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> When Mo Johnston Signed For Rangers, 20 years ago this week
GG
post 10th Jul 2009, 11:12pm
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Intersting article in the Guardian:

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The most striking aspect of any glance back towards the day Maurice Johnston first pulled on the blue of Rangers following his transfer in July 1989 is that some of the comments made by the club's followers would have seemed more apt 200, not merely 20, years ago.

"It's a sad day for Rangers," insisted one. "There will be a lot of people handing back their season tickets. I don't want to see a Roman Catholic at Ibrox. Rangers have always stood for one thing and the majority of the support have been brought up with the idea of a true blue Rangers team."

Two decades on, it is almost impossible to overplay the monumental effect Johnston's arrival at Ibrox had at the time. The image of Rangers scarves burning outside Ibrox, the insistence of supporters that they would hand back season tickets and the unwillingness of others to even stand to applaud a Johnston goal remain vivid images for many.

Full story here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/20...-rangers-celtic

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pumps100
post 11th Jul 2009, 09:42am
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It was a good article and for many it was a near JFK/Moon landing/or Lady Diana moment - as it was a huge story at the time.

I have an interesting personal aside to the story. In the media frenzy following the signing, the person that was most sought after was the late Jock Wallace (JW), the former Rangers manager (twice). For those that will recall JW was well known as being a die-hard 'blue-nose'. But the papers and TV could not find him for comment - he had apparently gone missing.

I was living in Leicester at the time and had accompanied my wife to the town centre. We were in Marks & Spencers and she went to buy some womens' stuff in the underwear section. I was not inclined to help her in her shopping, and I stood, as many men-folk do, at the side of the store, and waited while she did her shopping. In the waiting area I recognised a man standing next to me - it was none other than Jock Wallace - he was wearing a bunnet and carrying his wife's shopping bags. She was in the same lingerie bit as my wife was in.

We were standing very close together. Our eyes met and he knew that I knew who he was. At the time it seemed to me that it would have been impolite of me not to talk to him. We chatted for a few minutes. He was down visiting his daughter who had settled in the area. I asked him first about Graham Souness's appointment as the manager (from Player/Manager). He muttered a few words about his apparent lack of managerial experience at the top level, but didn't say much more. I remember he called me 'son' and his accent was still very thick.

I followed by asking about the Mo Johnson signing which had happened just 2 or 3 days before. His eyes lit up on this question and he became more animated. He answered that Souness was just doing something to make a statement; to test the Rangers boards resolve. He said he believed that the player would only be there short-term and that he would really get some stick from the fans. He believed that it was the thin edge of the wedge but, in his opinion, it was more of a media stunt, and that over time it would correct itself*.

My wife returned. I wished him all the best for the future "Same to you and yours, son, - cheery bye" and we went our separate ways.

Regards

Ian

*Mo Johnson was with Rangers from 1989-1991 and made 100 appearances scoring 48 goals
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GG
post 11th Jul 2009, 01:59pm
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Interesting stuff Ian, well done in tracking JW down, even though it was a bit of luck and a mutual dislike of shopping!

Grame Souness admitted (retrospectively) that there was a strong element of 'mischief-making' in the decision, although also cited Johnston's experience and ability factors when interviewed in a Daily Record exclusive this week. Graeme Souness said:
QUOTE
"There was an element of mischief. I believed we were hurting Celtic by signing him. Stealing him from under their noses was a real smack in the chops for Celtic. They were our biggest rival and that's the name of the game."

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/editors-...-86908-21500722

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Biancax3
post 13th Jul 2009, 01:56pm
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Imagine Souness of all people to be the first Rangers manager to sign an open catholic LoL. It broke such a stupid barrier and i'm really glad. Think of some of the players Rangers have had since that who were catholic. Amoruso, Gattuso, Arteta, Prso to name a few.

Just wondering though, Has there been any other open Catholics that were Scottish that have played for Rangers since Mo Johnson? Is Kenny Miller Catholic?
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CAT
post 13th Jul 2009, 02:48pm
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QUOTE (Biancax3 @ 13th Jul 2009, 02:50pm) *
Just wondering though, Has there been any other open Catholics that were Scottish that have played for Rangers since Mo Johnson? Is Kenny Miller Catholic?


