Falkirk forward Zak Rudden hails Rangers landlady’s influence on career so far

Zak Rudden has been key for Falkirk this season. Picture Michael Gillen.
Zak Rudden has been key for Falkirk this season. Picture Michael Gillen.

Zak Rudden says he’s here at Falkirk to score goals... or words to that effect. But he recently dedicated on of his many strikes to a special lady in his life – Rangers landlady Morag McNeill.

After notching the winner against Ayr United, the striker, on-loan from Rangers, tweeted: “That one was for you Morag”

Zak Rudden has paid tribute to his landlady Morag. Picture: Twitter/@zakorudden

Zak Rudden has paid tribute to his landlady Morag. Picture: Twitter/@zakorudden

It referred to the Justice of the Peace and host of the Best Foot Forward guest house in Milngavie – who put the 18-year-old up after his move west aged just 15.

Switching football clubs, cities and schools was a big change for the teen– but his landlady, who died on January 3, saw him through.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better when I moved through there – she was like another mother to me,” Rudden told The Falkirk Herald.

“My thoughts have been with her and her family recently.”

Zak Rudden. Picture Michael Gillen.

Zak Rudden. Picture Michael Gillen.

READ MORE: Zak Rudden notches double figures for season 2018-19

McNeill looked after many young Academy players for Rangers but Rudden full-time.

He added: “She did everything for me when I went through rough patches. After moving through to Glasgow when I was 15 I hated it. I still had to go to school but I really didn’t want to and she helped me through that.

“She was an unbelievable woman. I dedicated one of my goals to have at air because she was quite simply the best person.”

Zak Rudden. Picture Michael Gillen.

Zak Rudden. Picture Michael Gillen.

Since those early issues with his move {https://www.falkirkherald.co.uk/football-fixtures-results?pstr=player&coid=&teid=208&plid=270251| Rudden| Player stats} has flourished. His latest step is this a second loan at Falkirk and he is reaping the rewards with three goals in three games this year.

READ MORE: Rudden returns to Rangers - but Falkirk hold out hope

The striker said there was no hesitation in returning to the Bairns after a week back at the Hummel Training Centre.

“I had no hesitations at all. The club is brilliant, the people are brilliant, the fans are brilliant and they seem to love me – or I think they do – but I love them. They’re brilliant and they turn out in good numbers every week.

“I’m delighted with everything here at Falkirk. It’s a good club and we seem to be doing well now. I didn’t know what to expect coming to a big club like this that wasn’t in the best of positions when I first arrived but now it’s starting to turn for us and hopefully it keeps turning and we can turn it all around.

PLAYER PROFILE: Zak Rudden

“If you forget about last year, the start to this year has been good with a win at Ayr and draw with Inverness. We were hoping that we would get a better result at Partick Thistle but we took a point and these things happen.”

It was after that Partick Thistle draw, where Rudden netted from close range, that the fans loved him even more, when a slip of the tongue on Falkirk TV earned him some brief internet notoriety.

Speaking bluntly to commentator Lewis Connolly Rudden said “just here to f****** get goals” and the clip swept social media.

And while he was careful not to drop any more f-bombs with the Falkirk Herald or turn the air navy blue, he had time to laugh about it while looking back over a his ten goal haul.

WATCH: Zak Rudden explains his role with the Bairns

“It is one of the things I’m here for as I apparently said last week! But it’s not the only thing I’m here for –it came out wrong on camera but people thankfully took it the right way and the way I meant it. I’m here to help this club do well.

“I’m not just here for that. I’m here to help the team and move up the table.

“I still need to improve my all round performance and get a bit better but that will come.”