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Kilmarnock's Ally McCoist
"We've turned a good season into a great one."
 real 14k

Sunday, 20 May, 2001, 20:42 GMT 21:42 UK
McCoist takes final bow
McCoist managed 50 minutes against Celtic
McCoist managed 50 minutes against Celtic
For once in his career, Ally McCoist could accurately be described as the "retiring" Ally McCoist as he brought down the curtain on a wonderful professional career.

Having been denied a swansong at Ibrox last weekend, Kilmarnock manager Bobby Williamson played him from the start as the Rugby Park side sought to ensure Uefa Cup qualification.

The 1-0 defeat of Celtic achieved that goal, and McCoist said afterwards that the win had turned a realy good season into a great one.

Super Ally himself lasted only 50 minutes after picking up a calf injury, but Alan Mahood popped up in McCoist's favourite position - the six-yard box - to score Killie's winner.


He's been great for Scottish football and football in general - he's irreplaceable
  Bobby Williamson
Kilmarnock manager
At 38, McCoist has brought to an end a career spanning 23 years, four clubs and 61 international caps.

While he will be best remembered for his goalscoring exploits at Rangers, McCoist's thoughts were focused on earning Kilmarnock European football on Saturday afternoon.

"The most important thing was that we got the result," he said in typically self-effacing style.

"Had we not won, I think there would have been a few disappointed faces in the dressing room and among the fans.

"I think we deserve to finish fourth best."

After spending the entire 90 minutes on the bench at Ibrox last week, McCoist admitted he was slightly surprised to be told he was starting against the league champions.

"Craig Dargo has a bad ankle, Andy McLaren was suspended and Ernie the chef pulled his hamstring at lunch, so I was the only one left," he joked.

'The Judge'

But manager Bobby Williamson was fulsome in his praise of the player after the match.

"He's a big loss to football and Ally knows how much he means to me," admitted Williamson, not normally renowned for his sensitivity.

"He's been great for Scottish football and football in general. He's irreplaceable."

After spells at St Johnstone and Sunderland, Ally McCoist signed for Rangers in 1983.

Ally McCoist takes a final bow
Ally McCoist takes a final bow
He did not immediately endear himself to the Rangers fans, but a hat-trick in the 1984 League Cup final against Celtic did the trick.

McCoist went on to play a significant role in Rangers' run of nine consecutive league championships, though he earned the nickname "The Judge" as a result of the amount of time he spent on the bench under Graeme Souness.

When Walter Smith resigned as Rangers manager in 1998, McCoist also parted company with the club, signing for Kilmarnock.

He suffered disappointment that summer when he was omitted from Craig Brown's Scotland squad for the 1998 World Cup.

But the inimitable McCoist could never be down for long and, while he never set the heather on fire at Rugby Park, he still managed to get on the scoresheet on several occasions in his three years at the club.

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See also:

20 May 01 |  Scot Prem
Mahood sends Killie into Europe
20 May 01 |  Kilmarnock
McCoist aims to bow out on a high
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