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Monday, 31 March 2014 00:30

Fame Awards For Trio

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LEE McCULLOCH, Fernando Ricksen and Nacho Novo have been named as the 2013/14 inductees into the Rangers Hall of Fame.

At a gala dinner at the Glasgow Hilton, it was also announced Dave McPherson, Johnny Little, Tully Craig and Jimmy Fleming have been chosen as entrants from the 2012 nominees.

The nine men selected as 2011 choices received their trophies either in person or through a representative.

And Ally McCoist accepted a Special Recognition Award on Sandy Jardine’s behalf for the former right-back’s wonderful service to the club.

McCulloch is only the second person to be inducted whilst still playing for the club, following on from his close friend David Weir three years ago.

Ricksen has been selected following six years of service which peaked when he captained Gers to the title on Helicopter Sunday in 2005.

And Novo, a huge fans favourite in his time at Ibrox, is in having scored a number of crucial goals for the Light Blues both at home and abroad.

McPherson made almost 400 appearances during two successful spells at Ibrox while Little was a stalwart in the team of the 1950s under Bill Struth and Scot Symon.

Craig won seven titles in his first eight seasons in Govan during the golden 1920s era and Fleming was a prolific forward who could play in any of the attacking positions.

McCulloch was thrilled to have his name added to a band of the club’s elite players which now stretches to 97 names.

He said: “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been for seven years now and I’ve been up and down the Marble Staircase at every home game.

“I’ve stared at the names on the Hall of Fame board and it’s surreal to be going up among them now.

“The likes of Laudrup, Gascoigne and McCoist are all there. To be in there with them as well is something I don’t have words for.

“My mum and dad were here tonight and my dad had a tear in his eye when my name was read out. It’s the kind of thing we all live for and this is the greatest moment of my career.”

Novo added: “It’s my birthday on March 26 and what a present this is for me. I’m in with so many very good footballers who are legends at this club and it’s the best feeling.

“It was great to get my award along with Fernando. He was a very good player here and him and I were always quite close.

“He had a spell as our captain and he was just fantastic. Fernando is like a brother and I was so happy to see him up on the stage with us.”

McPherson said: “I’m over the moon. I was fortunate to play for Rangers twice and being in the Hall of Fame now is the icing on the cake.

“When I first joined Rangers, I had to go up the Marble Staircase on my own as a 16-year-old to sign my first contract and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

“Now they’ll do that again the next time I go up there and it’ll be exactly the same. It means so much to me.”

Rangers manager McCoist collected Jardine’s award as the 65-year-old was unable to be at the ceremony.

But in a message read out to guests, he said: “I am truly humbled to receive this Special Recognition Award. This is an honour that my family and I will cherish forever. 

“Seeing my name on the Hall of Fame Board at the top of the Marble Staircase at Ibrox Stadium is something very special. 

Now to receive this Special Recognition Award means the world to me and my family. It was always an honour for me to be a Ranger. That is something that can never be taken away. 

“Being in the Hall of Fame is a fantastic honour and something to be proud of. Once a Ranger you are always a Ranger and I want to be remembered as a Ranger forever.”

David Weir, Jock Drummond, Neilly Gibson, RC Hamilton, George Niven, Jimmy Simpson, Jimmy Bowie and Arthur Dixon were eight of the 2011 inductees honoured tonight.

The ninth, Ally Dawson, was among those present to receive their awards in person and he was thrilled about that nearly three years after his inclusion was first announced.

He said: “I’ve looked up at the Hall of Fame board a couple of times coming into Ibrox and seeing my name up there makes me so proud.

“I’m really glad my wife and two children have been able to join me here for this because it’s a great honour. Tonight it has really sunk in.”

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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