Andy Goram: Rangers legend dies at 58 after brief battle with cancer | football news

Legendary Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram has died at the age of 58 after a brief battle with cancer.

Goram made 260 appearances for the Gers between 1991 and 1998, winning five league titles, three Scottish Cups and two League Cups.

The former Oldham Athletic and Hibernian goalkeeper made 43 appearances for Scotland and was the starting goalkeeper at Euro 92 and Euro 96 in Sweden and England respectively.

A statement from Rangers read: “Rangers Football Club is deeply saddened today to announce the death of our legendary goalkeeper, Andy Goram, following a short battle with cancer.

“The thoughts of the directors, management, players and staff are with Andy’s family today, and they ask that their privacy be respected at this sad time. Funeral details will be communicated in due course.”

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown paid tribute to Goram, whom he managed at international level.

He said Sky sports news: “He was a very popular guy, not only among his own players but also among the rivals. He was a wonderful goalkeeper and a very nice guy.

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Former Scotland manager Craig Brown recalls his memories of the late Andy Goram

“He’s a cult hero in Ibrox and he’s a Rangers legend, no doubt about it. The nickname ‘The Goalkeeper’ just tells you everything because they felt he was the one and the best goalkeeper”.

Remembering one of the best players in Scottish football

Here sky sports looks back on a career that, although at times turbulent, will see him remembered as one of the greatest players in Scottish football.

Andy Goram’s sporting journey began in England and could have seen him focus on cricket rather than football.

Born in Bury in 1964, he excelled at both sports as a teenager and, in fact, preferred a career between the wickets rather than the goalposts.

He was the captain of the Lancashire Schoolboys: West Indies heavy batsman Clive Lloyd, playing for the county at the time, was his hero.

But, after signing for Ron Atkinson’s West Bromwich Albion as a 15-year-old, his football development became his focus.

However, his time at The Hawthorns did not go as planned.

Andy Goram's Scottish football career began at Hibs
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Goram’s Scottish football career began at Hibs

When Atkinson left for Manchester United a year after his arrival, new boss Ronnie Allen felt that the 5-foot-11 Goram was too small to become a goalkeeper and he was released.

His football journey really began at Oldham Athletic.

The 16-year-old Goram made his debut in May 1981 and made 219 appearances for the club over a six-year period.

By this time, he had won four caps for Scotland and decided to move north, signing for Hibernian in a £325,000 deal.

He spent four years at Easter Road, became Hibs captain, played 163 times and even scored a goal.

Walter Smith signed Andy Goram for Rangers for £1m
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Walter Smith signed Goram for Rangers for £1m

His performances in the capital did not go unnoticed and Rangers made the move in 1991 when Walter Smith bought him for £1m.

This time he was following in the footsteps of England goalkeeper Chris Woods and instead of crumbling under the pressure of playing in Glasgow, he thrived on it.

It was in the heat of an Old Firm clash that he often delivered his best performances.

During his seven years at Ibrox, he faced Celtic on 26 occasions.

He kept 11 clean sheets and was on the losing end just five times.

Andy Goram faced Celtic 26 times as Rangers goalkeeper
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He faced Celtic 26 times as a Rangers goalkeeper

His contribution was such that Tommy Burns, manager of Celtic for three of those years, was quoted as saying: “When I die, you can put it on my tombstone ‘Goram broke my heart’.

However, things didn’t always go smoothly during Andy’s time with the Rangers.

He was booked by Walter Smith in 1994 after going AWOL for six days, drinking and partying in Tenerife when he should have been resting.

But he worked on his fitness that summer, coming back fitter and stronger. That convinced his manager to give him a second chance.

During his time at Ibrox, he was named Scottish Football Writers’ Player of the Year and PFA Scotland of the Year in 1993.

In total, he would win three Scottish Cups, two League Cups and be part of six title-winning squads as he helped the club win nine games in a row before leaving in 1998 when Dick Advocaat took over as manager.

After losing his way that year with just one appearance for Notts County and nine for Sheffield United, he finally returned to Scotland with Motherwell and again showed people just how special his talent was.

He led by example and helped the Lanarkshire team finish fourth in his second season at Fir Park, eventually racking up 69 games for the Steelmen.

Goram also made 49 appearances for Motherwell
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Goram also made 69 appearances for Motherwell

In the final months of his time with Motherwell, Goram was given the chance to fulfill another one of his childhood dreams.

Sir Alex Ferguson called to bring him to the team he supported as a child, Manchester United.

The 36-year-old was loaned out as cover at the end of the 2000-2001 season.

He played for them just twice but it was yet another ambition the boy from Bury fulfilled.

Spells with Hamilton, Coventry, Oldham again and Queen of the South followed, where he made his 750th appearance in senior football and helped his side win the Challenge Cup along the way.

He finished in 2003 at Elgin City having played 762 games during his club career.

Andy Goram was capped 43 times by Scotland
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Andy Goram was capped 43 times by Scotland

It wasn’t just on the national stage that Goram excelled: he won 43 caps for Scotland, over a period of 13 years.

He was number one at Euro 92 in Sweden and again at Euro 96 in England.

Like his club career, however, his time in the national jersey also generated a rare moment of debate or controversy, most notably in 1998.

Just 15 days before the World Cup began in France, he left the team.

He was furious that manager Craig Brown had chosen to pick 40-year-old Jim Leighton as his number one for the tournament, and not him.

He left his training camp in the US and retired from international service.

Andy Goram was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2010
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Goram was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2010

Goram’s passion to represent his father’s country did not stop on the soccer field.

He also attracted the whites of Scotland cricket, managing two first-class matches, and remains the only person to have played a first-class international cricket match as well as a major international football match for Scotland.

Released by his first club, he was told he was too short to make it as a goalkeeper, he had to fight to achieve what he did.

He didn’t always help himself along the way.

During his career, it’s fair to say that Goram caused his coaches a few headaches and clashed with a few teammates, but Smith underscored exactly why he and others would see beyond that.

He said, “I cared much more about the winning attitude I had. I had a burning desire, a yearning to keep a clean sheet every week.”

That pretty much sums up the man;

For many people, he wasn’t just a goalkeeper, he was, The Goalie.

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