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Rip Eddie Rutherford


J_RFC87

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From another mb:

Eddie Rutherford began his Rangers career shortly after the end of Second World War in 1946.

He made his debut on Oct 19th in the inaugural year of the League Cup, in a Qualifying tie v Queens Park at Ibrox, as an outside right in place of Willie Waddell, who was playing for Scotland against Wales that same day.(along with Willie Thornton).

He would make 6 further appearances that season, all as a right winger.

One week before the League Cup final, with Waddell out injured, Rutherford was given another start in a League match v Clyde at Ibrox.

Rangers won 5-0 to clinch the Championship, with back up centre forward Billy Williamson scoring four goals and Rutherford scoring one himself.

A week later Rutherford proved an excellent substitute for Waddell as Rangers hammered Aberdeen 4-0 in the first ever Scottish League Cup Final.

Even though this game was played on April 5th, the atrocious weather conditions were such that of the 134,000 tickets that were sold for this game, more than 50,000 failed to turn up.

The actual attendance at the final was 82,684.

Two weeks earlier, more than 125,000 had turned up to see Rangers defeat Hibernian 3-1 in the semi final.

So after only 7 appearances in his first season, Eddie Rutherford had collected his first winners medal.

The following season 47-48, with Waddell being restricted to only 12 League appearances due to injury, Rutherford got 27 starts in the three competitions (22 of them at outside right, 5 at outside left).

An inspired performance by the right winger against Celtic on Jan 2nd saw Rangers triumph 4-0 at Parkhead. Three home defeats saw Rangers concede the League title to Hibernian by 2 points.

In the Scottish Cup Rangers went marching on, beating Hibernian 1-0 in the semi-final, before a crowd of 143,570 ( a British record attendance between two clubs, outwith a Final, that still stands today)

In the Final itself 131,975 paid to watch Rangers and Morton finish level at 1-1 after extra time.

The replay four days later saw a record crowd for a midweek match as 129,176 turned up to witness another grueling extra time encounter.

A reporter wrote

'There were just over 4 mins to play in a hard fought Final when Cox drove a long low pass over to the left touchline,' Rutherford, far out of his beat, collected the pass and crossed with his left foot,

Williamson, rushing in at full tilt, met the ball with his forehead and the ball was in the net before the Morton keeper could move.

The Rangers team that collected the Scottish Cup that day:

Brown, Young, Shaw, McColl, Woodburn, Cox, Rutherford, Thornton, Williamson, Duncanson and Gillick.

One month later Eddie Rutherford was capped for Scotland.

1948-49 was the year of the Triple Crown, when Rangers brought home The League Championship, The Scottish Cup and The League Cup. Rutherford played in all but three of Rangers league games that season, in fact he played in 35 of the 44 games that led to that Glorious Treble.

Though he started the season again at outside right, by the time New Year arrived he was already building a formidable partnership on the left wing with Jimmy Duncanson at inside left.

This was best displayed in the Ne'er day derby when Rangers beat Celtic 4-0 at Ibrox, with a hat trick from Duncanson and one from Thornton.

By the time both Cup Finals came around in March and April, Eddie Rutherford was very much now the established outside left for The Rangers.

1949-50 saw Rangers win the Double of League Championship and Scottish Cup.

Rutherford played in 35 of the 44 games that season collecting another 2 winners medals.

Rangers went out of the League Cup at the Semi Final 1-2 to East Fife(managed by Scot Symon).

In the previous round Rangers had shockingly lost 2-3 at home to Cowdenbeath in the first leg of the quarter final.

This was the first time Rangers had suffered defeat by a team from a lower Division.

In the return leg before a record crowd, Cowdenbeath actually took a 4-2 aggregate lead from the penalty spot, a local mining hero slotting home for the underdogs, Rangers bombarded their goal, and it took until the 50th minute for Rangers to get on the scoresheet when Sammy Cox who had been moved forward to inside left for this game, scored with a snap shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Here is a report of the latter part of the match from a Cowdenbeath fan 'The ball came to Frank Armstrong at the Rangers end. The crowd and his colleagues urged him to kick it over the stand but Armstrong with the innocence of youth tried once again to go round George Young. This time the Scottish captain wins the ball and advances towards the Cowdenbeath half. There are 13 seconds left to play. Young punts the ball skywards towards the Cowden goal, the crowd falls silent. The ball seems suspended in the air, in time almost, and then Eddie Rutherford of Rangers barges Holland aside and rises to head the ball past the despairing Moodie. It is the equaliser, the referee blows for time, strong men weep. Rangers fans in ecstasy. Cowdenbeath, 13 seconds from glory now face extra-time.'

In the 102 nd minute, Sammy Cox beats two men on the left and crashes home a drive - the winner for Rangers.

Though it is rarely mentioned, here was a entire generation of Rangers fans spared the trauma and humiliation that a generation later had to endure following Berwick, by virtue of that Eddie Rutherford goal at Cowdenbeath 13 seconds from time.

Rutherford would score another late goal against Cowdenbeath that season in the Scottish Cup,

only this time it was nowhere near as significant, as his team mates had scored seven times previously as Rangers beat them 8-0.

In the Semi Final, he scored the equaliser against Queen of the South, forcing a replay that Rangers won comfortably.

In the Final itself, Rangers gained some revenge on East Fife with a 3-0 win.

A goal from Findlay after 30 secs, and two in two minutes midway through the second half from Thornton, both laid on by Rutherford.

The following season (1950-51) was a disappointing one for Rangers as they failed to qualify from the League Cup section, finished runners up in the League to Hibernian, and were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by them, at Ibrox in front of 102,342 fans.

Rutherford made 24 appearances.

1951-52

By the time October came around Rangers had played only 3 league games, though they were well into their season, having reached the League Cup Semi Finals.

This was to be Rutherford's final month at Ibrox.

His last five appearances were, a 1-1 draw with League leaders East Fife, that League Cup Semi Final against Celtic on the 13th, that saw Rangers run out convincing winners by 3-0.

Four days later and a trip to London, to mark the opening of the Floodlights at Highbury, saw Rangers take on Arsenal.

A 2-0 home win v Hearts the following Saturday at Ibrox.

His final appearance for Rangers came on Oct 27th in the League Cup Final.

Despite leading 1-0 at half time, Rangers lost 2-3 to a last minute Alf Boyd goal for Dundee.

Less than two weeks later on Nov 9th 1951 Rangers swapped Eddie Rutherford for Hearts Colin Liddell.

In the Five years that Eddie Rutherford was at Ibrox he made 140 appearances, and scored 28 goals.

He won

2 League Championships

3 Scottish Cups

2 League Cups

Sounds like quite a player, RIP.

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