ROD Stewart has left a MASSIVE wreath at Rangers legend Eric Caldow's funeral.

The major hoops fan paid tribute to the 85-year-old Gers icon who recently passed away.

He left the huge flower display fileld with Rangers colours along with a note that said 'Mr Caldow your one of the greatest'.

The deathof Eric Caldow saw the passing of arguably the finest footballer Cumnock and its surrounding area has produced.

Eric’s final years were blighted, first by the early loss of his beloved wife Laura, then by the onset of Alzheimer’s, but, nothing can dim the lustre of his football legacy.

The ordinary schoolboy player in a Cumnock Academy team, deemed: “Lacking pace,” used his earnings from a Saturday job with Blackwood and Veitch the butchers, to buy a pair of athletics spikes.

He then practised his sprinting until, less than a decade later, he was considered the fastest full-back in the world, able to catch and dispossess “The Madrid Express” as the great Francisco Gento of Real Madrid was known.

Cumnock Chronicle:

Even as a 14 year old Academy player, Charlie Wilson, who ran the Academy teams, had seen enough to recommend him to Rangers. Bill Struth kept a watching brief as Caldow left school, got a job as an apprentice painter with Cumnock Burgh Council and learned his football with Glenpark Amateurs, then Muirkirk Juniors.

In 1952 Struth called the now 18-year-old up to Ibrox, from then, until his passing, Eric was proud to be known as one of the last of “Bill’s Boys.”

Cumnock Chronicle:

That first-team debut came against Ayr United, at Ibrox, in a League Cup tie, on 12 September, 1953. Just seven days later, he was flung into the cauldron of his first Old Firm game, again at Ibrox – this one finishing 1-1.

He took some time to establish himself. It was not until Willie Woodburn was suspended sine die, and Scotland captain George Young moved to centre-half, that Eric became a first-team regular, on his way to playing 463 first-team games, over his 14 seasons at Rangers.

In that time he won 11 winner’s medals (five League Championship, three Scottish Cup and three League Cup.) He also played 40 times for Scotland, captaining the side 15 times; 24 times for the Scottish League XI and twice for the Scotland Under-23 team. He also captained Rangers in the 1961 European Cup-Winners Cup final, against Fiorentina.

Eric played in the first Scotland Under-23 team, in 1955, before winning the first of his caps against England, at Wembley, in April, 1957.

Cumnock Chronicle:

He was chosen at right back, but, wanted to play left-back, to pit his wits against the great Sir Stanley Matthews.

Legend has it, he went headto-head with “the Wizard of Dribble” once during the game, and emerged with the ball.

With Scotland, he was an ever-present during the 1958 and 1962 World Cup qualifying campaigns, and also an ever-present in the three games during the 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden.

He also led the side, and scored the clinching second goal, when Scotland beat England 2-1 at Hampden in 1962, their first home win over the Auld Enemy since 1937.