IAN Durrant won no fewer than 13 trophies during the 14 seasons that he spent in the Rangers first team in the 1980s and 1990s, but none was as enjoyable, or important, as the very first.

The League Cup final triumph that the Ibrox club edged to against Celtic in front of a crowd of 74,219 at Hampden in 1986 proved to be the launchpad for a period of prolonged success.

Graeme Souness’s expensively-assembled side would go on and win their first Scottish title in almost a decade later that season and then dominate domestically for many years to come.

Durrant, who scored the opening goal in that momentous 2-1 triumph, can see uncanny parallels between Rangers now and Rangers back then.

They are both emerging from long and painful periods in the doldrums when money was tight, they both have famous players in their first managerial roles, they have both strengthened extensively, they both have to topple their city rivals.

And he believes that victory in the Betfred Cup final against Celtic on Sunday will have exactly the same galvanising effect on Steven Gerrard’s side as their win in the same competition 33 years ago.

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“It's like under Souness,” he said. “It's about getting that first trophy as a manager. We were fortunate enough to beat a good Celtic team. Again, Rangers are going to come up against a good Celtic team. But that's what you're in the game for.

“It's swings and roundabouts. Souness came in with the big fanfare and Steven Gerrard has come in with the big fanfare.

“At that time Rangers had spent a lot of money on the stadium and Jock Wallace probably lost his job because he couldn't strengthen the team, which was good for us (the young players) because we got the chance.

“Then Souness came in and got bankrolled, to help bring in (Terry) Butcher, (Chris) Woods and (Ray) Wilkins.

“It's similar now, they've got (Alfredo) Morelos and goodness knows what he'll be worth if he keeps scoring and they're signing players the way they did before.

“Players came to Rangers because of Graeme Souness, and players are now coming to Rangers because of Steven Gerrard. You can see comparisons between what's happening with Souness and Gerrard.”

Durrant went on to play for Rangers in the Champions League, complete their seventh treble in 2003 win six Scottish titles, three Scottish Cups and another three League Cups.

But he believes that first triumph in 1986 was pivotal to everything that followed.

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“You'd just beaten the league champions,” he said. “They were what we were aiming for, same as it is now. That was our aim. When you chip away and get the better of them that gives you great belief.

“But the players we were signing gave us a boost. When Rangers and Manchester United are linked with the England captain (Butcher) and he chooses Rangers, you know you're not on a bad ship. I was in a fortunate position to win medals at an early age, now people even at good clubs don't win medals.”

This weekend’s encounter in Mount Florida promises, with just two points separating Celtic and Rangers at the top of the Premiership, to be fiercely contested.

But whatever happens after kick-off is unlikely to come anywhere close to the incendiary Old Firm clash between Davie Hay’s men and Souness’s charges back in 1986.

“Wee Mo (Celtic striker Johnston) was battering everybody, (Roy) Aitken and (Terry) Butch were having square gos, I was black and blue playing against Murdo MacLeod,” said Durrant.

"Wee Mo had an altercation with Stuart Munro then Davie Syme, the referee, thought one of the Celtic players had hit him, but it was a coin thrown from the crowd that hit him.

"Davie Hay was on the park and we were going off, then we were staying on. It was chaos. I think there was about eight minutes added time.

“But it was what you expect in an Old Firm cup final, especially when one team's trying to win something for the first time in a few years."

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Durrant continued: “We were missing a few players and we were underdogs. Souness was injured. The midfield was very young - myself and Derek Ferguson."

“I wasn't having the best of games and the goal pulled me out of a hole. Davie Cooper was on fire, fortunately. He scored the winner from a penalty. Coop was the sort of character who'd always have wanted to take it. Him and Coisty (Ally McCoist) were fighting over it.

"It was fitting, because there was me, Robert Fleck, Derek and a young boy Davie MacFarlane who's sadly no longer with us but who came on as a sub. We'd all come through the youth ranks together and we were all playing in that final together. That was nice to see that bit.

"When you're getting your first trophy and you're scoring your first Old Firm goal, it's not bad."

Ian Durrant was speaking at a media day as Five Star Events and 1st Star Events donated £10,000 to Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity from funds raised at their respective 2019 sporting events.