I think 20 years down the line it should matter. I don't ask anyone when employing them their religion and don't think it is anyone's business.
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CAT
post 13th Jul 2009, 02:50pm
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Ooops that should read "shouldn't matter" rolleyes.gif
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DOLKIN
post 13th Jul 2009, 09:31pm
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i agree race cread or colour should not matter i know micheal ball was catholic hes British and shota arvaladze wasnt catholic as thought when he blessed himself after his first goal him and zura are russian authordoxe they mark the cross different spelling might be out a bit
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pumps100
post 14th Jul 2009, 08:35am
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I think rather like the 'Institutional Racism' flagged up in the wake of the Steven Lawrence murder enquiry I believe that we still have Institutional Bigotry particularly in Scotland - people have been brought up in a segregated environment (schools etc) and it is regrettably deep rooted in society.

I believe such institutional bigotry is still prevalent in industry, local government, the police and so on including Rangers FC. Do you remember the the case of the quite famous (and former) advocate member of the Rangers board caught on film singing the sash at a night out? This was post the Mo Johnson signing.

Yes there have been RC's signed for Rangers since Mo Johnson - but few from Scotland - significantly disproportionate to the 'religious' demographics at local/international level.

I will cut and paste a bit from Wikipedia below.

Regards

Ian

QUOTE
Johnston was not the first Roman Catholic to sign for Rangers. However, his signing was by far the highest profile one during a period in which Rangers very publicly committed the club to a signing policy which took no account of religion. Since Johnston's signing, numerous Catholics (though few actually from Scotland) have played for Rangers. Equally, Johnston's signing was one of only a small number (and by the far the most prominent) of instances of indirect transfers from one Old Firm club to the other, and was bound to prove controversial, irrespective of the player's religion.
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GG
post 17th Jul 2009, 06:49pm
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Mo's move to Rangers has him at the pinnacle of the Top 5 'Most Controversial Transfers Ever. The Top 5 are:

1. Mo Johnston (Celtic - Nantes - Rangers)
2. Luis Figo (Barcelona - Real Madrid)
3. Sol Campbell (Tottenham - Arsenal)
4. Paul Ince (West Ham - Manchester United)
5. Lee Clark (Newcastle - Sunderland - Newcastle)

http://www.eurosport.fr/omnisport/top-5-co...428/story.shtml

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Noonan McKane
post 18th Jul 2009, 12:09am
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Good god!
Imagine. Imagine after 20 years this still annoys people. People who don't even go to church. Any church. Probably don't vote. Wouldn't join a trade union. Believe that the government has betrayed them and that political correctness has gone mad. You know the type. You can't leave the house but you're surrounded by them these days.

Fact is, Maurice Johnston was a top class striker, who became available in the summer of 1989. Graeme Souness had promised Rangers supporters he would do his utmost to bring the best players available to Ibrox.

Johnston started a lot of matches at the expense of Ally McCoist, but Rangers didn't suffer for it. Johnston was probably a better striker. Rangers supporters hated this fact.

A few years after this, Rangers were captained by a catholic; Lorenzo Amoruso. Rangers supporters seemed to accept this. These same supporters, some of them, had accepted Neil Lennon as the skipper of the Northern Ireland team (albeit grudgingly, since everyone knew he was a papist) When Lennon signed for Celtic ( the team he'd supported his whole life), all bets were off, and Rangers supporters made damn sure he never kicked a ball for Ulster again, nor ever got a minutes peace wherever he went.

I'll never forget being told by a woman in a pub in the east end that Rangers had won 1-0, and the goal had been scored by the "wee fenian bastard".
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pumps100
post 18th Jul 2009, 08:30am
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QUOTE (Noonan McKane @ 18th Jul 2009, 05:03am) *
Good god!
Imagine. Imagine after 20 years this still annoys people...

Sorry but I don't get the 'still annoys people' comment. I read through the thread and could not find any suggestions of 'annoyance' from previous posts. Perhaps wrong choice of word.

