Ninteen-year-old Ian Redford created Scottish football history in February 1980 when his transfer from Dundee to Rangers shattered the Scottish transfer record. John Greig splashed out £210, 000 to lure the cultured, goal-scoring midfielder to Ibrox, and Redford repaid a large chunk of that sizeable outlay during a five-year stay in Govan.
Ian made his Rangers debut against Morton and played his part in a 3-1 win that helped his new team-mates arrest an alarming dip in form that had witnessed Rangers fail to register a victory in their previous four Premier Division fixtures. That was the first of thirteen appearances that Redford made in the 1979/80 season, but he had to wait until September 1980 to register his first goals for his new club. He netted a brace in an emphatic 8-1 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park - a result that still stands as the Club's record Premier Division victory away from home - and he developed something of a goal-scoring habit over the remainder of the 1980/81 season. By the season's end he had notched a total of twelve goals in fifty appearances, a total that placed him third in the Ibrox scoring charts behind Colin McAdam and John MacDonald.
Arguably his most important strike of the season was his last-minute goal in a Scottish Cup-tie against St Johnstone at Muirton Park on St Valentine's Day 1981. Rangers looked to be heading for a humbling exit, as they trailed 3-2 against the First Division side, but a late rally created an opening for Redford to notch his second goal of the game and earn the Light Blues a replay. They duly despatched The Saints at the second attempt and eventually made it through to the Final where Redford once again played a central role. A dull and uninspiring match against Dundee United suddenly burst into life when Rangers were awarded a penalty in the final minute. With no recognised penalty taker in the ranks, Redford, who had enjoyed some success from twelve yards during the season, took responsibility, but drilled his effort against the legs of the United goalkeeper, Hamish McAlpine. His blushes were spared in the replay, though, when Rangers turned in a dynamic display to defeat United by four goals to one.
Redford enjoyed better luck against the men in tangerine when he next faced them at Hampden in the Final of the 1981/82 League Cup. With the teams tied at 1-1, Redford came off the bench to score the winner with a delightfully executed chip from the edge of the penalty area. Ian had fond memories of the League Cup that season; in addition to his goal in the final he also plundered four goals in one of the sectional matches when Raith Rovers were hammered 8-1 at Ibrox.
Ian was never quite as prolific again after his initial burst of goals in a Rangers jersey, but he remained one of the shining lights in what was a poor Rangers team. He would add one more winners' medal to his tally before he left Ibrox in the summer of 1985, and once again Dundee United were the vanquished opponents, this time in the 1984/85 League Cup Final. Redford's appearance at Hampden that afternoon also made up for the fact that he had missed out on a medal when the Light Blues lifted the same trophy during the previous season when a red card against former club Dundee counted him out of a 3-2 win over Celtic through suspension.
After making almost 250 appearances for Rangers, Redford returned to Tayside in 1985 when he joined Dundee United. He enjoyed a fine career at Tannadice, playing in the 1987 UEFA Cup Final, and he also played for Ipswich Town, St Johnstone and Brechin City before ending his playing days in style when he was part of the Raith Rovers team that shocked Celtic to win the League Cup in 1994/95.
Rangers Career Statistics
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