MARK DINGWALL was confronted by fans crying at the thought of losing their club during the darkest days of Rangers' administration.

And the Ibrox fans' chief reckons boss Ally McCoist deserves huge credit for helping keep the club alive.

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the day the Gers were plunged into administration by former owner Craig Whyte and sent spiralling down a road that could have had the doors of Ibrox closed for the final time.

The scars of the Whyte era are still visible at Rangers, with McCoist seeing his squad decimated and forced to play in the Irn-Bru Third Division.

He carried the weight of the club during the most tumultuous period in their 140-year history before Charles Green and his consortium ensured there would still be football in Govan.

At times the picture looked bleak but Rangers Supporters Trust chief Dingwall said McCoist has enhanced his already legendary status.

He said: "Ally has shown himself to be a real leader of men.

"He didn't take his wages and that told you all you need to know about him and his love for the club.

"It also exposed some of those that left, especially those who said they were fans.

"Even in my position as a fans representative, I had people approaching me at Ibrox with tears in their eyes asking if we would have a club.

"To go from that to where it is now, I don't think we could have any complaints.

"The worry was we wouldn't get a football licence for a year. Then the club would still have the expenses of running Ibrox but have no income.

"There were times that I thought that was a real possibility so it was good to get the licence."

Having helped Rangers survive, McCoist must now look to make them thrive again.

He has seen a number of his young stars shine in the first team this season as fans have flocked to Ibrox in their thousands to play their part in Rangers' journey back to the top.

Dingwall said: "It has forced us to look at our resources and it has made people more aware that in the future we have to produce our own players rather than having to rely on the transfer market.

"It has been fantastic to see the fans turning up and show the love they feel for the club.

"The fans have proved the doubters wrong. Pay at the gate is up and season tickets are at record levels.

"I think the doubters have been proved wrong the fans have rallied behind their club in its hour of need."