Ex-Rangers boss Graeme Souness explains reason behind hanging Queen Elizabeth portrait in Ibrox dressing room
The former Scotland captain felt the image was important to the club as a ‘Protestant institution’.
Graeme Souness has explained the reason behind why he asked for a portrait of the Queen to be placed in the Ibrox dressing room when he stepped into the Rangers hotseat in 1986.
The Liverpool legend, who served as the Light Blues player-manager for five years, revealed he was delighted to see the picture still featuring proudly on the wall inside the changing room 36 years on.
The Rangers captain - currently James Tavernier - has traditionally sat below the portrait and Souness admitted he felt it was important as a “Protestant institution” in one of his first acts when he began to revolutionise the club.
Both Ally McCoist and Allan McGregor have shared images of the large portrait on social media in recent days following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday.
In his Daily Mail column, Souness wrote: “One of the first things I did when I became Rangers manager, seven years earlier, was ask our kit man, Doddie Soutar, to get the biggest portrait of our Queen that he could find, which we hung on the home dressing room wall
“It was important to me that the club should have it there. It has remained there to this day.
“I was one of the few very fortunate people to meet the Queen when she came to Anfield in 1993 to visit the Hillsborough Disaster Memorial. I was Liverpool’s manager and I’ve never forgotten her empathy for the families and the club at that difficult time.”
The Queen has left a lasting impression on Souness who paid his own tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch on talkSPORT.
The sporting world continues to pay its respects with Scottish football authorities inviting clubs to oberve a period of silence or play the National Anthem ahead of matches this weekend.
Former Scotland captain Souness said: “You find yourself, depending who’s speaking on the television getting emotional at times, I don’t make any excuse for that.
“Her coronation was in the year I was born so I, like all of us, we’ve only ever known one Queen. She’s been flawless, an incredible servant to our country.
“70 years in the most public of positions and you’ve never made a mistake. She’ll go down in history. She certainly is the greatest woman we’ve ever had in history and I think there’s an argument for her being the greatest Briton in our history.”
The Union Flag at Ibrox Stadium was lowered to half-mast, while Rangers Management and Directors laid a wreath to commemorate the life and service of Queen Elizabeth outside the ground.