Allan McGregor reveals reason for extending playing career at Rangers for one more year

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor says he couldn’t face the prospect of hanging up his gloves before experiencing the thrill of playing in front of a capacity crowd at Ibrox once more.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor gets his gloves on the Premiership trophy at Ibrox at the end of last season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor gets his gloves on the Premiership trophy at Ibrox at the end of last season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

McGregor enjoyed an outstanding campaign as Rangers became Scottish champions for the first time in a decade, keeping 22 clean sheets in 42 appearances.

There was some doubt whether the battle-hardened veteran, who will celebrate his 40th birthday in January, would extend his playing career beyond this summer.

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But McGregor eventually agreed a one-year extension and has now revealed his desire to be there when supporters return to grounds, having been absent for all of last season due to the coronavirus crisis, was a major factor in his decision.

Allan McGregor, pictured making a save against Hibs at Ibrox on April, was in vintage form for Rangers as they became Scottish champions for the first time in a decade. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

No time to waste

“You can’t call it a day when there are no fans there, I couldn’t do that,” said McGregor. “I need to play in front of a full Ibrox again and my body feels all right.

“If I felt that I couldn’t do it any more, I wouldn’t waste my time or waste the club’s time either.

“I feel like I can still play, although that might change after pre-season! But I feel fine, so why not keep going and try to win more.”

McGregor won three consecutive Scottish titles from 2009 to 2011 under Walter Smith’s management during his first spell at Rangers and has been a pivotal figure in the restoration of the club’s fortunes since returning in the summer of 2018 as one of Steven Gerrard’s first signings.

“After the length of time we never won it, getting the trophy back was all we wanted,” McGregor told Champions, the official commemorative magazine of Rangers’ 55th title win. “Every season, it should be our aim to win the title. That’s what this club is all about.

“It’s hard to build a new team with a lot of new signings and it takes time to get to know the manager and the way he wants to play.

Journey to glory

“But I think over the last three years, you have seen a massive change in the way we play. It’s exciting, people enjoy it and every player knows their job.

“It took a wee bit longer than we wanted to become champions again but we got there. I think the more points you go in front, the more you believe it will happen.

“But the message throughout really was to concentrate on our own games and results. You can’t control what another team does, you can only control what you do on the pitch.

“Once the title was won, it was a feeling of relief, joy and happiness – not just for me but for millions of people across the world. Just to be part of that was a special, special moment.

“I don’t think you can compare it to past title success we’ve had because they were all won in their own way.

“They were all as enjoyable as each other. This is the earliest we have won it while the rest have been quite exciting, last day kind of stuff.

“This one has been different but, at the same time, you are still winning the league for this club and every title success is precious.”

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