Rangers chairman Dave King has paid a touching tribute to Gers icon Johnny Hubbard, after the South African Penalty King passed away aged 87.
Hubbard made 238 appearances for the Light Blues over ten years at Ibrox and scored 104 times – netting 65 out of 68 penalties to earn the nickname ‘Penalty King.’
During his time with Rangers, Hubbard became the first African player to play and score in the European Cup as well as lifting three Scottish titles and a Scottish Cup and became the only foreigner in history to score a hat-trick for the Gers in an Old Firm clash.
Gers chairman King called the South African an “inspirational player” for the Light Blues as he paid tribute to one of the club’s “most passionate supporters.”
“All of us at Rangers are deeply saddened by the news that Mr Hubbard has passed away. He was an inspirational player for Rangers and was also one of our most passionate supporters,” Kins said, as quoted by the Gers’ official website.
“Mr Hubbard wasn’t just a great Ranger, he was also a wonderful person. He was a gentleman and will be missed terribly by everyone connected with our club.”
Football Insider verdict:
Mr. Hubbard was a familiar face around Ibrox well after he hung up his boots and would often be spotted surrounded by fans making his way along Edmiston Drive. Despite many younger fans having never seen the winger in action other than old clips, Hubbard was a popular figure amongst the support. The South African was one of the first foreign players to make an impact on Scottish football and holds a unique place in history as the first African to play in the European Cup. While there are few sides who compete in the Champions League today that don’t have at least one African in their side, Hubbard was the first – as well as being the first to score in the competition. Having had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Hubbard once or twice, he was a true gentleman who seemed at his happiest regaling fans with stories from his heyday. Incredibly, he was the last Rangers player to score a league hat-trick against Celtic – way back in 1955 – and will have the Gers’ current-day stars aiming to beat that remarkable stat all these years later.
In other Rangers transfer news, Steven Gerrard has revealed the Gers ‘love’ this Ibrox star.