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Cult Heroes: If anyone befits the cult hero status, it is Mark Hateley

Cult Heroes: If anyone befits the cult hero status, it is Mark Hateley

As a Scottish Premiership defender in the mid-to early-nineties, there was no more daunting a sight than seeing a 6ft 2in burly figure, long, dark locks flowing, charging towards you, eyes fixed on the ball drifting towards them, and knowing that he was getting a head on the end of it, whether you were in the way of him, or not.

But that is the intimidating figure Mark Hateley was for Rangers. When he had that determined glint in his eye, the outcome was inevitable, and almost every time, the defender ended up second best.

Now 57-years-old, his synonymous past-shoulder length black hair, having given way to short, receding grey, the former centre-forward still has Rangers in his blood, as he works in an ambassadorial role for the Ibrox club.

In an interview last year, he described his dream job as working in some sort of Director of Football role at the club, and that he still offered advice and opinion to the then manager, Graeme Murty, in the same way he says he used to with legendary boss, Walter Smith.

It is clear his love affair with Rangers never died, even after he left in November 1995, which saw him return for a second spell in 1997.

He scored an incredible 115 goals in 222 appearances for the Gers, and his partnership with Ally McCoist is one of the great footballing pairings in the history of British football.

He was renowned for his aerial ability, and was a magnificent header of the ball.

But he was also very skilfull on the deck, with his footwork often underrated, such was his threat with the ball off the ground.

He arrived at Rangers from Monaco, and no one expected the player to have the impact he did, with very little fanfare serenading his signing.

But after his initial five years, 100-plus goals, five league titles, two Scottish Cups, three Scottish League Cups, and becoming the first Englishman to win the Scottish Football Writers Association Player of the Year, the impression he left on the club will be remembered for generations.

His foray into club management was as player-manager with Hull City, who he was in charge of for two years, winning 25 of his 92 league games in charge, losing 48.

He then had a spell in charge of the Liberian national team, before retiring.

But it is always Rangers that are in his heart, and it was always going to be the Glasgow side that he returned to,m in whatever capacity he could.

Were you around to watch Hateley form his deadly partnership with McCoist? Have you heard your parents talk about watching them? What are your memories of Attila Hateley?

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