Rangers legend Johnny ‘Penalty King’ Hubbard dies at 87

AFP-JIJI

South African Johnny Hubbard, the only foreigner to score a hat trick for Scottish side Rangers in a derby with bitter Glasgow rivals, Celtic has died at age 87 the club announced.

Hubbard — also known as the “Penalty King” for his astonishing conversion rate of 65 in 68 penalties taken — joined Rangers at age 19 in 1949.

He tasted plenty of success in his 10 years at the club, being part of three title-winning sides as well as the 1953 Scottish Cup.

He scored 106 goals in 238 appearances for them — including the famous hat trick in the Old Firm derby in 1955.

Hubbard, who became the first player from Africa to play in the European Cup when he turned out for Rangers against French side Nice in October 1956, moved to English side Bury in 1959 and finished his career back in Scotland with Ayr United.

“Everyone at Rangers sends their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Johnny Hubbard after the former Light Blues winger passed away peacefully today at the age of 87,” said Rangers chairman Dave King in a statement.

“All of us at Rangers are deeply saddened by the news that Mr. Hubbard has passed away. He was an inspirational player for Rangers and was also one of our most passionate supporters.

“Mr. Hubbard wasn’t just a great Ranger, he was also a wonderful person. He was a gentleman and will be missed terribly by everyone connected with our club.”