FORMER Rangers manager Davie White died on Tuesday at the age of 80.
Born in 1933, he spent his entire playing career with Clyde, becoming manager at Shawfield in 1966.
A year later he left to become Scot Symon’s assistant at Ibrox and was promoted to the top job when Symon was sacked five months later in November, 1967.
However, he enjoyed little luck during his time at Ibrox. His team was unbeaten until the final game of the season in 1967-68, but still lost the title to Celtic by two points.
In 1969, Celtic won the fourth of their nine successive titles, and although Rangers reached the semi-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (losing to eventual winners Newcastle United), they were also thrashed 4-0 by Jock Stein’s side in the Scottish Cup final.
That year, White brought Jim Baxter back to Rangers but the manager was sacked in November following a 3-1 home defeat by Gornik Zabrze in the European Cup-Winners’ Cup.
At Rangers, he was in charge for 74 games, won 51, drew 13 and lost ten but he was the first of the club’s managers not to win a trophy, a record matched only by Paul Le Guen.
He became Dundee’s manager three years later and led them to a League Cup final victory over Celtic in 1973 but the club was relegated from the top flight in 1976 and White left the club – and football – the following year.
Tommy Gemmell, who played under White at Dundee, last night paid tribute to his former manager.
Lisbon Lion Gemmell said: “I will be forever grateful to Davie White for signing me for Dundee. I left Celtic for Nottingham Forest in 1971, but things weren’t working out after a couple of seasons and it was known that I wanted to return to Scotland.
“Davie was gaffer of Dundee when he gave me that opportunity and then made me skipper. Possibly a lot of people believed it was odd that a former Rangers manager would buy an ex-Celtic player, but Davie was never bothered by the Great Divide. He was a very likeable guy and extremely knowledgeable about football. He will be missed.”
Gemmell, 69, added: “His best result as my boss at Dens Park was undoubtedly the League Cup Final 1-0 win over Celtic, of all clubs, at Hampden in 1973-74.
“I was captain that day and I’ve never been so embarrassed than when I went up those stairs to be presented with the trophy.
“But, at the same time, I was overjoyed for Davie because he worked hard at football and deserved silverware.”