20 years ago today we lost the one and only Big Jock, Jock Wallace. Now twenty years later he is still not inducted into the SFA Hall of Fame.
Rangers legend John Greig leads calls for Jock Wallace to be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame
JOHN GREIG is leading the calls for Jock Wallace to be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame on the 20th anniversary of the passing of the legendary Ibrox manager.
Greig, who was one of the first inductees in 2004, is astonished that the man who led Rangers to two Trebles in three years, and was an integral part of the 1972 European Cup-Winners’ Cup triumph, has been overlooked for so many years.
Now the former captain and manager feels it is high time that the record is set straight and Wallace is given the standing in the game that his remarkable achievements deserve.
Greig said: “It seems remarkable to me that Big Jock has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame before now – it’s a huge oversight.
“When you analyse what he achieved, it is amazing that he has been overlooked.
“Of course, he should be in there and he should have been in there long before now.
“On the 20th anniversary of his passing, it would be very appropriate to put matters right and give Jock his rightful place in the game.”
Wallace won eight major honours in the space of five years, most notably the clean sweep of the League, League Cup and Scottish Cup in 1975/76 and 1977/78, having taken over from Willie
Waddell, for whom he had been an outstanding assistant.
He had ended Celtic’s nine-in-a-row dominance of the Championship by winning the 1975 title – Rangers’ first for 11 years – having defeated their old rivals 3-2 in the epic Centenary Scottish Cup
Final two years earlier.
However, Wallace fell out with Waddell over the club’s spending budget and his own salary and sensationally quit just 16 days after winning the Treble in 1978. He returned to Ibrox for a less successful second spell in 1983, which did include two League Cup successes.
Fatefully, he was in goal the day Berwick Rangers famously beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup in 1967 in his role as player-manager and he was also successful in English football, winning the old Second Division title with Leicester City in 1980.
Wallace, who also managed Motherwell, Sevilla and Colchester, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1990. He died on July 24, 1996.
Greig added: “Rangers enjoyed some of their greatest moments under Jock and I am privileged to have been his captain.
“We had a fantastic team in the 1970s. Two Trebles in three seasons was exceptional and has never been emulated. That says it all for me.”
Fellow Barcelona Bear Alex MacDonald is also completely behind Wallace being recognised at last.
MacDonald, who was at the heart of all the Wallace successes, said: “It’s about time he is remembered for all that he achieved, so I sincerely hope he gets into the Hall of Fame.
“The 20th anniversary of his death seems like a good time to do it, although he should have been in long ago.
“Jock was a great man to work for. People talk about the hard-man image, but he knew how to look after players and he knew everything about you.
“Jock built a team – and what a team it was as we won two Trebles. He was a good tactician, too. I don’t think he ever got the credit he deserved for that.
“For example, he used me as a man-marker at times, especially in the Celtic games when I had to look after Jimmy Johnstone – and that was no easy task.
“That type of thing certainly helped me in my managerial career. There is no doubt I learned a lot from him.
“He once played me at outside-left at Hampden in a League Cup semi-final against Celtic. I scored but we lost 3-1.
“I said to him the next day that I wasn’t happy about playing there. He said: ‘Do you want to be in the team?’ and I replied: ‘My granny would play outside left’.
“Jock quickly replied: ‘What’s your granny’s phone number?’. That was me told!”