FORMER Rangers and Northern Ireland striker Andy Little has recalled how receiving an award named in honour of his legendary predecessor and countryman Sam English was one of the proudest moments of his playing career.

Little was named as the winner of the Sam English Bowl – a trophy commissioned by Rangers supporters that is handed to their leading scorer in the league at the end of every season – back in 2013.

The forward had netted 22 goals – half of the record tally that English managed in the 1931/32 campaign - for Ally McCoist’s side in the old Third Division that term and helped them to win promotion.

“I was at the end-of-season Player of the Year dance, and as I was off on holiday soon after, I was enjoying a few rum and cokes,” said Little. “Then I got a tap on the shoulder and told, ‘You’re up next, Andy!’

“I thought Lee McCulloch had won the race for top scorer, as I didn’t realise the award was for league goals only. You can imagine my speech!

“I went up to collect the award, which was this absolutely stunning silver rose bowl and I was as proud as punch. Ironically I scored 22 goals that season – half the total Sam managed.

“But to think that I’d won such a beautiful trophy at the club I’d loved since I was a wee boy was just such a wonderful feeling.”

“Previous winners include Kris Boyd, Kenny Miller and Nikica Jelavic, and of course Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe have now been added, so I’m in good company.

Little, who retired from football in 2018 and is now a Rangers youth coach, is delighted he managed to etch his name in the Ibrox club’s history books during his time there.

“If you had told me when I signed for Rangers at 17, what I would achieve and experiences what I have done in professional football, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said.

“I achieved far more than I ever expected and I loved every minute of my time with Rangers and Northern Ireland. It was incredible and gave me experiences to cherish for the rest of my life.

“By winning awards like the Sam English Bowl, it means there will always be a little bit of me in the magnificent trophy room at Ibrox – and that’s something special.”

Tortured: The Sam English Story, published by Pitch Publishing, is now available from all good bookshops, or by contacting the author, Jeff Holmes, via twitter @JeffH1960 or through his website at

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