When Ally McCoist replaced Walter Smith as manager of Rangers, he likened the move to ‘taking the microphone from Frank Sinatra’. The task that faced Jack Butland was not quite as daunting but he has already given supporters something to sing about at Ibrox.

Chants of ‘super Jack Butland in goal’ were first aired at Dens Park as ‘Rockin' All Over the World’ was given another rewrite on the terraces. Since then, it has become a regular part of the Rangers repertoire as Butland has earned his place in the affections of the fans. That is likely to remain the status quo for some time yet.

Butland arrived at Ibrox following in illustrious footsteps. The deeds and the dedication of Allan McGregor have certainly not been forgotten, but Butland has ensured that the transition into a new era between the sticks has been as smooth and impressive as possible. In some aspects, the Englishman is even an upgrade on his predecessor and the way in which he commands his area, the regularity with which he claims the ball from crosses and corners, has added a new dimension to the last line of the defence in recent months.

There is an air of assured confidence, but certainly not cockiness, around Butland. He is an impressive figure off the park, a man who speaks thoughtfully and honestly and a player who sets the example and leads by it. He remains grounded, though, and he was quick to assert that ‘I have not filled them yet’ when asked about stepping into some big boots this season.

“I just try focus on what I do and thankfully so far that's been to a high standard,” Butland said. “I guess the club have a soft spot for keepers, they've had some incredible keepers over the years. They won and they were successful and that's obviously what I want to be here. We're far from filling those shoes but some way to get started.”

The Rangers lineage of goalkeepers is quite remarkable. McGregor competes with Andy Goram for the title of their finest-ever custodian, while the likes of Stefan Klos and Chris Woods have served with such success and distinction over the last generation or so. Time will tell if Butland can go on to join them.

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Butland spoke glowingly about his predecessor after first arriving, explaining how he could learn from him as he sought to make his own mark on the team and the club. A couple of weeks later, he had the chance to work alongside him briefly as McGregor returned to Auchenhowie and then Ibrox ahead of his testimonial against Newcastle United. It was a night that represented a changing of the guard.

There have been times in Butland’s past when his career has not progressed on the trajectory expected. He became the youngest goalkeeper to represent England when aged just 19, he appeared in a 2-1 win away to Italy under Roy Hodgson. Ironically, it was the misfortune of Celtic keeper Joe Hart, who was forced to withdraw with a back injury, that handed Butland his Three Lions debut. Jermain Defoe scored the England winner in Berne.

He had loans at the likes of Barnsley and Derby County after signing for Stoke City in 2013 and it was with The Potters where he eventually established himself. A move to Crystal Palace and loan with boyhood club Manchester United didn't have the desired outcomes but he is in the right place at the right time at Ibrox.

"When he came in at Stoke, he was following Asmir Begovic, who was a legend himself and there had been a number of really good goalkeepers prior to that," Butland's coach and mentor at the Britannia Stadium, David Rouse, says. "At Stoke, any goalkeeper there is always judged against the best in Gordon Banks.

"Coming into Rangers, you talk about Allan McGregor and how fantastic he has been for years and the fact that he played for such a long time just shows you the quality that he had. The amount of top-quality goalkeepers that Rangers have had over 10, 20 years or longer, Jack has got some big boots to fill. But I think he has got the personality, got the ability, to do that."

Rouse joined Stoke to work under Michael O'Neill when he was named manager in November 2019 and he is now part of the Northern Ireland international staff. He vouches for Butland as a presence and a voice in the dressing room. Even during his struggles at Stoke, Butland was never one to let his head or his standards drop and the switch to Palace was hard-earned.

"We all know how big a club Rangers is and how strong a personality you have got to be as a goalkeeper to deal with the pressures,” Rouse adds. "You can’t make too many mistakes when you are fighting for the league every season but Jack will enjoy that challenge. You will get a lot of goalkeepers that won’t be able to rise to that but he is one that will revel in that environment.

"You get a lot of keepers that look fantastic in training but can then only bring a certain percentage of that ability onto the field and in pressure situations. Jack is so calm. Look at his Premier League games, he plays with a calmness and authority that he can bring out the big saves when they are needed. The best goalkeepers need to make those big saves in big moments in big games and that is what the Rangers fans are going to see."

If the Player of the Year prizes were being handed out just now at Ibrox, Butland would have his hands full of them. Those accolades are not what attracted him to Rangers in the first place, though. Indeed, they will not be part of the lure that potentially keeps him in Glasgow should interest from south of the border materialise at the end of the campaign.

Butland is here to win league titles and cups, to experience Old Firm wins and European nights. Rangers is not about money, it is about medals and memories. A keeper who seemed destined to have a successful career now stands on the brink of it as Philippe Clement seeks to lead Rangers to honours and achievements in the coming months.

It was during Butland's time with the England Under-17s that Adrian Bevington saw him in action for the first time. Like for so many, those immediate impressions were positive ones.

His performance in a Team GB match against Brazil ahead of the Olympics in 2012 stands out for the former managing director of Club England at the Football Association. His views of Butland the man had already been formed.

"My first dealings with Jack personally were when he came out to the European Championships in 2012 in Poland and Ukraine," Bevington says. "He struck me and a lot of members of staff as someone who was a really mature individual, a great person around the environment. He was always polite.

