David Provan (1958 to 1970)
A product of the youth system at Ibrox, 18 year-old David Provan made his first team debut on 11th April 1959 as Rangers went down 2-0 at Tynecastle in the penultimate match of the 1958/59 league campaign (Rangers won the Championship).
Davie had come to the attention of Rangers whilst playing with his local juvenile side Bonnyvale Star. At that time, he was a commanding centre-half which perhaps seemed more naturally suited to his 6'2" physique.
With opportunities restricted in the centre of defence, Davie was converted to full-back and it was in that position that he excelled during his 12 years at Ibrox. He could play on either flank.
Having made his debut in 1959, Davie had to be extremely patient as he battled with players such as Bobby Shearer, Johnny Little and Eric Caldow for a regular place in the starting line up. Over the next three seasons he would amass just a further 17 league appearances.
However, his chance to cement a place in the first team arrived in 1963 when the unfortunate Eric Caldow suffered a serious leg break whilst captaining Scotland at Wembley. Davie grasped that opportunity and would made 133 league appearances over the next four seasons (1963/64 to 1966/67)
Rangers would win only their second Treble during season 1963/64 and Davie was an almost ever present during that campaign, missing only one game. The Scottish Cup was secured in a memorable win over Dundee as Davie won that competition for the second successive season.
An Old Firm clash on 16th September 1967 prematurely ended Davie's season. Rangers would win the match thanks to a fine goal by winger Orjan Persson but Provan was the victim of a shocking challenge by Celtic's Bertie Auld. Just as Caldow had experienced some four years earlier, Davie would face an extended spell on the sidelines as a result of a broken leg.
Although Davie did recover from injury, his time as a first team regular at Rangers was coming to an end and in April of 1970 he was freed by Manager Willie Waddell.
Davie headed South where he initially signed for Crystal Palace. However, it was at Plymouth Argyle where he played regularly before finishing his career back in Scotland with St. Mirren.
On deciding his playing days were over, Provan remained in Paisley where he was appointed as assistant manager to former Gers team mate Alex Ferguson. When Ferguson headed to Aberdeen, Davie declined the chance to do likewise and instead returned to Ibrox where he became a vital part of John Greig's backroom staff.
Operating as Chief Scout and Youth Coach, Provan held that role until the resignation of John Greig in 1983. Davie had nurtured the talents of future Internationalists such as Ian Durrant and Derek Ferguson whilst working under Greig but it would be subsequent managers who would reap the rewards.
On leaving Rangers, Davie was in charge of Albion Rovers for several seasons enjoying relative success with the Coatbridge side.
Capped 5 times for Scotland, he later worked for the SFA as a Development Officer.
A Ranger Hall of Fame inductee, David died on 26th November 2016 at the age of 75.
by Rick Plews