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The Story of Ally McCoist

Updated on September 7, 2011

Early Years

He was born in Bellshill, Scotland on 24th September 1962 and named Alistair Murdoch McCoist. His family moved to East Kilbride when he was a youngster. As a small child, Ally was always very interested in football and played for boys teams regularly. Who would have thought that he would eventually become Manager of one of the best teams in Scotland?

Career Paths

As a young boy, he started out with Fir Park Boys Club, playing and training with them.

1978 - 1981 He joined St. Johnstone Football Club

1981 - 1983 Joined Sunderland where he only scored a disappointing 8 goals in 56 appearances.

1983 - 1998 The then manager, John Greig signed him up for Glasgow Rangers. Ally scored an impressive 355 goals in his 581 appearances for the club.

1998 - 2001 Played for Kilmarnock.

2006 Ally was offered the position of Manager at Inverness, which he turned down as he felt that it was too far away and would not be able to spend much time with his family.

2007 - 2011 Became Assistant Manager at Rangers Football Club under the wing of Manager, Walter Smith.

2011 Ally is appointed Manager of Rangers Football Club as Walter Smith retires.

A young Ally in his playing days with Rangers Football Club
A young Ally in his playing days with Rangers Football Club
Walter Smith with Ally
Walter Smith with Ally

Rangers Career

In his 15 year career with Rangers, he saw his team win the Scottish Premier Division 10 times;

1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997.

The Scottish Cup won once in 1992.

He also helped the team win the Scottish League Cup 9 times, in

1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1996.

The Rangers fans gave him the nickname "Super Ally" because of the number of goals he scored and the lively sense of humour that he displayed off the pitch.

Scotland Career

Ally played international football for Scotland during his 23 year career as a player, earning 61 caps. He represented Scotland in the 1990 Fifa World Cup, and also in the UEFA European Championships in 1992 and 1996.

He sang on the pop record "Say it with pride", which was Scotlands song for the 1990 world cup.

Personal Life

In 1990 Ally married Allison, a former model and had 3 sons with her - Alexander and twins Argyll and Mitchell. After 11 years of marriage, the couple divorced in 2004 when it emerged that Ally had been having an affair with actress Patsy Kensit.

He has two younger sons (Arran and Harris) by his girlfriend Vivien Ross, whom he lives with in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire.

Ally with current girlfriend Vivien
Ally with current girlfriend Vivien


He won the European Golden Boot two years in a row, in the seasons 1991-1992 and 1992-1993.

In 1994, Ally was awarded the MBE for his services to Scottish Football.

In 2007 he was inducted to the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

Television Career

As well as being a legendary figure for Rangers, his shining personality and his sense of humour gave him the opportunity of moving into television.

From1996 - 2007 Ally was team captain on the BBC's comedy sports panel game "A question of Sport." During his time here, he appeared on 96 episodes.

Ally co-hosted a late night chat show with Fred MacAulay from 1998-1999 called "McCoist & MacAulay."

In 2001 he worked as a pundit on the ITV football related programme "The Premiership."

"A shot at glory" was a film made in 1999 and released in 2001, starring Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton and Ally McCoist. Ally starred as Jackie McQuillan, a footballer who plays for a fictional Scottish football team.

A Question of Sport.
A Question of Sport.
Ally with Fred MacAulay.
Ally with Fred MacAulay.

Recent years

From 2007, Ally was the Assistant Manager of Rangers, under the guidance of Walter Smith.

Rangers Football Club have had a very dramatic and uncertain year, and have seen previous owner Sir David Murray sell the club and new owner Craig Whyte take over. With Walter Smith's retirement in May 2011, Ally will have a tough summer ahead of him, not only will he take over as Manager, he also has to build up a strong team now that the transfer window is open.  With three impressive league wins in a row under Smith's management, Ally certainly has some big footsteps to follow in.

Ally at Ibrox
Ally at Ibrox
McCoist with new Rangers owner Craig Whyte.
McCoist with new Rangers owner Craig Whyte.


During his impressive footballing career, Ally has also managed to find the time to write a couple of books which prove an interesting read:

"Ally McCoist - My Story" - this is a biography of his life written by Ally McCoist and Crawford Brankin.

"Rangers Legends" - written by Ally McCoist and Crawford Brankin.

"Ally McCoist - Portrait of a Hero" - written by Alistair Aird.

Behind the scenes

Ally has always done charity work throughout his career and has never forgotten his roots. Often he has given away signed tops, footballs etc to be auctioned for charity. He is involved in the Rangers Foundation Charity and has recently went white water rafting along with Walter and other members of the Rangers Team in Idaho to raise funds. The foundation has this year been working alongside various other charities such as St Andrews First Aid, U.N.I.C.E.F. and The Prostate Cancer Charity. It makes the dreams of hundreds of sick, disadvantaged and disabled children's dreams come true by organising them to attend football matches, tours of Ibrox and meeting some of the players.

In January 2010, he opened a sports centre named the "Alistair McCoist Complex" in East Kilbride.


The challenge of being Manager will begin for Ally on Saturday 23rd July when the SPL starts back. The fans are expecting great things and looking for him to step up and fill the shoes of 63 year old former manager Walter Smith.


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    • profile image

      linda craig 

      6 years ago

      ill always love ally . hes 1 of my reasons for loving rangers . hes a very handsome man . he certainly does his best when he comes to rangers . best player ive loved in a long time . doing really well as a manager. gives his all

    • jacqui2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ Susan - He certainly is. His first year as manager has been so turbulent and he has acted with dignity and taken everything that has been thrown at him. He certainly doesn't do walking away, he is a legend. Thank you for your comment.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great guy!

    • jacqui2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ Mark Williamson - you are so right. He has shown his true colours and led his team like a true manager. He really has had a tough time in his first year as manager and has been inspirational and a true blue hero.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • jacqui2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ Julie Neil - Ally has had a really tough season as a new manager, but he has dealt with the pressure like a true professional. His influence and dignity has been mirrored through the team. I have so much respect for the man and the players who have given up money to support the club they love. Thank you so much for your comment.

    • profile image

      Julie neil 

      8 years ago

      How great is super ally what a fabulous asset to not only scottish football but also to ranger. In a time of adversity he shines and proves what a perfect professional he truly is. Proud to be a rangers fan.

    • jacqui2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      @ BallantraeBear - Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

      @ Gordon Hamilton - Thanks for reading and commenting. (Hopefully today was just a wee blip!)

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Great work in portraying the incredible achievements of a true legend. Fingers crossed that this is only the beginning...! ;)

    • BallantraeBear profile image


      9 years ago

      Great piece on Super Ally !

    • jacqui2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Norfolk, UK

      I know what you mean, he's quite funny and suited to television work. I liked Murdo McLeod of Celtic, he shone as a tv presenter.

    • JamieD87 profile image


      9 years ago from Glasgow, Scotland.

      He was also Walter Smith's assistant manager at Scotland the year previous to rejoining Rangers as Walter's assistant. Very good information though.

      I'm a Glasgow Celtic fan, but I used to love watching him on Question Of Sport. He's a funny guy! Hated watching him score against us though!

      Good Hub.


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