Andy Goram Rangers And Scotland Legend Remembered For Colourful Career

Andy Goram Rangers
Photo Credit: AP

With this season’s Rangers vs Liverpool meetings in the UEFA Champions League, thoughts can’t help turn back to Rangers legend Andy Goram. Devastating news of the Andy Goram cancer battle broke out in May of 2022.

The reports read that former goalkeeper had been given only six months to live. Barely a month later, the death of Andy Goram sent shockwaves throughout the football world. The rapid decline of Andy Goram’s health meant his battle with cancer was short.

What kind of cancer did Andy Goram have?

Terminal oesophageal cancer was the diagnosis that Goram received. When the terrible Andy Goram cancer sports news broke, it was covered a lot in the media. Goram himself gave interviews talking about his situation.

The story of the Andy Goram illness was as fast-sweeping as it was tragic. Goram told the media that he had gone to the hospital with the belief that he was suffering from indigestion. It was at the hospital that the terminal diagnosis of stage four cancer was given.

During one interview with the Daily Record, the former Scotland shot-stopper said: “I thought I had severe indigestion. It was as if my throat was blocked. After a few weeks, it got worse,”

“Anything I ate or drank wouldn’t make it halfway down my stomach and I would vomit it up. I couldn’t talk face-to-face with my GP for two weeks. I lost 25 kilos in four weeks.”

With up to 12 weeks of life expectancy added by chemotherapy, Goram passed on the offer of treatment saying “I will be here as long as I can. I will fight like I have never fought before. The only difference is the ticking time bomb that is ticking.”

Goram “The Goalie”

To receive the nickname of “The Goalie” while playing in that very position shows the regard that Rangers fans had for Goram. But that is what he was known as, just “The Goalie ” (maybe with extra emphasis on the first word). He was much loved at Ibrox where he played many seasons.

During his time with the Gers, Andy Goram won the Scottish Premier Division five times. At the turn of the century, Goram came out on top in a poll by Rangers fans. He was voted as their all-time greatest-ever goalkeeper. In total Goram made 184 appearances for Rangers between 1991 and 1998.

Andy Goram Rangers Legend

Rangers Champions League
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, centre, scores his side’s fourth goal past Rangers’ goalkeeper Allan McGregor, left, during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Rangers and Liverpool at Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

How did the Andy Goram Rangers legend come about? Where did the story start for the former Scotland international? It was actually in England. Goram was born in Bury, Greater Manchester in April 1964.

His professional start came with Oldham Athletic in the early 80s. While team success wasn’t forthcoming for Goram during his time with the Latics, his performances were the bedrock of his career.

As a sidenote, Oldham were a founding member of the Premier League in 1992. But the Latics lasted only two seasons before relegation. It was a continuous slide for the Latics from that point, ending up in League One in 2019. The famous old club slipped out of the top four English tiers with relegation from League Two in 2021/22.

That gave the Latics the unfortunate title of being the only ever former Premier League team to compete in non-league football.

Andy Goram Goes North Of The Border

After spending seven years with Oldham, Goram was then taken up by Hibernian, a club his father had played for. The capture of Goram was a big boon for Hibs and they handed him a long-term captaincy at the club. It was four big seasons that Goram spent in Edinburgh. Despite being born in England, Goram was reported as always identifying as Scottish.

His international career would end up being with Scotland, because of his father. So the move up north from Oldham was an ideal fit for the keeper. He made Hibs his home and thrived there. Goram consistently put in strong performances between the sticks. It would earn him the biggest contract of his career in 1991.

Andy Goram Rangers Keeper

Rangers had to shell out a transfer fee of £1 million to get Goram’s signature. That was a huge investment in one of the top keepers in the UK. But the Gers needed a replacement for former England keeper Chris Woods.

Whether it was the pressure of new surroundings, or of higher standards, Goram’s start at Rangers was a little shaky. It took some time for him to settle in at Ibrox and get back up to the top levels that were expected of him.

But during his first season with the Gers, Goram would respond brilliantly. In total, he earned 26 clean sheets in 55 games in all competitions. The Scottish Premier Division title and the Scottish Cup were won during his debut season with Rangers. His shaky start was quickly forgotten.

Silverware Pours In At Rangers

Andy Goram would win the Scottish top-flight title five times with Rangers. But there were some remarkable seasons for him. His first ended with a bang, collecting that domestic double. It got better in the very next campaign.

Goram would help Rangers sweep a domestic treble. As a nod to how important Goram was to that success, he won major individual accolades. For the 1992/93 season, Goram won two player of the year awards. Those were the Scottish Football Writers and Scottish Professional Footballers Association honours.

