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Mark Hateley: My partnership with Ally McCoist was the perfect combination in the perfect team

Hateley Q&A

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Mark Hateley celebrates with Ally McCoist after a goal against Celtic in 1991. Credit: SNS Group via Getty Images

Mark Hateley celebrates with Ally McCoist after a goal against Celtic in 1991. Credit: SNS Group via Getty Images

SNS Group via Getty Images

Mo Johnston. Credit: Russell Cheyne/Getty Images

Mo Johnston. Credit: Russell Cheyne/Getty Images

Getty Images

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Mark Hateley celebrates with Ally McCoist after a goal against Celtic in 1991. Credit: SNS Group via Getty Images

Steven Beacom: What does Rangers FC mean to you?

Mark Hateley: It’s a great, great club. Playing there gave me the ability to win trophies and I’ll be forever indebted to Sir David Murray and Graeme Souness for bringing me to Ibrox. Rangers encapsulates everything a football club should be for me.

SB: How tough was Souness?

MH: He was as tough as he is honest. He doesn’t suffer fools, sees it, says it and there are no grey areas. That’s why the two of us get on so well.

SB: What was it like playing with Ally McCoist?

MH: Alastair was the dream partner for me. I played with technically better players maybe in Gary Lineker, Paolo Rossi, Ramon Diaz, who was once Diego Maradona’s partner for Argentina, but Alastair was the perfect foil for me. The partnership allowed me to do what I needed to do and be the player I was and that allowed Alastair to be the player he was. It was the perfect combination within the perfect team.

SB: And Mo Johnston?

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MH: Mo was a different sort of striker. He was very fit and very mobile and I enjoyed it though when you are playing through the middle you are looking for someone to link up with and Mo was more mobile and drifted out to either side. The way Rangers played the pairing of myself and Alastair was better but Maurice was still a great player.

SB: Tell us about scoring against Brazil in the iconic Maracana stadium in 1984 in your first start for England.

MH: Everyone just remembers the John Barnes goal from that night. My goal was a straightforward header at the far post that Barnesy hung up for me. Both me and Barnesy were born on November 7 and I played the ball out for him to score his wonder goal and he supplied the cross for my goal. All the planets came together for us in that game. Our careers went crazy after that. It was my first full game for England. You couldn’t have written the script. I hoped to play five minutes but Bobby Robson told me I was starting and to score was incredible. Just weeks after that goal I went from playing second division football with Portsmouth to AC Milan in what was then the best league in the world.

SB: What was it like playing in an Old Firm derby?

MH: Fast. They were great to play in. With Milan derbies you might get two chances in three games but in an Old Firm you could get three or four chances in one match and if you were any good you are taking 50% of those chances and our team was good. Myself and Alastair (Ally McCoist) would score more than 50%.


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