Where are they now? Rangers’ 9-in-a-row clinching team

Paul Gascoigne (left) and with captain on the day Alan McLaren. Picture: SNS

Paul Gascoigne (left) and with captain on the day Alan McLaren. Picture: SNS

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IT is almost 20 years since Rangers won a record-equalling ninth consecutive Scottish title. The achievement was secured by a less than wholly familiar line-up, with injuries depriving manager Walter Smith of key men such as Andy Goram, Richard Gough, Stuart McCall, Jorg Albertz and Ally McCoist during the run-in.

Here we look at what became of the 11 players who clinched the championship with a 1-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice on 7 May, 1997.

ANDY DIBBLE

The Welsh international goalkeeper was signed on a short-term contract from Manchester City to deputise for the injured Goram and made his Rangers debut in a crucial 1-0 win away to Celtic on 16 March.

Dibble made just seven appearances for Rangers but kept another of the most significant clean sheets in their history in the match at Tannadice which was on the day before his 32nd birthday.

He left Rangers at the end of the season, joining Sheffield United, and continued his itinerant career until hanging up his gloves at Accrington Stanley in 2006.

Dibble, who marked his cameo role in Rangers’ historic title win by having a ‘9 in a row’ tattoo, is now goalkeeping coach at English Championship club Rotherham United.

ALEC CLELAND

Signed from Dundee United in the summer of 1995, Cleland quickly earned the approval of Rangers supporters when he scored in a 2-0 win at Celtic Park on his Old Firm debut.

Solid defending, rather than scoring crucial goals, would become his trademark as he held down the right-back slot in Walter Smith’s side for the next three seasons, including the memorable campaign which saw nine-in-a-row won back at his former club.

Cleland followed Smith out of Ibrox in 1998, joining him at Everton but his four years at Goodison were hampered by injury problems which eventually forced his retirement as a player in 2002.

His coaching career has included brief caretaker manager stints at Livingston and St Johnstone. He is now the under-20 coach at the Perth club.

DAVID ROBERTSON

A powerful and pacy left-back, Robertson joined Rangers for a fee of just under £1 million in 1991 and was a key figure in the last six of their nine successive title wins.

He made 251 appearances for the club, scoring a handy 19 goals, before leaving shortly after the completion of ‘9 in a row’ to join Leeds United.

Injuries disrupted his time in English football and he returned to the north of Scotland where he had managerial stints at Elgin City and Montrose before relocating to the USA where he is currently a coach at the Sereno Soccer Club in Arizona.

Last year, Robertson emerged publicly to question the then Rangers board’s wisdom in turning down a takeover bid from his friend, the US financier Robert Sarver, whose son he had coached in Phoenix.

READ MORE - David Robertson: Money problems ‘just an excuse’ for Rangers’ flops

GORDAN PETRIC

The powerful Serbian central defender made his initial mark in Scottish football at Dundee United, helping them win the Scottish Cup in 1994 and deny Rangers a domestic treble in the process.

He moved to Ibrox the following year in a £1.5 million deal and became a regular starter in the side which secured the ninth consecutive league title.

Petric left Rangers in 1998 and after brief spells with Crystal Palace and AEK Athens, he returned to Scottish football the following year when he joined Hearts for a couple of seasons.

He finished his playing career in China before returning to his homeland to become a manager. But after resigning as coach of Belgrade club Zemun last year, Petric switched to working as a football agent.

ALAN McLAREN

While the injured Richard Gough collected the trophy post-match as Rangers won the ninth successive title, it was McLaren who was their captain at Tannadice that night.

Signed from Hearts in 1994, in a deal worth around £2 million and which saw Dave McPherson move the other way along the M8, McLaren made less than 100 appearances for Rangers in his four years at the club as he was afflicted by a series of injuries.

They eventually forced his retirement at the age of just 27 in 1998 with Rangers showing their appreciation for his truncated but valuable service when they awarded him a testimonial match against Middlesbrough the following year.

McLaren is now an ambassador for the Football Aid charity and also appears as a regular analyst on Rangers TV.

JOACHIM BJORKLUND

Swedish international defender Bjorklund was signed from Italian club Vicenza at the start of the season which brought Rangers nine-in-a-row.

Combining power and poise at the back, the man inevitably referred to as ‘Jocky’ by the Rangers fans was an influential performer during the campaign.

Bjorklund moved on after just two years at Ibrox, joining Valencia in the summer of 1998. Although he finished his playing career in England, where he had spells with Sunderland and Wolves, Spanish football would provide him with his employment after hanging up his boots.