It was just a big story at the time which people remember. Mo Johnson went on to play 100 games for Rangers and score 48 goals so his signing was in my book a success.

Regards

Ian
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Noonan McKane
post 14th Feb 2010, 09:26pm
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QUOTE (pumps100 @ 18th Jul 2009, 08:28am) *
Sorry but I don't get the 'still annoys people' comment. I read through the thread and could not find any suggestions of 'annoyance' from previous posts. Perhaps wrong choice of word.

It was just a big story at the time which people remember. Mo Johnson went on to play 100 games for Rangers and score 48 goals so his signing was in my book a success.

Regards

Ian

Similarly, in my post you will find no suggestion made by me that any of the previous posters to this thread were 'annoyed'.

I stated that after 20 years had passed, some people still were annoyed by Rangers' signing of Maurice Johnston, and that continues to be my belief.
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auldbutcher
post 14th Feb 2010, 11:41pm
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well at the time it pissed me aff fer why ? this was wan o the kiss the badge crossing him self ass oles, who was pulled up fer crossing himself in an auld firm gemme by a devout catholic team mate who said don,t bemirch my religion , tims will know who i mean .

souness was the mischief maker an the bullsh*t that he was trying tae end rangers bias towards catholic players was a myth it was simply a geme o wanupsmanship.

good p.r propaganda.as we all know rangers always were secterian in there ootlook ,am i talkin bullsh*t if so why did the great man big jock who was a protestant himself and who suffered personally when he became celtic manager and was even ignored by personal friends say if i have the choice between 2 boys o equal talent i'll sign the protestant knowing full well the gers won't sign the catholic ffs how sad is that.

you have all heard my views o religious bigorty and how i deplore this cancer that thrives in oor society in the west o scotland more so.

even in this day and age some o the carry ons at ibrox beggars belief ,nae pepperoni nae eggs benedict it must piss a lotta o the knuckle draggers that go there that they hiv tae play on a green turf hows aboot importen in fae kentucky weel its cawed the bloo grass state innit '

used tae get a laugh in the rangers club when playin pool the blaze is bloo innit .

ach am 70 noo an it iwies was a DREAM O MINE LIKE JOHN LENNON THAT AW THE WORLD COOD LIVE AS WAN.

as i recall the great rabbie burns was o a similar trend o thought .


wee mo ? ach he wis in it fer r
he money ,he was o the same ilk as the people who bought an sold us fer english gold nuff said.


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Heather
post 15th Feb 2010, 12:16am
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I remember the carry on when Maurice Johnston signed for Rangers.

He was to sign for Celtic but changed his mind and signed for Rangers.
Celtic then signed a Polish football player the Celtic fans dubbed 'Jackie'. From that day onwards, one of our nephews never called my husband Uncle Maurice again, he re-named him Uncle Jackie and the rest of the Celtic fans in the family did likewise as do the new generation of Celtic fans in the family do to this day. laugh.gif








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Mathieson
post 31st Mar 2010, 06:18pm
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Wee Mo was an excellent signing for Rangers, even leaving aside the effect his signing had on Celtic at the time. biggrin.gif He had a fairly good strike rate and was one of those players who often chased seemingly lost causes and turned them into real goal chances for himself or team-mates. A real 100% player every match.

I've read some of the comments on here and some are making much of the Rangers fans reaction but in truth the signing shook Parkhead to it's foundations much more than it ever did Ibrox. Sure there were the usual rent-a-quote neaderthals who felt obliged to react in stereotypical fashion when a press microphone and/ or camera was shoved in their face but I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of fellow Bluenoses who I personally knew of who weren't absolutely delighted with the signing.

The day he scored the winning goal into the Copland Road End net in the last minute against Celtic will live with me, and many other Gers fans, forever. In fact, many a fan at the recent Rangers/Celtic match at Ibrox when our other Mo, Edu, scored with virtually the last kick, commented that the reaction of the fans that day was very like the day when Super Mo scored his first against Celtic way back then.

Incidentally, the neaderthals on the other side were prone to attacking Mo's father from time to time. Is that a case of "The sins of the son...."?


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