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"He took on responsibility. I remember taking him to a media appearance and he was happy to play his part in talking to kids. He was very mature beyond his years. He had precocious talent when he was a young player and everybody had extremely high expectations of him for his career.”

Those levels have now always been hit but Butland is now in his prime. The way in which he collected the ball in the closing seconds against Prague spoke volumes and he has made big saves in big moments. A double block to deny Luke McCowan and then Bakayoko at Dens Park followed a similar effort in Prague as Veljko Birmancevic and Qazim Laci couldn't find a way beyond the keeper. His personal highlights reel is being added to on an almost weekly basis as he produces when called upon.

He has expressed his belief that the best is yet to come in the game and the experiences that he has longed for are now arriving at Ibrox. His passion for football has been evident whenever he has spoken this season. In an interview following the draw at home to PSV Eindhoven, Butland referenced the words of Bill Struth when asked about Rangers being written off in the tie. He went on to explain how he walks by Struth’s famous quotes at the training ground and stadium and how you ‘can’t get away from’ the history of Rangers. His drive was to become part of that folklore and he has always been a player that stands up to be counted.

"Playing for Rangers, there is such a level of expectation and pressure to perform in every game," Bevington adds. "He may well have his eyes on the Old Firm games and big European nights or cup finals, but it is also the bread and butter of the Premiership week in, week out.

"When you are playing for a club the size of Rangers, you have to perform to a level because there is that scrutiny and expectation that comes with it. I am convinced that Jack, the character that I remember very well, will not be fazed by it. He is someone who will embrace that challenge and the responsibility that comes with it."

That responsibility has been seen on the park and felt behind the scenes. Butland may be one of the new faces around the club but he is already an established voice and he is part of the leadership group within the squad, alongside captain James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, the vice-captain, Ryan Jack and John Lundstram. He was described as ‘very important in the dressing room’ by Clement in the aftermath of the win over Sparta Prague.

When Michael Beale’s side suffered the shock defeat to Kilmarnock on the opening day of the Premiership campaign, Butland emerged from the away camp to speak to the media and seek to provide some calm and some perspective to a furious fanbase. The words of players can so often be hollow, but Butland conveys his messages in an authoritative manner. That quality and that character have been evident from the early days of his career when he made his breakthrough at Cheltenham Town.

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Mark Yates, then manager at Whaddon Road, utilised his contacts at former club Birmingham City and completed a deal to sign a young keeper who had an imposing physical frame and a burgeoning reputation after choosing a career in football over one in rugby. The arrangement worked all around for Butland. Originally from Clevedon, just outside of Bristol, a switch to Cheltenham was handy geographically and suited personal and professional requirements. The chance it presented was even more significant, though, and the decision from Yates to sign Butland ahead of Lee Nicholls, then of Wigan Athletic, proved to be a sliding doors moment.

"He is a really good character," Jon Palmer, a journalist and author of four books on The Robins, says as he recalls his dealings with Butland in his formative years. "Cheltenham have had a lot of young lads on loan and some have shown maturity beyond their years, and he is definitely one of them. Everyone thought he would go on to do well, everyone thought he would be England’s number one. There have been times in his career when it hasn’t gone his way, but he has been at some amazing clubs, like Rangers now. I know a lot of fans here have kept a close eye on him.

"It is quite scary to think he is 30 now because I remember the day he turned up. He was a very good shot-stopper, pulled off saves that nobody in League Two would have even thought about making. It was more his maturity and his attitude that impressed me that season. You expect a keeper that has come in from Birmingham and has been in the England youth setup to be able to pull off saves, but it was his character and maturity that made me think he was going to go all the way."

Butland would have two stints of a dozen games for Cheltenham. Mistakes were made in defeats against Shrewsbury and Southend but were quickly forgotten about and learned from. Such was his obvious talent and potential, Yates opted to drop keeper Scott Brown, who went on to play for Aberdeen, despite his standing as a hero figure with supporters. The campaign ended with what might have been after Butland was recalled to St Andrew's early.

"It was a brave decision from Yates to drop Brown and bring Butland in, but that is what he did and it showed how good Butland was," Palmer adds. "Cheltenham got into the play-offs that season but he had gone by that time and Brown came back in before they lost to Crewe in the final at Wembley. Butland played a big part in them getting there and that team should have gone up automatically.

"He made a bit of history becoming the first player to play for England having only played senior football for Cheltenham. He made his debut that summer and it showed how highly rated he was. He started against Italy in August and he had only played for Cheltenham at that point so that was a proud moment for the club and an amazing achievement for him."

More than a decade on, Butland could find his international aspirations rekindled. He insisted that a recall to Gareth Southgate’s squad was not on his mind when he made the move to Rangers and it remains unlikely that he will be required any time soon, even though his form surely merits a conversation.

The last of his nine caps came five years ago against Switzerland and he has seen Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale become established figures since, with the likes of Nick Pope and Sam Johnstone also ahead of him in the pecking order at present. All Butland can do is keep performing for his club and see if his country comes calling.

Butland may not hear his name chanted at Wembley again. As long as it continues to reverberate around Ibrox, that will do him just fine for now. Rangers have said farewell to a legend between the sticks but they now have super Jack Butland in goal.