There is no heavier burden than unfulfilled potential. Unfortunately, I can testify to that. Thankfully, they do also say that it is never too late. In the curious case of David Templeton, who had almost been a lost soul of Scottish Football, I do genuinely hope that rings true.

Templeton seemed to have the world at his feet as a swashbuckling, fleet of foot winger when he was breaking through and making a name for himself at Hearts. He danced and glided his way through defences for the Jambos, including a superb performance and goal against Liverpool at Anfield. He looked the real deal. Then came a big moment in his career.

With clubs in the English Championship looking to take him on a free at the end of that season, and with Celtic interested, he had a decision to make. Hearts, desperate for the money, politely nudged him towards a £750,000 move to a Rangers side freshly relegated to the bottom division in Scotland.

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Read more: Murty uncertain of future as Accies inflict first black mark against Rangers' interim manager

You might say that he could - and should - have stood firm and seen out his deal at Hearts. He could have knocked back the move. But with allegations that he would never play for the club again if he didn’t go with the six months on his deal left, he signed for Rangers.

It was absolutely the wrong move for a player of his talent to drop down into the fourth tier, regardless if it was for a huge club in Rangers. And what was to follow made it even more painful.

Templeton then went through a horrendous time with injury at Rangers which completely curtailed an extremely promising career. In his last season, he made just 3 appearances having been beset by a knee injury that the medical staff at Rangers just couldn’t get to the bottom of. It was suggested that maybe, it was all in his head.

However, he maintained that every time he struck a ball he felt like the tendons in his knee were going to tear off. What a horrible situation for any player, compounded by accusations of him being soft and not having the willingness to play through the pain barrier with a niggling injury.

How do I know that? Because people talk in Scottish football. I had heard all the rumours about David, and been told things first hand. Word gets around quickly.

Read more: Murty uncertain of future as Accies inflict first black mark against Rangers' interim manager

But after leaving Rangers in May 2016, and on the verge of retiring, he paid out of his own pocket for an operation with top London knee surgeon Andy Williams, a specialist that Rangers could have sent him to visit. Williams located the issue almost immediately; a scope revealed a deep lying tear in his medial ligament. Turns out this boy wasn’t crying wolf. So if anyone deserves a break now it is this lad.

It is amazing how quickly you are forgotten about in football. Out of sight out of mind. It can be such a cruel game for a player. The longer you are out the harder it is to get back in. Again, I know that from personal experience having traipsed the length and breadth of the country on trial looking for employment.

You get managers asking why hasn’t he got a club? Why has he been out the game for so long? Is it his attitude? Fitness? When David popped up and signed a short term deal at Hamilton in March he had spent 10 months out the game without a club. That is a long time. Not only is it an ordeal, mentally, physically you lose condition and it can be demoralising, day after day, plodding round parks or lifting weights, unpaid.

Read more: Murty uncertain of future as Accies inflict first black mark against Rangers' interim manager

In that 10 month period, he had spent fruitless spells on trial at Dundee United and Vancouver Whitecaps. Overweight and out of shape after spending so long out injured, those trial periods at least got him on the right track again mentally and proved to him that his knee was good to go again. Perhaps they even rekindled that fire and hunger inside him to say to people that he wasn’t finished, and prove that he could perform in our top division.

He had a point to prove to those whisperer’s in dark corners who wrote him off as soft.

And where better to show the doubters wrong than with a goal against the club where you had spent such a nightmare period. It is never too late to do that.


AFTER Saturday’s result at Ibrox, I think it is safe to say that Graeme Murty’s chances of being the next full-time manager of Rangers are now up in smoke. He is a relatively safe pair of hands in a crisis, however, that’s about as far as it goes for me, and, for a great many Rangers fans.

Their patience is beginning to wear very thin, and quite a few I have spoken with were seriously wondering if Murty was being allowed to work himself in to a position of being the cheapest available option. The fans are paying good money to back the team.

Rangers now need to reward that loyalty by presenting a new manager as quickly as possible, before this season becomes another written off before Christmas.