including last season.

White was one of the pre-eminent young coaches in the Scottish game having done well with Clyde but he found himself thrown into the role of Rangers manager in November 1967 far sooner than anyone could have predicted.

His tenure lasted two years and he earned the unwarranted tag of the first Rangers manager not to win a major trophy, following in the legendary footsteps of Scot Symon, Bill Struth and William Wilton.

However, there were mitigating circumstances the most compelling of which was the resurgence of Celtic under Jock Stein which coincided with the break-up of the great Rangers team of the early 1960s.

White was responsible for signing Colin Stein and Alex MacDonald who would both go on to become hugely important and successful Rangers players – MacDonald in particular who was at the hub of two Trebles as well as the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup success in Barcelona which he shared with Stein.

Symon had made him his assistant in the summer of 1967 but on November 1 that year Symon became the first Rangers manager to be sacked – even although the Light Blues were top of the league – and White was plunged into the job.

The Rangers board reacted badly to the fact that Celtic were in Argentina playing Racing Club for the World Club Championship on the back of their European Cup success.

They panicked and, in truth, treated a great man very shabbily when they dismissed Symon and installed White.


Chairman Walter Smith led the tributes when he said: “We are all saddened by the news of Davie’s passing and our immediate thoughts are with his family.

“I remember when he was appointed as manager and he had such a difficult job at that time not just because he was following Scot Symon but because Celtic were enjoying the best period in their history under Jock Stein.

“Davie was also manager of Dundee when I was with Dundee United and, ironically, be brought the League Cup to Dens Park in 1973 by beating Celtic.

“He was a great Rangers man and scarcely missed a match at Ibrox.”

Alex MacDonald will always be indebted to White for signing him for Rangers in 1968. He said: “It was a fantastic moment for me to join my club but I have to be honest and say that Davie didn’t get the best out of me.

“I couldn’t handle the pressure in the early days so I didn’t give Davie the performances I was capable of although I managed to overcome that.

“I’m very sad to hear the news about Davie especially coming so quickly after the news about Jack.”

Copyright 2014. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to www.rangers.co.uk

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