The first leg of the tour was over and Rangers swapped Moscow for Tbilisi, the Georgian capital 1000 miles south, for Wednesday’s clash with Dinamo Tbilisi. The Gers had also brought the sun with them following poor weather conditions on arrival in Moscow.
In the hours before their clash with the Georgian side, Rangers were hit with a crisis when eight first-team players refused to sign new deals for the season ahead including Caldow, Baxter, Scott, Millar, Brand and Wilson, as well as, two other members of the squad.
The “rebels” as they were called by the Scottish press were unhappy at the terms offered by the club for the coming season which were £30-per-week and £5 appearance fee, plus bonuses.
Rangers had to battle against temperatures of over 90 degrees in Tbilisi and an enthusiastic crowd of 30,000 in the Georgian capital.
Despite the contract disputes, Symon went full-strength with the same eleven that featured against Lokomotiv and left Willie Henderson on the bench despite making a good impact in Moscow.
But it was Henderson who scored the decisive goal midway through the second-half and after neat work with Ralph Brand, he slotted home the winning goal and topped off the moment with a somersault celebration.
Again, praise was reserved for Rangers’ defensive stalwarts Harold Davis and Eric Caldow who performed out of their skin in the difficult conditions.
With two wins from two games, the Light Blues were in buoyant mood – they even burst in to “Auld Lang Syne” after a training session in Kiev – and they were set to face a 65,000 capacity crowd in the Kruschev stadium in Kiev.
On the banks of the Dnieper River in Kiev, Rangers took on the toughest of the three opponents of the soviet tour, Dinamo Kiev, who were one of the dominant clubs in the Soviet Union.
Symon made no changes to the team from the two victories thus far, and were up against a side who are champions of the Soviet Union. They included the likes of legendary left-midfielder Valery Lobanovsky and Oleg Basilevich.
Dinamo were the better side for large parts of the game but the Gers took the lead just after half-time when Alex Scott cut the ball back to Ralph Brand who had the easy job of finishing off the move.
And although the Ukrainians had the majority of the possession, Rangers stubborn backline was a good match for their attacks. However, Andriy Biba curled home a free-kick from the edge of the box to deny the Gers three wins from three.
Harold Davis came out for some special treatment after producing three stunning performances in the summer tour.
The Evening Times had sent Gair Henderson as their special correspondent with the Ibrox club and he commented on Davis’ impact in the tour.
He said: “When strength was needed, he was a Samson; when skill and cunning were required, he had those two qualities in abundance.”
Rangers were greeted back at Renfew Airport by hundreds of jubilant supporters who had invaded the operational runway to welcome their heroes back from Russia.
This sparked a major security alert inside the airport with over 2000 fans breaching fences to get a look at the returning squad.
McMillan remembers the return to British soil as one of the most memorable parts of the summer trip.
He added: “The plane could hardly get in to the airport on landing and the crowd came right out to greet us on our arrival. Of course, that wouldn’t be allowed nowadays!
“When we came out the plane, it was just was a mass of people in front us, just waving Rangers flags and scarves. It was the most welcome return to Scotland we could have hoped and obviously they thought we’d done well. It was very uplifting to have such a welcoming return.”