Jeff Holmes Author
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Jeff Holmes Author
   
   
 
THE GREATEST RANGER EVER?  
Synopsis:
Imagine the great Franz Beckenbauer or Bobby Moore breaking from the centre of defence; ball never more than a couple of feet away, and carrying it over the halfway line before creating a real goal scoring opportunity for one of their team mates. A sight to behold, and one that characterised both World Cup-winning captains. It’s fair to say that those reading this book will be too young to have seen Davie Meiklejohn play the game, but all the evidence points towards Meik being in the same mould as both Moore and Beckenbauer.

A master with or without the ball, Meiklejohn was seldom caught out of position, and his strong tackling and pin-point passes were features of his perfectly rounded game. He was normally one move ahead of opponents: the footballer with the chess-like mind, and he frowned upon kicking the ball aimlessly from defence.

He was also a tough man to pass and often talked about one particular tussle he had with legendary England striker Dixie Dean. It was in the 1931 Home International match between Scotland and England at Hampden, and both Goliaths enjoyed fearsome reputations for having perfected the art of the shoulder charge.

Meik said, ‘There was nothing vicious about the clash, simply a private contest to settle who the boss was. At the end of the game, we were both tired and sore, but shook hands with a genuine warmth and mutual admiration – and left it to others to decide who had come out on top.’

His career cut short by injury, he moved into journalism and gave his new profession the same commitment that had characterised his time in football. After a decade at one of Scotland’s top newspapers, he threw himself into football management and proved a more than capable ‘gaffer’ at Partick Thistle. He handled the administrative side with relative ease, while his great tactical brain and knowledge of the players’ problems from the inside ensured success.

Davie Meiklejohn – a fine footballer and a successful manager, but more than anything else, a gentleman who always had time to speak to the man in the street about their mutual passion – the wonderful game of football.

The greatest ever Ranger? As Meiklejohn himself might have said, I’ll leave that for others to decide
     
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  Book reviews:
My grandfather told me of the greatest Ranger he had ever seen. A man who never shirked his responsibilities as captain of his team, never more so than in the cup final of 1928, when his club, who had been unsuccessful in the competition for 25 years, were awarded a penalty kick. It appeared that no-one wanted to take it. He assumed the role and placed the ball in the net past the Celtic goalkeeper, leading his club to a 4-0 triumph.

A moment that my grandfather recalled clearly in his mind’s eye as though it was yesterday and not more than 50 years previously. Meiklejohn was born in the same area as my grandfather, and he was a magnificent role model to all young players of his day. Just wish we had players of his ilk these days.
No Agenda

Fantastic story about a true Rangers legend. Author is first class. I’ve read a few of his books and they are all fantastic.
Wullie Broon

This was book was a great read. Thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much about a player that was well before my time.
Graham Nish

 
 
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