He now scouts for Valencia in Scandinavia, while also working as a pundit on Swedish TV’s coverage of La Liga.

CRAIG MOORE

A versatile defender or midfielder, Moore joined Rangers as a youngster from the Australian institute of sport in 1994. He enjoyed two productive spells at Ibrox, punctuated by a season at Crystal Palace in 1998-99, before moving on in 2005.

Moore then played in Germany for Borussia Moenchengladbach and had a brief stint at Newcastle United before returning to his homeland to play for Brisbane Roar.

After finishing his playing career in Greek football, he went back to Australia once again where he was coach at Gold Coast club Coomera Colts before being appointed football operations manager at A-League outfit Brisbane Roar last year.

PAUL GASCOIGNE

At the zenith of Rangers’ spending power under David Murray’s ownership, the capture of Paul Gascoigne from Lazio in 1995 was certainly their highest profile signing.

While the England midfielder did not bring the Champions League success Murray craved, he did light up the Scottish domestic scene with some of his performances.

Gascoigne scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox which clinched Rangers’ eighth successive title in 1996 and was a regular contributor of both goals and assists when they made it nine.

He left Rangers to sign for Middlesbrough in 1998, before being reunited with Walter Smith when the former Ibrox boss recruited him at Everton two years later.

Gascoigne’s life and career have generally been on a downward spiral since then and he continues to be seriously troubled by his alcohol addiction and mental health issues.

GORDON DURIE

Rangers signed former East Fife, Hibs and Chelsea striker Durie from Spurs in 1993 and he enjoyed a trophy-laden seven years at Ibrox.

Durie was sometimes overshadowed by more glamorous names at Rangers, most notably in the 1996 Scottish Cup final when his hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Hearts at Hampden was not enough to prevent the match being referred to as the ‘Laudrup final’ owing to the brilliance of his Danish team-mate’s display.

But Durie remained a fairly consistent contributor to Rangers’ successes of that period, even playing a fringe role in two title wins under Dick Advocaat before leaving Ibrox to sign for Hearts in 2000.

He later returned to first club East Fife as manager, but resigned due to ill health in 2012. The following year, he was appointed under-20 coach at Rangers and was promoted to the first team coaching staff when Ally McCoist resigned as manager.

Durie left Rangers last summer following Mark Warburton’s arrival. A failed business interest outside of football saw Durie declared bankrupt earlier this year.

READ MORE - Interview: Gordon Durie, East Fife manager and former Rangers striker

CHARLIE MILLER

Named Young Player of the Year by the Scottish PFA in 1995, Miller was a precocious talent whose lifestyle off the pitch partly contributed to his failure to totally fulfil his rich potential.

He made just seven starting appearances in the league during the nine-in-a-row campaign but his involvement on the defining night at Tannadice was crucial as he provided the cross for Brian Laudrup to score the only goal of the game.

Miller left Rangers in 1999 to embark on a far-travelled career which took in stops at Watford, Dundee United, Brann in Norway, Lierse in Belgium and Brisbane Roar in Australia before hanging up his boots following a brief spell back in Scotland with Clyde.

He published a well-received, entertaining and refreshingly frank autobiography last year and is now a regular match analyst on Rangers TV.

READ MORE - Interview: Charlie Miller on Rangers, Beckham and Castlemilk

BRIAN LAUDRUP

Still revered by Rangers supporters as one of the most gifted and entertaining players ever to have served the Ibrox club, Laudrup’s talent illuminated Scottish domestic football following his capture from Fiorentina in 1993.

The Danish forward was twice named Scotland’s Player of the Year, first in 1995 and then again in 1997 when he was pivotal in Rangers reaching their ninth consecutive title. Laudrup was their leading scorer in that campaign and fittingly netted the clinching goal at Tannadice when he headed home a Charlie Miller cross.

He left Rangers in 1998 for Chelsea but struggled to make a positive impact at Stamford Bridge. He ended his playing career with Ajax, hanging up his boots in 2000.

Laudrup, who was successfully treated for lymphoma in 2010, is now a pundit for Danish TV on their coverage of the English Premier League and also helps run a recreational football scheme for disadvantaged youth in his homeland.

READ MORE - Brian Laudrup: Rangers cup win would be as big as 9 in a row

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Gordon Strachan to name three Scotland debutants | Neil Lennon backs Celtic to dump Rangers

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