THE Ibrox squad had already written their names in the record books. Rangers were soon making history in Russia.

As rewards go, it wasn’t quite what the Light Blues had in mind but their exploits took them behind the Iron Curtain.

A sojourn Stateside or cruise in the Caribbean were the dream destinations for the Gers.

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Instead, the Ibrox squad, which included the likes of John Greig, Ralph Brand and Bobby Shearer, became the first from Britain to play on Russian soil.

The trip is chronicled in the book ‘Rangers in Russia: The Story of the 1962 Tour’, which includes unique photographs taken by Ibrox legend Harold Davis.

“It was a situation that cropped up when Scot Symon said, before the Scottish Cup Final on the Saturday against Dundee, that the club would give us a fabulous world tour because we were going for the Treble,” former Gers winger Willie Henderson said.

“We played Dundee on the Saturday. 128,000 people - and the rest were locked out - and with four minutes to go it was 1-1 before I gave them two minutes of magic and we scored two goals to win 3-1.

“It was a fabulous time for the club, winning the Treble, so the following Tuesday we were to go to Ibrox to find out where the fabulous world tour was to take us.

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“Some of us wanted to go to Miami. Some of us wanted to go to Barbados, the Caribbean. It was a big deal.

“We were all keyed up, looking for it and Scot Symon came down a put a notice on the board. We all dived over to see where it was - three weeks in Russia! Moscow, Leningrad and Tblisi...

“We flew to Moscow and were staying in a hotel just up from Lenin’s tomb. It was an eye-opener.”

Rangers began the tour with a 3-1 win over Locomotiv Moscow before Henderson scored the only goal of the game to see off Dynamo Tblisi.

It was Brand notched the final goal of the trip as the Gers held Dynamo Kiev to a draw before Symon’s side returned to Glasgow.

“The great thing about it was that by the third game, the Russians were panicking because were undefeated,” Henderson said.

“The third game was against Dynamo Kiev and there was a strong rumour that the Russian President was going to be at the game.

“There was also talk that they were bringing in players from the Russian international team but it didn’t matter. We played the game and came back undefeated.

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“We got back to Glasgow Airport and thousands of people ran onto the tarmac after we arrived.

“It was a great thing for the club and it helped strengthen the connection with Russia, which had been strengthened since 1945 when Moscow Dynamo came to Ibrox - and someone counted the Russian team and they had an extra man!”

*Rangers in Russia: The Story of the 1962 Tour costs £5 can be purchased from the RYDC office in Broomloan House at Ibrox or fans can email or call 0141 427 4914. All profits go to the Rangers Former Players’ Benevolent Club.