10 Rangers nine-in-a-row players who starred for Falkirk

Steven Pressley began his career at Rangers, later playing for and managing Falkirk
Steven Pressley began his career at Rangers, later playing for and managing Falkirk

The path from Ibrox to Falkirk has been a well-trodden one over the years, even if it has involved a few detours for some players.

Scotland under-19 right-back Ryan Sinnamon was the latest to make the switch when he moved from Rangers to the Bairns on loan during the summer.

He’ll be hoping to make the same sort of mark at the club as other former Ibrox youngsters such as Rory Loy and Darryl Duffy have in recent years.

And a quick look through the record books will tell you that many players from Rangers’ most successful era, when the club won nine championships in a row between 1989 and 1997, also enjoyed spells at the Bairns’ then Brockville home.

With Falkirk due to visit Ibrox on Saturday, here’s a rundown of 10 who did just that:

Mo Johnston

(Rangers 1989-91, Falkirk 1994-96)

Johnston’s signing for Rangers in 1989 was one of the stories of the decade, as he had agreed a return to Celtic before Graeme Souness seized on a hitch in the deal to snap up the Scotland striker. After winning two Premier League titles with Rangers and scoring 46 goals in 100 games, Johnston moved to Everton before returning to Scotland with Hearts and then Falkirk. He played out his careers with American MLS side Kansas City Wizards before retiring in 2001.

Derek Ferguson

(Rangers 1983-90, Falkirk 1995-98)

Brother of former Rangers skipper Barry, Ferguson began his career with boyhood favourites Rangers and looked set for a glittering career but, after intially blossoming under Souness, he faded from the picture. Falkirk featured among a long list of clubs he played for after leaving Ibrox, including Hearts, Sunderland, Dunfermline Athletic and Partick Thistle.

Stuart Munro

(Rangers 1984-91, Falkirk 1995-96)

Falkirk-born Munro began his senior career with St Mirren but featured rarely before moving to Alloa Athletic. He signed on at Ibrox as a 21-year-old and played over six seasons with Rangers, winning numerous honours, until he was sold to Blackburn Rovers for £350,000. He returned north for short spells with Falkirk and St Mirren before finishing his career in Australia.

Kevin Drinkell

Rangers (1988-89, Falkirk 1992-94)

Drinkell began his career with hometown club Grimsby Town where he scored 89 goals in 272 games before being snapped up by Norwich. In his first season at Carrow Road, his goals helped the club win the Second Division championship and his good form continued the following season as Norwich finished fifth in the top flight. He moved to Rangers in the 1988 close season, winning League and League Cup medals but lost his place to new signing Mo Johnston the following season and played just four games before his return to England when he signed for Coventry City. After a short loan spell with Birmingham City he joined Falkirk, where he began his coaching career, and he has since managed various other Scottish clubs.

David Hagen

(Rangers 1992-94, Falkirk 1995-2000)

Hagen began his career with Rangers but rarely featured in the first team and soon moved to Hearts. He joined his hometown team of Falkirk in 1995 where he stayed for five years, making over 100 appearances. He left to sign for Livingston, where he won the Scottish First Division title. He moved to Clyde in 2001 and Peterhead in 2004 before spending the last year of his career with junior side Bo’ness United.

Neil Murray

Rangers (1989-96, Falkirk 2002)

Murray clocked up a fair maount of game time during his years at Rangers, without ever really becoming a fixture in the side. However, he did win the domestic treble in 1992-93, scoring in the Scottish Cup final win over Aberdeen which also saw Steve Pressley turn out for the Ibrox men. He moved to Swiss side Sion in 1996 winning the Swiss League and Cup double before heading to French club Lorient a year later. Following his spells abroad, Murray returned to Scotland for a short spell at Dundee United, before moving back to the continent with Mainz 05 of Germany. During his two years there, he had a short loan spell with English side Grimsby Town, and came back to Scotland in 2002, signing for Falkirk. Murray played out the next season with Ayr United, which was to be his last in professional football.

Ian McCall

(Rangers 1987-89, Falkirk 1992-94)

McCall played for Queen’s Park and Dunfermline before being snapped up by Graeme Souness for Rangers. He was undoubtedly talented but has since admitted he never really applied himself properly at Ibrox and featured only fleetingly. His two years at Falkirk were sandwiched between spells at Bradford City, Dundee, Hamilton, Happy Valley, Partick Thistle and Clydebank. He later returned to Brockville to manage with club with some success before being lured away by Dundee United. He’s now boss of Ayr United.

Brian Reid

(Rangers 1991-96, Falkirk 2003)

Centre-half Reid started his career at Morton before becoming Graeme Souness’s last signing for Rangers. He suffered a cruciate ligament knee injury shortly after signing for the Ibrox club, however, which almost finished his career. Reid was used sparingly by Rangers and eventually returned to Morton in 1996 for two seasons, He went on to play for Burnley, Dunfermline Athletic, Blackpool, Falkirk, Queen of the South and Ayr United.

Fraser Wishart

(Falkirk 1992-93, Rangers 1993-95)

The only one of the players featured to move from Falkirk to Rangers, Wishart signed for Motherwell in 1983 and made over 150 appearances for the team over the next six years. In 1989 he was transferred to St Mirren for £285,000, moving to Falkirk three years later. Walter Smith signed him for Rangers in 1993 but he appeared only fleetingly over next two years and moved to Hearts in 1995, followed by a second spell at Motherwell in 1996. He was transferred to Clydebank where he spent four years both as a player and coach during the club’s turbulent final seasons. He then moved to Airdrie in 2001 for what proved to be the club’s final season before they folded. He is now chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association Scotland.

Stephen Pressley

(Rangers 1990-94, Falkirk 2009)

Pressley started his career at Rangers as a youngster, winning a Scottish Cup medal in 1993. He was was transferred to Coventry City in 1994 but returned to Scotland with Dundee United a year later, winning promotion to the Premier League in his first season. He then moved to Hearts where he was appointed club captain by Craig Levein in 2001–02 and claimed his second Scottish Cup winners medal in 2006 when the Tynecastle side edged out Gretna on penalties. His time with Hearts ended controversially after a fallout with charman Vladimir Romanov and he joined Celtic in December 2006, winning a third Scottish Cup the following year. After a spell with Randers in Denmark, he joined Falkirk on a short-term contract in January 2009. He retired from playing at the end of the season but was appointed assistant manager and then took the top job when Eddie May resigned in February 2010. Falkirk were relegated at the end of the season but Pressley continued in the manager’s position until moving to take over the reins at former club Coventry in March 2013.