Who is Ally McCoist?

Alistair Murdoch McCoist is a Scottish ex-footballer who has since worked as a head coach and pundit.

He began his playing career with the Scottish outfit St Johnstone, having purchased from Fir Park Boys Club in 1978 before transferring to English side Sunderland three years later.

The £400,000 sum spent on him made him Sunderland’s record acquisition. Ally returned to his homeland two years later and joined Rangers for a transfer fee of £185,000.

A lifelong Rangers fan, Ally attended his first Old Firm match as a ten-year-old in 1973. It was the club’s 3–2 Scottish Cup Final triumph in front of 122,714 at Hampden Park.

The striker had a highly successful stint with Rangers, becoming the Gers’ record goalscorer and winning nine consecutive league championships between 1988–89 and 1996–97.

McCoist later played at Kilmarnock, where he spent three campaigns alongside long-time Gers teammate and friend Ian Durrant.

His final match at the age of 38 was at home to league rivals Celtic on the last day of the SPL season on 20 May 2001, a 1–0 victory which enabled Killie to qualify for the following campaign’s UEFA Cup.

He was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame back in 2007. The forward is also a member of the Scotland Football Hall of Fame, having won 61 international caps.

A prolific centre-forward, Ally is currently ranked as the fifth highest goalscorer in the highest level of the Scottish football league hierarchy all time, having scored 260 times for Kilmarnock and Rangers between 1983 and 2001.

Towards the end of his professional career, Ally started his media career. Between 1996 and 2007, the former footballer was a team skipper in the BBC sports quiz A Question of Sport.

He began to scale back the media commitments in 2007 when McCoist became an assistant manager to Walter Smith at the Ibrox outfit.

He succeeded Walter as Rangers manager 10 years ago, but the club then experienced serious financial difficulties.

The company running the Scottish giants was put into liquidation back in 2012 and the club were then placed in the fourth division of Scottish league football.

McCoist helped Rangers win successive promotions to the second league, but after a poor start to the 2014–15 term McCoist handed in his one-year’s notice in the winter of 2014 and was placed on gardening leave.

The following year, McCoist and the Gers mutually agreed to terminate his deal.