WILLIE Waddell, the Rangers and Scotland legend, has died in hospital

of a heart attack at the age of 71.

Ibrox Stadium, created through the vision of Waddell, was a place in

mourning yesterday.

Club chairman David Murray said: ''The club owes Willie Waddell a

tremendous debt. He will be remembered not only for his playing career

but for laying the foundation of the new stadium. He will be sorely


Waddell, known as the Deedle, made his playing debut for the club

against Arsenal in 1938 and retired in 1956 to take up a career in

journalism. He returned to football as manager of Kilmarnock and in 1965

led the Rugby Park side to their greatest triumph, the Scottish


After another spell in journalism, he returned to football management

with Rangers and led them to victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup in

1972 before becoming a director of the club. After his retirement, he

was made an honorary director and adviser.

John Greig, who captained the winning European side, and who is now

Rangers public relations chief, said: ''I am shattered. Willie Waddell

became a father figure to me.

''I think he saw in me someone to carry on the traditions of the club

instilled in him by Bill Struth. His death is a terrible blow, because

he meant so much to me personally.

''Since the day 66 people died in the Ibrox disaster in 1971, he had a

burning ambition to make Ibrox Stadium a place for our fans to be proud

of, a place where people could come to watch football in safety and

comfort. The stadium now is a testimony to his vision.''

Celtic chairman Kevin Kelly said: ''It is with great sadness that I

have learned of the death of Willie Waddell.

''Celtic Football Club knew Willie as a player, manager, and director

and we always enjoyed our relationship with him. We respected him as a

hard but fair rival.

Mr Waddell is survived by his wife Hilda and three children, Ronnie,

Peter, and Ailsa. His funeral will take place at Linn Crematorium at

12.30 tomorrow.