Colin McAdam: Fearless striker for Rangers

 

Colin McAdam’s aggressive, barrelling style and long, shaggy hair led to his being branded “The Beast” by followers of Rangers, with whom the 6ft 1in, 13st Glaswegian achieved the highest profile in a Scottish League career spanning nearly 20 years.

There were no holds barred in his battles with younger brother Tom – a forward who had converted to defence, whereas Colin made the opposite switch – in Rangers’ Old Firm tussles with Celtic. Yet away from the game, he was an urbane, educated character whose death, after a heart attack at the age of 61, shocked all who knew him as a fit, healthy teetotaller.

At his first club, Dumbarton, McAdam was dubbed “Hoof”. After making his debut in 1969 he was primarily a defender, although current chief executive, Gilbert Lawrie, who watched from the terraces at their quaintly named ground, Boghead, recalled early evidence of attacking intent. “He shot from the halfway line and the ball bounced on the only dry patch on the pitch, leaving the Arbroath keeper floundering as it sailed into the net.”

In 1975 McAdam moved to Motherwell, where he spent three seasons and was re-branded “Tony” after the tiger in the Frosties TV advert. Three years later, Partick Thistle, managed by former Celtic European Cup winner Bertie Auld, paid £25,000 to bring him back to Glasgow. “He can operate at centre-half, full-back, midfield or up front,” purred Auld, “so we’ve got a few players in one.”

In the event he became a fully fledged striker, enjoying success in tandem with Jim Melrose, who would later flourish with Leicester and Charlton. McAdam’s run-through-a-brick wall approach earned selection for the Scottish League XI and alerted Rangers’ manager John Greig. In 1980, in the first Scottish transfer to be decided by an independent tribunal, he switched to Ibrox for a fee of £165,000.

He scored in his second appearance, against Partick, the first of his 21 goals in 1980-81. The next season, with Greig favouring players such as Derek Johnstone and Gordon Smith, he tended to be used at centre-back. Ally McCoist’s arrival from Sunderland in 1983 pushed him further down the pecking order. McCoist, referring to McAdam affectionately as “Big Beastie”, said after his death: “He was fearless. I always tried to make sure I got on his team in the training five-a-sides.”

Rangers consistently under-achieved – this was the era when the New Firm of Aberdeen and Dundee United put Rangers and Celtic on the back foot – and when Greig was replaced by Jock Wallace, McAdam was marginalised even more. Leaving after 32 goals in 99 games and one winners’ medal, from the 1984 Scottish League Cup final against Celtic and brother “Tam”, he briefly served Adelaide City and Hearts. Rejoining Partick, his 87th-minute header rescued a point against Forfar on his second debut.

Having retired in 1989, he played “junior” football and coached the Clydebank Boys Club team while  resuming the teaching career he  had put on hold as his reputation in football burgeoned.

Colin McAdam, footballer and teacher: born Glasgow 28 August 1951; played for Dumbarton 1969-75, Motherwell 1975-78, Partick Thistle 1978-80, Rangers 1980-84, Adelaide City 1984, Heart of Midlothian 1985-86, Partick Thistle 1986-88; married first Myra (marriage dissolved, two sons, one daughter); second Celia (one daughter); died Glasgow 1 August 2013.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C#.NET Server Side Developer (C#, XML, WCF, Unit Testing,SQL)

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...

Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS)

£20000 - £30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

Helpdesk Team Leader / Manager

£45000 per annum + pension,medical: Ashdown Group: A successful & reputable gl...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?