With the most league trophies in world football, Rangers do more than the bare minimum. They have dazzled their way to 55 Scottish league titles in a 149-year history, in a city where star quality is a necessity in order to win over the roaring Ibrox crowds.
Goalscorers have often given the Gers the edge over Celtic in one of the most tightly contested rivalries of the beautiful game. Amongst the thousands of goals scored at Ibrox, ten players have come up with the goods with the most consistency.
Players with the Most Goals for Rangers F.C.
10. Andy Cunningham – 182 goals, 1914-1929
League: 162, Scottish Cup: 20, League Cup: 0, Europe: 0
In an accomplished list of Ayrshire-born Rangers centre forwards, Andy Cunningham ranks the highest for goals scored. Here, he is tenth with 182 strikes in 389 matches in the all-time records.
Cunningham arrived at Rangers in 1914 with little to prove – he was a natural finisher in his Kilmarnock days with almost a century of goals over six years at Killie. An established Scotland international, the forward featured in Rangers’ 4-0 humiliation of Celtic in the 1928 Scottish Cup Final amongst several domestic honours in the early 20th century.
9. Robert C. Hamilton – 184 goals, 1897-1906 & 1907-1908
League: 157, Scottish Cup: 27, League Cup: 0, Europe: 0
The only player on this list to have appeared for Rangers in the 19th century, Robert Hamilton was the first true marksman in a blue shirt. With an outstanding goals per game ratio for club and country, Hamilton skippered the Light Blues to the 1898-99 championship as top scorer in a league campaign in which Rangers won every match.
Before briefly joining up with Fulham for one season in 1906, Hamilton added further trophies to his list of honours with Rangers as he finished as the club’s top scorer in each season of his first Ibrox spell. The Scottish striker later ended his decorated playing career with local team Elgin City in 1913.
8. Willie Thornton – 194 goals, 1936-1954
League: 144, Scottish Cup: 21, League Cup: 29, Europe: 0
Rangers’ youngest ever goalscorer at the age of 16 years and 312 days in January 1937, Willie Thornton spent the 18 momentous years of his playing career with Rangers. Scoring 194 goals in a relatively small number of games, Thornton is one of the most prolific goalscorers in Scottish football history.
Very few Rangers strikers have replicated Thornton’s stunning finishing ability since, although the striker was unable to bring his club form to the international stage, netting just once in 8 caps for Scotland between 1946 and 1952.
7. Willie Reid – 195 goals, 1909-1920
League: 188, Scottish Cup: 7, League Cup: 0, Europe: 0
In seventh place with 195 Rangers goals is Willie Reid – also the fourth highest goalscorer in Scottish top flight history with 270 strikes for all clubs. Given that the First World War interrupted his blossoming Rangers career, it is a remarkable scoring record and testament to Reid’s ability in front of goal.
A four-time winner of the Scottish league title, the Baillieston-born striker made his Gers debut in the infamous 1909 Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers when riots resulted in the trophy being withheld by the SFA. It did little to irk Reid, who ended six campaigns running as Rangers’ top goalscorer from 1910 to 1916.
6. Ralph Brand – 206 goals, 1954-1965
League: 118, Scottish Cup: 13, League Cup: 27, Europe: 12
As the third highest post-war goalscorer in Rangers history on 206 goals, Ralph Brand’s exceptional strike rate is remembered as one of the greatest in British football following the war. First signed by Gers gaffer Bill Struth as a schoolboy in 1952, Brand finally became a Rangers regular in 1957 after completing his national service and formed strong attacking partnerships with players such as Jimmy Millar and Davie Wilson.
Along with four Scottish top flight winners’ medals, Brand has the admirable record of winning every final he played in with the Ibrox club. His goalscoring form continued in a Scotland jersey, with eight goals in eight caps.
