WHEN James Tavernier holds aloft the Premiership trophy at Ibrox, it will mark the end of 'The Journey' for Rangers as they are crowned champions for the first time in a decade.

As Connor Goldson follows suit, it will complete his own personal passage, one that has taken him from the operating table to the top step of the podium.

The Englishman feared his career could be over four years ago when he had to undergo heart surgery. It didn't just prolong his time in the game, it would save his life.

From then, Goldson has never looked back and there are few within the Rangers squad that have done more to ensure that Steven Gerrard's side will toast a success that has been three seasons in the making.

“Enjoyable,” he said when asked what his journey from heart surgery to a title winner had been like. “I'm proud of my achievement for myself and proud of the achievement for the team.

“From getting told I might never play football again and having heart surgery to being in the position I am means I'm fortunate and appreciative of everything that's happened.

“Yeah, it does [make it more special] in a way. I don’t really think about it on a day to day basis.

“It was a weird one. It was at the end of March when it came up on my phone that the operation was four years ago.

HeraldScotland: Connor Goldson was at the double for Rangers

“That was a few weeks after we’d won the league so things like that put it into perspective.

“But personally, on a day-to-day basis, I don’t really think about it. I’m just happy that the three years I have been here have paid off.

“I came here and set out to win the league for Rangers. From the first day I spoke to the manager here, he set out that was a goal.

“Obviously it has taken us three years and it has been a big project and a big rebuild. But I’m glad to finally put this football club back where it belongs.

“Having met so many people in Glasgow and so many fans, it’s been a tough journey for this club and the supporters. I know it will be a special day for them.”

The countdown to trophy day has been a long time coming for Rangers. Having waited a decade to be in this position, a few extra weeks are easy to handle, though.

For many, it was a matter of when rather than if Gerrard’s side would clinch the title for long periods of a hugely impressive campaign as they showed their class and quality from the off.

HeraldScotland: Rangers' Connor Goldson celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Scottish Premiership match at Tannadice Park

It was only in the days prior to their historic weekend – as St Mirren were beaten at Ibrox and Celtic held by Dundee United – that Goldson believed the dream would become reality.

“I wouldn't say early," Goldson said when asked when he realised Rangers had won the league. "I'd probably say late. A lot of people externally said we'd won the league by November/December.

“But I didn't see it that way. I'd probably go as far as saying it probably wasn't until the Livingston game away in March with the Morelos winner late on.

“At that point we only needed one more win and with so many games to go I thought, 'yeah it's done, we're going to win the league'.

“That was probably the first time I allowed myself to believe that. Before that it was all about focusing on the next game.

HeraldScotland: Rangers' Connor Goldson celebrates scoring against Ross County

“We didn't want to give anyone a glimmer of hope. We know what it's like here, you lose a game of football and everyone starts talking.

“We just wanted to keep focused and keep on winning the next game of football. I think that's led to our consistency over the season."

Those levels haven’t just taken Rangers to the top of the table, they have earned them places in the Ibrox history books as records have been written.

Their tally of 99 points is already the best ever by a Rangers side, while targets in terms of clean sheets and goals conceded seem set to be achieved against the Dons.

Goldson has not missed a single second of action throughout a remarkable campaign and he will break through the 5,000 minutes barrier on an afternoon where there are individual and collective ambitions to be aimed for.

Goldson said: “Since we got knocked out of the cup against St Johnstone that has been our main priority, to go the season unbeaten.

HeraldScotland: Alfredo Morelos of Rangers is congratulated by Connor Goldson of Rangers after scoring his sides fourth goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Dundee United at Ibrox

“I think it would be a special achievement for this football club and for the group that's in there.

“I don't think we want to go into [today], lifting the trophy on a sour day.

“So it's a big game of football for us, a big rivalry that we know well from the last few years. We're all looking forward to hopefully getting a positive result.

“Yeah of course [I hate missing out] but at the same time it's the manager's decision. I'm fortunate he's trusted me to play every single game.

“It's up to me to stay fit and ready in between games and that's what I've tried to do to the best of my ability.

“It's about recovering well and trying to stay injury free, fortunately I've been able to do that."