28 October 2013

Goals Galore - The Race to 9,000

Mr. RangersFACTS himself Gary Havlin looks back on 8900-plus league goals for Rangers and asks who will net number 9000...

By Gary Havlin | Contributor

The free scoring exploits of the Rangers squad so far this season could see a goal scoring milestone reached two years earlier than our history would suggest.

Saturday's four goals versus East Fife takes the seasons tally to the 42 mark and, by my count, onto 8,918 league goals since the inception of the Scottish Football League.

Since the Scottish League kicked off in 1890 it has taken on average 14 years for Rangers to score 1,000 goals. The 8,000th goal was scored on 10th August 2002 by Shota Arveladze in a 3-0 victory v Dundee. (This match was delayed by 50 minutes when the new smart card season ticket system suffered a power failure.) So history tells us the 9,000th league goal should be scored sometime in 2016, in keeping with the 14 year 1,000 league goal average.

Goals Galore so far...

Our goal average this season stands at 4.2 goals per game, and with 26 league matches to play the 9,000th league goal could be nestling in the onion bag before the season ends if we keep scoring on as regular a basis as we have been. A difficult task, of course, although even from now until the end of the season our average can still drop to 3.2 goals per game which will see us reach the 9,000 mark in the last match of the campaign. (The .2 is important!)

Jon Daly scores Rangers 8,916th League goal v East Fife

Landmark League Goals

Our first ever league goal was scored at the first Ibrox Park, not by a Rangers player but by Hearts defender Jimmy Adams on 16 August 1890 who headed into his own net. Below is the match report from Rangers first ever league match and a description of our first ever league goal, in the Glasgow Herald of 18 August 1890.

Glasgow Herald, Monday 18th August, 1890
From that historic occasion, 16 years of league football passed before the 1,000th goal was scored, by Alec Smith in a 5-1 victory v Clyde on 8 December 1906.

The Dundee Courier's description of Rangers' 1,000th league goalscorer,
'Alick' Smith, in the match he made the landmark strike.

The milestone goals and the Rangers players who have written themselves into our fantastic history are as follows...

  • 2,000th league goal: Jimmy Gordon (against Kilmarnock, won 7–1, 15 September 1919).

  • 3,000th league goal: Bob McGowan (against Cowdenbeath, won 7–0, 20 December 1930).
(Bob McGowan only made 12 League appearances for Rangers, all in the 1930/31 Season, scoring 10 goals.)

  • 4,000th league goal: Jimmy Duncanson (against Dundee, won 3–1, 25 December 1947).

Hat-Trickster Jimmy Duncanson in the background at Dens Park on the day he scored our
4,000th league goal on Christmas Day, 1947

  • 5,000th league goal: Alex Scott (against Ayr United, won 7-3, 29 April 1961).

The Ayr Utd. Goalkeeper looks on as an Alex Scott strike brings up Rangers 5000th league goal
v Ayr Utd in a last day league decider. We won 7-3 to win the league!

  • 6,000th league goal: Derek Parlane (against Heart of Midlothian, won 4-2, 19 January 1974).

  • 7,000th league goal: Ally McCoist (against Motherwell, won 3–0, 9 December 1989).

  • 8,000th league goal: Shota Arveladze (against Dundee, won 3–0, 10 August 2002).

History beckons

In my opinion, it matters not that our goals in recent years have been scored in the lower leagues of Scottish football, after all, there are teams who count the goals they scored during the World War II 'Unofficial League Championships' whilst Rangers do not. The question this season simply is, if we keep scoring freely, which Ranger will write themselves into the history of our club with the landmark 9,000th League goal?

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