5. Derek Johnstone – 210 goals, 1970-1983 & 1985-1986
League: 132, Scottish Cup: 30, League Cup: 39, Europe: 9
With a debut brace and a headed winner in the 1970 Scottish League Cup Final at 16, Derek Johnstone’s goalscoring prowess was evident from his teenage years. In two spells at Rangers, separated by an unsuccessful stint with Chelsea, he found the net on 210 occasions in 549 Gers appearances.
Johnstone was a versatile footballer, being used in attack, midfield and defence by club and country. His goals fired Rangers to domestic and continental glory, eventually captaining the side under manager John Greig and proving to be the linchpin of Rangers’ trophy-laden decade as he won all but two of his Gers honours in the 1970s.
4. Jimmy Fleming – 220 goals, 1925-1934
League: 176, Scottish Cup: 44, League Cup: 0, Europe: 0
Rangers’ fourth highest goalscorer of all time is the great Jimmy Fleming. A small centre forward, 44 of Fleming’s 220 Rangers goals came in the Scottish Cup – making him the record scorer in that competition for a Gers player.
He memorably holds the record for most goals in a single match for the Light Blues, smashing nine goals past Blairgowrie in a 14-2 Scottish Cup victory for Rangers. Fleming’s triple hat-trick feat is unlikely to be matched.
With a further bucketload of strikes for St Johnstone and Ayr United, Fleming is one of few Scots to have scored more than 200 goals in Scottish league football.
3. Jimmy Smith – 249 goals, 1930-1946
League: 225, Scottish Cup: 24, League Cup: 0, Europe: 0
Ibrox was blessed with some of the greatest attacking players in Scottish football history in the wartime period. Jimmy Smith was the complete striker, notching 249 goals in just 259 games for the Gers and partnering with fellow renowned Rangers goal-getter Bob McPhail to destroy opposition defences. The Smith-McPhail forward line hit 72 goals in the 1933-34 campaign, although Slamannan-born forward Smith had already finished as Rangers top scorer in the previous season with a total of 34 goals as he helped his team to the league championship.
The strike rates of centre forwards like Smith are a rarity in the game, and a vast number of hat-tricks is likely to have assisted with his grand total – twice netting six goals in one game against Ayr United and Dunfermline, respectively.
2. Bob McPhail – 261 goals, 1927-1940
League: 230, Scottish Cup: 31, League Cup: 0, Europe: 0
Rangers’ top scorer for over 50 years, Bob McPhail’s prolific scoring record in a blue jersey now lies in second place with 261 strikes in over 400 appearances. Playing in the inside-left position, McPhail’s goals with Airdrie in the 1920s earned the Scot a £5,000 move to Ibrox in 1927, where he would remain for 13 years.
Also a Scotland favourite with 7 goals in 17 caps over 10 years, McPhail’s debut season heralded an exceptional era for the club. He added to an impressive total of 23 goals in his first campaign with hundreds more in the league as Rangers blasted their way to nine titles throughout McPhail’s time in Glasgow.
With 31 Scottish Cup strikes, including a goal in Rangers’ 4-0 demolition of Celtic in the 1928 final, McPhail is one of only five players to have lifted the Scottish Cup on six occasions.
1. Ally McCoist – 355 goals, 1983-1998
League: 251, Scottish Cup: 29, League Cup: 54, Europe: 21
Ally McCoist – one of the most successful players in the history of Rangers Football Club – tops this list with 355 goals for his boyhood team. That’s nearly 100 more than the Gers’ previous record scorer, and it’s this kind of statistic which sets McCoist above the rest in Rangers folklore.
With the fifth most goals of any player in Scottish top flight history, McCoist’s goals delivered a celebrated nine league titles in a row for Rangers between 1989 and 1997. A danger for any opposition defence, McCoist’s goals varied from long-range drives to penalty box finishes.
Now a cheerful pundit on several TV channels, McCoist’s prolific form in Glasgow was recognised worldwide as a two-time winner of the European Golden Shoe, European Cup top scorer in the 1987-88 campaign and a 21st place finish in the esteemed Ballon d’Or awards of 1987.