Kevin Thomson Rangers friendship with Steven Gerrard endures Aston Villa exit as he addresses Ibrox hotseat

Former Rangers midfielder and youth coach Kevin Thomson remains in touch with Steven Gerrard as the League Two champion prepares for the step up.

Thomson’s Kelty Hearts got over the line in the fourth tier title race, blowing away all competition with five games to spare.

Gerrard, now of Aston Villa after leaving Rangers in November, made sure to send a congratulatory text – and he’s always been there to lend an ear when things weren’t looking so great for Thomson.

He even imparted wisdom from the late Gerard Houllier, the former Liverpool gaffer whom Gerrard credits as a coaching inspiration.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Thomson said: “He’s been brilliant for me.

“I spoke to him through the season, including off the back of us first getting beat by Annan (5-1 on Boxing Day).

“I asked if he could remember what his team talk was to the Rangers group when they first got beat. He gave me a couple of wee lines on what Gerard Houllier used to say.

“Getting an open door from the manager was invaluable. He actually messaged me on Monday. He said he knew the risks I’d had to take and how hard I’ve had to work. For someone like him to take the time, hopefully that says you were doing the right things.

“The manager was different class. So was Mick (Beale). So was Gaz Mac (Gary McAllister).

“So were loads of people in the academy. But you know who was the best for me? The players. They gave me real belief that I was good at what I was doing.”

Thomson insists he wasn’t given a ‘job for the boys’ at Auchenhowie after starting from the ground up with his own academy, which coaches kids as young as five years old.

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He worked hard to land the Under-18s role at his former club as he added: “People say: ‘Oh, you’re working for Rangers’, but I was doing about eight to ten hours a week for a bag of chips and a bottle of pop, traveling through Glasgow.

“It wasn’t a financial thing. It was a passion to learn while working for an unbelievable club and I’d have done it for nothing.

“I’m pretty sure there will be people out there who don’t like me but I’m not sure anyone could begrudge a wee bit of success after the six years I’ve done.”

But could Thomson one day return as first-team boss?

Maybe, but owing to his time at Ibrox and also Hibs, he’s admitted two big jobs could be ruled out.

He said: “I never get too carried away about what it might look like in time.

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“It’s so cut-throat and so competitive. There are so many people for so few jobs.

“To get to the Premier League, you could maybe look upon five, six or seven big clubs in Scotland. That’s no disrespect to any of the others.

“I’m never going to be the Celtic manager, am I? I might never be the Hearts manager. I suppose you have to rule out some clubs because it might not be right and because of what you did as a player. The top for me is being sought-after and people wanting your services.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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