IT WAS the night that Colin Stein scored one and Willie Johnston two.

It was the night the Bears became legends in Barcelona, that Rangers' wait for European silverware was ended.

It was a night for heroes, one of joy and jubilation, but also of controversy as Moscow Dynamo were beaten and the Cup-Winners' Cup was won.

It was May 24, 1972.

"I still remember it well," Stein told SportTimes as he recalled the game that saw Willie Waddell's side win 3-2 in the Nou Camp.

"Rangers had previously reached the final twice and a few players had played in 1967, so it meant a lot to them to win it. We made history that night and we will always be remembered for 1972 in Barcelona.

"It is always great to score any goal, but to score one in a European Cup final was brilliant.

"It ended up a close game, but there is no doubt in my mind that we were a better team than Moscow Dynamo."

Having twice come so close to Euro- pean glory and been left empty-handed on both occasions, it was third time lucky for Rangers in 1972.

Under Scot Symon, they had lost the 1960 final to Fiorentina over two legs and then, in 1967, they would come up just short against Bayern Munich in Nuremberg.

The road to Barcelona almost ended in Lisbon before the Gers eventually progressed on the newly introduced away goals rule and they had a chance to settle an old score as they booked their place in the final.

The two matches against Bayern will go down as a couple of the finest 90 minutes ever played by a team in Light Blue, with goals from Sandy Jardine and Derek Parlane at Ibrox sealing a memorable win and setting up a shot at glory.

"Bayern were the favourites for the tournament and they had the core of the Germany team who would later win the World Cup," Stein said.

"To beat them over two legs, and in the manner we did, was a great achievement. But you then had to adjust yourself and have the right attitude going into the final.

"Mr Waddell said to us that we hadn't won the cup because we had beaten Bayern Munich. It was a big feather in our cap to beat that team but the job wasn't done.

"We got ready for the final and we had to keep our feet on the ground."

Rangers may have been brought back down to earth in the aftermath of their semi-final success but they were soon soaring high in Spain, Stein opening the scoring on 23 minutes before Johnston netted on 40 and 49.

The line-up can be rhymed off with ease by fans of that generation, and is known by all with an affinity to the club as the names - McCloy, Jardine, Mathieson, Greig, Johnstone, Smith, McLean, Conn, Stein, MacDonald and Johnstone - are recalled with fondness.

THE pictures from that evening, from Stein and Johnston celebrating their goals to the party in the dressing room, are some of the most iconic from Rangers' illustrious history.

But Rangers were denied the chance to be with the Light Blue legions in their moment of glory, the silverware presented to Greig deep inside the Nou Camp as police battled with supporters outside.

"It certainly took away from it a bit at the end of the game," Stein said. "You look at it nowadays and teams get presented with the cup in the stands or on the pitch and the fans are there to see you.

"Your adrenalin is flowing and you are right up for it. It was a bit disappointing when John and Mr Waddell walked in with the cup.

"I was in the bath and we had a couple of bottles of champagne. Everybody certainly enjoyed themselves in the dressing room, though. After that, we all had our families there with us so we were back at the hotel and had a great celebration.

"We had to give the medals back to Mr Wallace to get our names inscribed on them, but I wouldn't give him mine. Eventually he threatened me so I had to hand it over!"

While the names of the Barca Bears will forever be enshrined in Rangers' folklore, there are some whose contributions to the campaign also deserve to be remembered. Colin Jackson missed out on arguably the greatest night in the club's history through injury, a late fitness test the only action he would take part in.

THE defender sadly passed away at the weekend aged 68, and Stein has fond memories of a man who would later enjoy huge success in Light Blue.

"It was terrible for Bomber," Stein said. "He had a great game against Gerd Muller, the best centre-forward in the world, and he never gave him a kick of the ball.

"To have an injury on the morning of the game was devastating for him. But he came back great. He got capped for Scotland and won two Trebles. He was a lovely guy but a real competitor and the kind of guy you want in your team."