Tavernier marks 250th Gers appearance with goal

Borna Barisic of Rangers FC celebrates with James Tavernier . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Borna Barisic of Rangers FC celebrates with James Tavernier . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) /

James Tavernier celebrated his 250th Rangers appearance in style as he found the back of the net in the 4-0 victory over Dundee United on Saturday.

The skipper has been a loyal servant ever since arriving at Ibrox five years ago, with his displays at both ends of the pitch key to the club’s recent success. And those tireless displays were rewarded with a well-taken goal at Ibrox against the newly-promoted United.

He now has back-to-back league goals, having also scored in the 2-0 win at Hamilton before the recent international break.

The 28-year-old has not only been a crucial part of the club’s defensive rigidity, but has also shown his ability and desire to get forward both home and away this season.

Having recorded three goals and 15 assists in all competitions last time out, Tav has continued his fine form in the 2020/21 campaign, and now boasts two goals and three assists in seven league games so far.

The defender has found the net 48 times on his way to reaching the 250-match milestone, with his 77 assists simply furthering his reputation in the west of Glasgow.

Moreover, the full-back has featured in every league game so far this season, with his only time off the pitch arriving in the final five minutes against Kilmarnock last month, where 18-year-old Nathan Patterson was given a taste of the action.

The youngster certainly has the perfect role model in the senior right-back.

A Leeds United player in his youth, Tavernier then spent five years at Newcastle, but saw very little first-team action due to his six successive loan spells away from St James’ Park.

Five of those were with League One sides, with Conference outfit Gateshead also on his long list of previous clubs.

The defender then finally landed a more permanent role after signing with Championship Wigan, only to once again find himself back on loan, and back in League One, this time at Bristol City.

It was, however, a move that worked for all parties, with the full-back helping The Robins lift both the League One title and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

And in the summer of 2015, new Rangers manager Mark Warburton brought a 23-year-old Tavernier to Glasgow, and neither club nor player have looked back ever since.

The youngster nailed his favoured right-back spot immediately, playing a crucial role as the side clinched the Championship and Challenge Cup titles.

Having scored the winner in the victory over Dumbarton to secure the Championship trophy, Tavernier then picked up the man of the match award and once again found the net as Rangers defeated Peterhead in the Challenge Cup final just five days later.

Five years on and the Bradford-born player is the established captain of the club, and one of the first names on the team-sheet for boss Steven Gerrard.