Cult Heroes XI: Rangers - From Jorg Albertz and Marvin Andrews, to Sasa Papac and Dado Prso

Rangers are bestowed with many great players throughout their history. Decorated with trophies, players who made Ibrox rise to their feet.

Rangers' Andy Halliday celebrates with the fans.
Rangers' Andy Halliday celebrates with the fans.

Legends aplenty, and the Ibrox Hall of Fame has inducted many since inception in 2000.

But there are others who, perhaps not the best players on the park, maybe didn’t win so many trophies, or just didn’t get the luck – still received the adulation of the crowd for a variety of reasons and are still fondly remembered.

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Cult Heroes you could probably call them as a catch-all term.

Andy Dibble moved on loan to Rangers from Manchester City and ended up a league winner with a tattoo from a few short months in Glasgow.

Every generation has their own, every evolution of a team develops them. Here we take a look at a Rangers Cult Heroes XI from the recent past, and why they merit inclusion. Maybe they’re not in your line-up but they all deserve a place in the squad.

Goalkeeper

Andy Dibble

Seven games for Rangers and perhaps the most iconic medal of them all - the 1996/97 league winners’ medal.Dibble was drafted in late in the season as emergency cover to see Rangers over the line and shut-out Celtic on his debut at Parkhead.

Sasa Papac was signed by Paul Le Guen.

Now has a permanent reminder of his achievement in his short stay with a 9-in-a-row tattoo on his arm - as good a reason as any for fans to love the short-staying Welshman.

Defence

Andy Halliday

Cult heroes must have a connection with the fans and Halliday’s allegiance has rarely been in doubt since growing up on the Copland Road in the shadow of Ibrox. Fulfilled the dream of every fan just like him and pulled on the jersey wherever necessary – in many cases, like this one, he was deployed at right-back and still gave his all.

John Brown in action.

Marvin Andrews

Not the most glamorous of signings from Livingston on a free, no nonsense on the pitch and full of smiles and songs off it - it’s no wonder Rangers fans fell in love with ‘Big Marv’ and he is the very definition of a cult hero. Keep Believing became the Rangers motto and it came true as he helped them to the title on Helicopter Sunday to further cement his status.

John Brown

A dozen winners’ medals for the flame-haired defensive midfielder - yet no Scotland caps. Brown ‘s ferocious, uncompromising play in the early 1990s earned the respect of the Rangers crowd, and his popularity increased with the shared sense of injustice over recurring international omissions.

Marvin Andrews played for many clubs around Scotland - but was at Rangers for Helicopter Sunday.

Sasa Papac

With no prior connection to the club and significantly less flamboyant personality than his fellow defenders on the list, Papac developed a following for his consistency on the park. Mr seven-out-of-ten every single week, without fail. Mistakes were rare, goals even rarer but he was a popular long-ods goalscorer bet that when it came in, the crowd roared even louder for one of the popular and unsung heroes of the 2000s.

Midfielders

Rino Gattuso

Success followed Gattuso’s spell at Rangers, but his determined, tenacious qualities regardless of where Walter Smith or Dick Advocaat played him ensured the crowd fell in love with the Italian pretty quickly… and there’s a remaining affection for the terrier-like midfielder throughout his career and into management despite going on to better things beyond Ibrox.

Jorg Albertz

Andy Halliday fulfilled a dream by playing for his boyhood club.

This selection is verging on legendary status, but given the calibre in such a category at Rangers - and Albertz enduring popularity and propensity for key goals and incredible moments, he is every bit a cult hero too.Goals against your rivals is a key attribute for a cult hero, and Albertz came up with several.

Pedro Mendes

A classy midfielder in his day, but maybe not up there with the best in club history, Mendes still cut a popular figure and - like Albertz - had the fortunate habit of producing the special at just the right moment – especially against Celtic.

Forwards

Dado Prso

Long hair? Check. Bandaged? Check. Combative? Check? Great goalscorer? Check. Winner? Check. Knows the words to the terrace chants and leads the singing at title parties? Check. Dado Prso was everything a Rangers Cult Hero should be… popular, and successful.

Daniel Candeias

A winger who gave his all and another who played with a smile on his face forging a real bond with the Ibrox crowd in tough times. Pedro Caixinha didn’t get much right at Rangers but bringing Alfredo Morelos, and his talented winger-turned translator, turned out to be his best. Like any good cult hero keeps in touch with the club to this day.

Nacho Novo

Where do you start? Not the most talented stiker Rangers have ever had but one of the most hard-working, and scorer of key goals. Florence, to take Rangers to the UEFA Cup final on penalties, Helicopter Sunday to lift the title in unforgettable circumstances, and did it in Scottish Cup finals too - like that stunner against Falkirk. Stayed in Scotland and still likely to be seen at Ibrox on a matchday with the crowd.

Honourable mentions...

The cult heroes XI has focussed on past players in recent generations, but many are still forging their own status, be it legendary, cult fan favourite or an unsung hero.

We could have had the likes of Gabriel Amato, Marco Negri, Lionel Charbonnier or, going back a little, Terry Hurlock and the lesser seen Seb Rozenthal.

Modern day there’s a case for Niko Katic developing cult hero, rather than legendary, status and Scott Arfield too perhaps? Even Andy Firth - the perennial substitute and league winner – if seven-game Andy Dibble has a case to be a cult hero he could too, because other than being a celebrated figure amongst the fans, what is the definitive classification?

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Jorg Albertz scored 82 goals for Rangers.
Rino Gattuso went on to big things after leaving Rangers - including the World Cup and Champions League.
Pedro Mendes celebrates his goal in a 4-2 win over Celtic in August 2008.
Daniel Candeias celebrates a goal at Ibrox.
Dado Prso celebrates after another goal for the combative striker.
Nacho Novo sent the Rangers fans into a frenzy after his penalty sealed a place in the 2008 Uefa Cup Final
Cult heroes - Marvin Andrews (left), Nacho Novo and Dado Prso (right).