Who is John Greig?
John Greig is a former professional footballer from Scotland, who acted as a defender. Greig spent his entire career with Rangers, as a player, director and manager.
He was voted “The Greatest Ever Ranger” back in 1999 by the club’s fans and has been elected to Rangers’ Hall of Fame.
He played his youth football at United Crossroads Boys Club in Edinburgh, under the stewardship of Eric Gardiner, and supported Heart of Midlothian commonly known Hearts as a boy. It is unknown if the club showed any interest in landing him.
Bob McAuley signed Greig for the Gers and in spite of his initial reluctance John did as instructed by his father. But, after viewing a match between Hibernian and Rangers at Easter Road, where he witnessed them smashing Hibs 6–1, he was convinced the transfer was right.
A forceful, determined player, recognised for his great skills, Greig made 755 official appearances for the Gers (498 in the domestic division, 64 in European tournaments, a club record 121 in the League Cup and 72 in the Scottish Cup).
He netted 120 goals for the side and won three domestic trebles. He actually started his professional career with Rangers as a forward, before being moved back to the middle of the pitch – playing initially alongside another Ibrox legend in Jim Baxter – and finally to left-back. It was therefore in those initial seasons that he netted the majority of his goals for the club.
Greig was skipper when Rangers won the European Cup Winners Cup back in 1972 beating Dynamo Moscow 3–2 in Barcelona, Spain.
Although he had an enormously productive playing career, his captaincy occurred together with a period of sustained success for the Gers’ city rivals, Celtic, from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s. His fortitude during that period further cemented his status as one of Rangers’ most celebrated captains.
John was granted a testimonial match in 1978 versus a Scotland XI as part of the national roster’s preparations for the 1978 FIFA World Cup.
Greig played for his country on 44 occasions, 15 as skipper, between 1964 and 1975. He netted the late winner in Scotland’s 1–0 win against Italy at Hampden Park on 9 November 1965 and two years later achieved the distinction of captaining his nation who beat England 3-2 – their first defeat as World Champions – at Wembley.