Graeme Souness receiving the Lord Provost's 1990 Award for Sport from Susan Baird. The award was made for "helping to break down the sectarian barriers in football in the west of Scotland". The photograph appeared in the March 1992 issue of Glasgow City Council's newspaper The Bulletin.
The event which precipitated the award was the sensational signing by Rangers manager Souness in July 1989 of former Celtic player Maurice Johnston. Johnston was the first Roman Catholic player since the Second World War to sign for Rangers. When news broke of the £1.5m deal with French club Nantes, just when Johnston seemed to be on the point of returning to Celtic, hardline fans of both clubs were outraged. Johnston helped appease Rangers fans by scoring the winning goal in his first Old Firm match.
As a player, Edinburgh-born Souness enjoyed an occasionally controversial but very successful career with Middlesbrough, Liverpool and Sampdoria before joining Rangers as player-manager in 1986. With chairman David Murray, he ushered in a new era of success for the club.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Bulletin Photographs
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
awards, Bulletin, football managers, footballers, Glasgow Rangers FC, Lord Provost's Award for Sport, lord provosts, Old Firm, Roman Catholics, sectarianism, women