John Greig described Eric Caldow as an “absolute gentleman” after his fellow Rangers great died at the age of 84.
Born in Cumnock, the former full-back made 407 appearances for the Ibrox club over 13 years, winning five league championships, two Scottish Cups and three League cups.
Having made his debut in 1953, Caldow was the Rangers and Scotland captain when Greig broke into the very successful Gers side of the early 1960s and the former Light Blues manager and the club’s honorary life president told Rangers’ official website that Caldow was as impressive off the field as on it.
He said: “It’s a sad day. Eric was a great player and captain for the club, but above all else he was an absolute gentleman.
“You can’t play over 400 times for Rangers and not be something special, and he definitely helped me a lot when I was a young boy at the club.
“It was a great team I went into with great players. I went in as an inside-forward but eventually went to right-half and then it was Ritchie, Shearer, Caldow, Greig, McKinnon, Baxter, Henderson, McMillan, Millar, Brand and Wilson.
“That team won the treble in 1963/64 and many people think to this day that that was one of the best teams Rangers have ever had.
“But apart from that, Eric was a senior player and he helped boys like me, Willie Henderson and Ronnie McKinnon immensely with his experience.
“He was quite a quiet and unassuming type and led by example rather than being vociferous.
“Very seldom did you see Eric making a tackle; he could just read what the winger was going to do and took the ball off him.
“He also did very well to recover from the broken leg that he got against England at Wembley in 1963.
“He was a class act and the biggest compliment you can give Eric is that a lot of people outside the club when they saw him would say, ‘That’s Eric Caldow of Rangers’.
“He stood out and even in his latter years he was such a likeable chap. I’ve never heard anybody have a bad word to say about him.”
Caldow, who won 40 caps for Scotland, led Rangers to their first European final – the Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1961 where they lost 4-1 on aggregate to Italian side Fiorentina.
“I was profoundly saddened to hear of Eric’s passing and I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to his family,” said Rangers chairman Dave King.
“Every one of us at the club share their sense of loss.
“Eric truly was a player who could easily be described as heroic and came to epitomise the standards, characteristics and values associated with this club.
“He was, of course, also a player of international renown with Scotland.
“This is a sad day for the club and the country.”
Rangers managing director, Stewart Robertson, said: “Eric will be forever remembered as one of the greats, not just for Rangers but also for Scotland. We will never forget Eric Caldow.”