Retro Football GIF: Graeme Souness Plays Truly Majestic 65-Yard Backpass vs Dynamo Kiev, 1987

Chris Wright

28th, January 2014


By Chris Wright

Soccer - Friendly - Tottenham Hotspur v Rangers

This very morn, the brilliant Adam Hurrey (or @FootballCliches as he’s perhaps better known) has written a marvellous paean in memory of the legal backpass (RIP 1863-1993) for Guardian Sport, which eulogises the long lost art which was actively outlawed by FIFA in 1993 as a reaction to the turgidly negative passages of defensive play that dogged the 1990 World Cup.

The article kicks off with a glorious example of the art form from Graeme Souness, then of Rangers, which took place in the first round of the European Cup in 1987.

With Rangers 2-1 up on aggregate in the second leg at Ibrox and Dynamo Kiev pressing hard for a late away-goal winner, Souness receives the ball some 15 yards into the Kiev half, turns, assesses his options and decides on playing a truly majestic, ridiculously conservative 65-yard backpass all the way back to ‘keeper Chris Woods…


If ever o’ ever a man, his demeanour and his entire career was to be summed up by a nine-second reel of footage…

We urge you to head over to the Guardian and have a trawl through Adam’s thoroughly excellent piece, which contains several other remarkable, GIF-based examples of the legal backpass from the likes of Vinnie Jones, Lee Dixon and a fleet-footed beauty from Liverpool’s Steve McMahon.

This way please.

Posted in Featured, GIFs, Newsnow, Retro, Scottish football

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  1. Inno says:

    Rare footage indeed of Souness in a Rangers shirt kicking a ball and not a player

  2. Binsie says:

    How much was he being paid. FFS if he can’t hit a ball 50 yards he should not be playing. An own goal would have been better.

  3. Mark says:

    Absolutely glorious. I particularly admire how he’s pulled that off when Woods is at least twice as far away as the opposition goal. Just imagine if the backpass rule was still around now…all those ‘brilliant long passes’ (not hoofs) Stevie G could be renowned for.

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