FORMER Rangers assistant boss Archie Knox has revealed that he once cheated by bribing the ball boys at Hampden to slow down Celtic during a Scottish Cup semi-final.

Knox was Walter Smith’s No 2 when the Ibrox side took on Liam Brady’s Hoops in 1992 with a place in the Final against Airdrie awaiting the winner.

Left-back David Robertson was red-carded early in the confrontation for a brutal challenge on Joe Miller.

Despite this, Ally McCoist scored with a low shot as the interval approached with blunder keeper Gordon Marshall looking slow to react to an effort that barely had enough oomph to crawl across the line.

Knox, though, was still concerned about a second-half fightback and approached a rather unusual source for some assistance.

He admitted in his recent autobiography: “David Robertson had been sent off after just a handful of minutes for booting Joe Miller up in the air.

“Ally McCoist scored before half-time – you can still see my celebrations in the YouTube footage – and I knew Celtic would throw everything at us in the second-half.

“I went out before the second period kicked off and grabbed one of the Hampden ball boys. I asked if he was a Rangers fan and he said ‘yes’. 

“So I gave him a fiver and told him to get the message round his pals. If the ball went out for a Celtic throw-in, just leave it until the Celtic fans throw it back.

“If the ball goes out for a Rangers throw-in, just leave it full stop.

“I watched him go round all four sides of the Hampden pitch telling his pals not to go for the ball. We needed every advantage we could get and we managed to hang on for the win.”

It wasn’t Celtic’s evening at the national stadium on that occasion. Paul McStay almost smashed the crossbar to smithereens with a shot that left Andy Goram stranded and Brian O’Neil hit a post later on.

It isn’t clear if any special medals were struck for the ball boys after Airdrie were beaten 2-1 in the Final.

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