The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Sammy celebrated Gers win with tea and sausage rolls
Rangers fans couldn’t be happier with their manager as Steven Gerrard attempts to lead them to an unbeaten league campaign.
It was very different on this weekend 35 years ago.
The Ibrox club had just said goodbye to one boss and were awaiting the arrival of another.
Jock Wallace departed after a second spell and was being replaced by Graeme Souness.
The Scotland midfielder was unable to take over immediately, and was preparing to play for Sampdoria against Juventus while the Light Blues took on Clydebank at Kilbowie.
Rangers were still heavy favourites to beat the bottom-of-the-table Bankies.
But it didn’t work out as expected. Clydebank won the game 2-1 – the only victory over Rangers in the club’s history.
It was a disappointing afternoon for the Gers’ caretaker boss, Alex Totten, but a red-letter day for Clydebank manager, Sammy Henderson. He is one of the unsung heroes of Scottish football. As well as leading the Bankies up to Scotland’s top flight for the second time, he was responsible for developing some top talent.
Sammy recalled: “I had first joined Clydebank as a player in 1973, and was in the team for three seasons before a knee injury caught up with me. “I then became a coach under manager, Bill Munro, and took the second team.
“I took over the first-team when Bill left in 1981. “My main priority was always to try to make players better.
“I had played in the same team as Davie Cooper, and watched him move on to Rangers. “During my time, we brought through guys like Bobby Williamson and Tommy Coyne.
“One of my great pleasures was seeing players go on and do something big in the game. “I remember an article where Tommy Coyne was listing the managers he’d worked with. He mentioned Jim Mclean, Jack Charlton and Sammy Henderson.
“I imagined people thinking: ‘Sammy who?’.” That victory over Rangers on April 12, 1986 saw Rangers midfield stars Derek Ferguson and Ian Durrant overshadowed by a home player. Sammy went on: “Before the match, I spoke to Gerry Mccabe and told him that several English teams were looking at him. He put in an unbelievable performance. There wasn’t a Rangers player that could get near him. “Gerry was one of those players that had a great value to our team, but other clubs weren’t prepared to come in and pay big money for. “Another two examples of that were Jim Fallon and goalkeeper, Jim Gallacher. It amazed me that other sides didn’t buy them.” Rangers were back at Clydebank the following season, with Souness leading them to two convincing victories.
“He came into the office afterwards and we had a great chat,” said Sammy.
“I’m sure he found it a bit different.
“At most clubs, there would be a bottle of wine or whisky. Clydebank always re-fuelled with a cup of tea and some sausage rolls!” Sammy, now 76, walked away from management and football to concentrate on his business as an accountant in 1988.
His time in the game started as a rising star with Celtic.
He said: “I made my first-team debut against Dundee United in 1964, and that went well. “The next game was on a snowy day at Airdrie. I had new boots, my studs got caught in the turf and my knee cartilage got damaged. “I had problems with the knee after that. “The lads that won the European Cup were coming through and Jock Stein wasn’t keen on part-time players.
“I nearly went to Hearts when Willie Wallace came to Celtic, but they wanted me to be full-time. “Stirling Albion bought me in 1968, and immediately gave me a six-year contract.
“Eventually I was transferred to Clydebank, and appointed captain to help their youngsters.”