Andy Goram Rangers Honours

  • Five Scottish Premier Division TItles (1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997)
  • Three Scottish Cup Titles (1992, 1993, 1996)
  • Two Scottish Cup League Titles (1993, 1997)

But there was a lot more to Andy Goram’s sporting career. It is easily forgotten perhaps that “The Goalie” was a Premier League winner in England.

Blink and you’ll miss it – The Andy Goram Manchester United Spell

Goram spent some time on loan with Manchester United towards the end of the 2000/01 season. He was drafted in as backup by Sir Alex Ferguson as the Red Devils looked to close out their third successive top-flight title.

It’s worth remembering that this all happened really in the twilight of Goram’s career. He was knocking on the door of his 37th birthday when the Red Devils came calling. But Manchester United were in a little bit of a pickle going into their title run-in. Fabian Barthez and Raimond van der Gouw were both out injured at the time. So Fergie needed some cover.

So the bizarre deal to bring Goram to Old Trafford until the end of the season was struck. United reportedly paid Motherwell £100,000 for Goram’s loan. He would make only two appearances for United.

The first was a league match against Coventry, which United won 4-2. Manchester United won the Premier League title that day. But Goram’s appearance lasted only 66 minutes. After conceding a couple of goals, Fergie replaced Goram with van der Gouw. It had been a planned move to allow van der Gouw to get enough appearances to claim a Premier League winners medal.

How did Andy Goram Win A Premier League medal?

During his brief time at Old Trafford, there was a memorable Andy Goram Roy Keane clash. There was basically never a relationship there. Goram had his Rangers ties, and Keane had his Celtic ties. On their first meeting in the Old Trafford dressing room, Keane had reportedly refused Goram’s handshake offer. The two continued to clash in training.

It added to the strange time Goram spent at OT. Andy Goram’s second and final appearance for Manchester United was on the last day of the season. With the title already won, Ferguson fielded an understrength side, which lost 2-1 against Southampton.

But Goram again wouldn’t last the full 90 minutes as he was hauled off for van der Gouw. Two appearances should not have been enough for Goram to claim a Premier League winners medal.

But the Fergie factor was not something to be underestimated, however. He fought on behalf of his fellow countryman to get a medal. It happened. It also wrote Andy Goram into the history books of football. He’s the only goalkeeper to be both a Scottish Premier and English Premier League champion.

International Career

Andy Goram made his international debut with Scotland in 1985. It was then caretaker manager Alex Ferguson who gave Goram his first cap. Before all that, however, it looked as if Goram was heading down the path of playing for England.

“The Goalie ” was called up to England Under-21 squad in the early 80s while playing for Oldham. He wasn’t picked to play, however, which kept his eligibility to play for Scotland open. It was former England manager Howard Wilkinson that looked him over, because of concerns about height.

Goram was selected for the Scotland 1986 FIFA World Cup squad but didn’t play in the tournament. It was the same story for him at the 1990 World Cup, filling a backup goalkeeper role.

But Goram’s time with Scotland would come, playing for them at the 1992 European Championships and four years later at Euro 1996. Goram was set to go to the 1998 World Cup but pulled himself out after Jim Leighton was named as Scotland’s starting keeper for the tournament. “The Goalie” earned 43 international caps.

Later Years

After his time with Rangers, the most notable time that Goram had was at Motherwell. He spent a few seasons with them, parting company in 2001. He had brief spells with Notts County and current Championship side Sheffield United in between.

From there though, it was bit-part action for Andy Goram. He spent time at Hamilton Academical and Coventry before a brief return to his former club Oldham. He made just four appearances there before going back north to appear for Queen of the South and then Elgin City. The latter was his last club, retiring from the game in 2004.

But Andy Goram still had plenty to offer in the game. He went into a goalkeeping coaching career. He couldn’t quite make it to the top levels of the game in that role, however. Spells with Motherwell, Dunfermline and Ayr were some of the clubs that he coached at.

Andy Goram Cricket International?

There was another side to Andy Goram as well. It was a colourful sporting career that Andy Goram had. He was a former international cricketer for Scotland. He turned out for his country four times, including first-class fixtures against Ireland and the old NatWest Trophy.

The Andy Goram cricket career saw him mostly play lower-class league action in England and Scotland. He was reportedly told to pick a sporting career by former Rangers boss Walter Smith. Goram that he had to leave his cricket-playing days behind to fully focus on his football career.

It’s another wonderful piece of history that Andy Goram created. He was the first, and as it stands only person to have ever represented his country in a first-class cricket fixture and at the full international in football.