Amidst the disappointment of an Old Firm defeat, James Tavernier's brace ultimately mattered little but the significance of netting his 100th Rangers goal is a milestone that still deserves widespread recognition.

The Ibrox skipper becomes just the 18th player to join the illustrious 100-club and it's even more remarkable given he has done so from right back.

Rangers boss Michael Beale singled his captain out for praise following the Parkhead reverse. 

“100 goals for Rangers is a fantastic personal achievement,” he told Rangers TV. “When the dust settles it’s important we recognise that.”

With events at Parkhead now firmly in the rear view mirror, now is the time to acknowledge what is an astonishing feat. But it’s one that's not the least bit surprising to Tavernier's former teammates and coaches who have watched him mature into the player he is today.

Prior to joining Rangers in the summer of 2015 as part of the Mark Warburton-led rebuild, Tavernier’s career was a collection of brief stints and loan spells south of the border. He was in search of somewhere to call home and in Govan he found it.

What is clear, having spoken to those who had a part to play in Tavernier’s career path is this is someone who has always possessed an inner belief and ambition to perform at the highest level.

Seeing Tavernier hit a century of Rangers goals brings a great sense of pride to Greg Abbott who coached the nine-year-old Tavernier at Leeds United before taking him to Carlisle United on loan from Newcastle United in the early days of his professional career.

“I remember his mum bringing him to training three times a week at Leeds so I’ve known Tav a long time. Then we got the chance to get him on loan,” he recalled.

“He was a good player and an athlete, that combination always gives you a chance. He had a great character and he’s a chirpy kid. He’d always have a bit of a laugh and a joke with you but be respectful with it as well. He was always good to have around the place, bright and bubbly but never a bit of trouble and his game has just developed.

“The one thing with Tav that we noticed was the way he wanted to get forward, defensively he had a bit to do but he’s managed to add that to his game over the years. He was really attack-minded, he had great energy, great pace and great delivery.

“He had a successful loan and I was pleased just to be able to play some small part in setting him on his way. After going from Leeds to what he’s gone on to achieve and to score that many goals at a club the size of Rangers and from the position he’s in has been incredible. He’s just gone onto a different level. 

“I know a few of them are penalties but let’s look beyond that because penalties can win or lose you World Cups. He’s been phenomenal and I’m absolutely delighted for him and the family.”

Abbott’s view is shared by Tavernier’s former teammates. Patrick Nzuzi progressed through the youth ranks at St James’ Park alongside the 30-year-old. He told the Rangers Review, his impressive displays didn’t go unnoticed, so much so that he was likened to a certain Brazilian legend.

“We used to have a manager, Kenny Wharton who used to call him Cafu because he was always bombing forward,” he joked. “I think, at the time, the manager tried to tell him to stay back more but we found that we actually benefited from him going forward.

“He was a 15-year-old that had just come from Leeds and what stood out was his energy. When you’re 15, you can be quite shy and reserved but he was very confident of his talent and he was very outspoken. That was qualities we all looked up to back then at that age.

“It was a talented group we had but even in that group he was a standout performer and he was consistent all the way through the youth setup. It’s funny because watching him play the way he plays now is the exact same as he did with us. He has the same level of confidence. Every now and then I’ll watch some of his games on TV and see him get a goal here and there and it’s no surprise, it’s just James all over.

“He was very infectious. I think, for us, he came at a good time because we were going through a transition of under 15s to under 18s where it’s taken more seriously towards the first team.

“You’re not quite sure but then you see someone come in with such confidence and someone we could relate to in terms of his background and where he came from, he was someone to look up to.

“It was like, ‘Well, if he can show confidence and put himself about amongst the older boys, then why can’t we do that?’ For me personally, I looked up to him.”

However, that self-confidence didn’t always endear itself in every dressing room Tavernier walked into.

READ MORE: James Tavernier's Rangers Hall of Fame credentials analysed

Leon Barnett played alongside the Rangers skipper for a short period at Wigan Athletic prior to his move to Glasgow. “I’ve got to be honest when he first came I wasn’t too keen on him,” he admitted.

“I thought he was quite loud but he had that winning mentality and how he wants to conduct himself. He wanted to win by any means possible. He was always driven and he was never distracted. It took me a while to sort of get on that side of him and understand him.

“He was quite a character at the time and some managers don’t really like that. Personally, I think it shows he’s a person that wants to win and he’s got high ambitions.

“He found it difficult when he first came to Wigan but once he had his starting place he was very consistent in his performance. You can tell he was a leader, he was always working hard. Once he settled in you could tell he definitely had the leadership skills to be a captain. In the modern game nowadays to see a player that’s been there for so long at one club, consistently performing at a high level, just shows how good he is and how mentally strong you’ve got to be.

“When I’ve seen him at Rangers, he’s obviously matured and his standards and performance have shone through. He’s a little bit like a fine wine. He seems to be getting better and better with age.”

This improvement doesn't just happen by osmosis though. Rangers have been the beneficiaries of endless hours spent on the training pitch practising his craft.

Goal number 99 saw Tavernier deliver one of his trademark free-kicks that rattled the underside of the crossbar before nestling into the back of the net past the despairing Joe Hart.

It was a strike of sublime quality but it came as no surprise to Joe Skarz, who starred alongside Tavernier, as part of a promotion-winning Rotherham United side in 2014.

“Every single day after every single training session he’d be out practising his free kicks,” he said.

“Sometimes he’d take 10 and sometimes he’d take 40. He was always out there. He would practice with a couple of lads to try and whip them in the top corner. If you were in the gym he’d be out practising free kicks and penalties. It’s proof in the pudding, his set pieces are exceptional. It’s a testament to him really and the work that he’s done.

“He’s one of those players who just loves being out playing football, he’s football mad.”

Tavernier’s stint at the South Yorkshire outfit was his sixth loan but Skarz says it was the one that helped shape him into the player he is today.

“I think the loan move at Rotherham did him the world of good. He played under Steve Evans who had a bit of a different kind of management style and he was massive for us in terms of his ability going forward and scoring goals and setting up goals.

“I think he’ll say himself, his loan at Rotherham was when the penny dropped for him. He really matured and came into his own. He had quite a lot of loan spells before that where it didn’t go as well as the one at Rotherham did.

“He came in and hit the ground running and he was a massive part of the reason why we got promoted that season and from then on he’s gone from strength to strength.

“I’ve watched James quite a lot and he’s still the same player. He used to push on too much at times but that was one of his biggest assets as a player, his ability to go forward. I think at times, in that loan spell, he’ll probably be the first to admit it, he did get caught out defensively. He needed that loan to develop in that area of his game and he has done.”

Rangers Review:

Tavernier will rightly receive the adulation and praise for reaching the 100-goal milestone but the Rangers skippers' success can be credited in large parts to a key family member, as Abbott explained.

“His mum deserves a great deal of credit and I think Tav would be the first to admit that,” he said. “We talk about the players all the time but the work that she put in and the commitment that the family made was incredible. Now she’s hopefully reaping the rewards.

“Because I’ve known him from such a young age, he saw me as someone he could trust and rely on. His mum was always asking, ‘Is he doing okay? Is he behaving himself?’

“‘Yeah, he’s doing smashing, just leave him to me.’

“She said, ‘That’s my worry, leaving him to you!’ But he’d stay on the straight and narrow regardless of what I’d do.

“I met him when I was watching his brother a couple of seasons ago at Middlesbrough. I went into the players' bar and he was there. He came over and sat with me and his mum and we had a great catch-up. It was smashing that he still spoke to me in the same manner and same respect. Upbringing means everything. You won’t find too many people saying bad things about Tav certainly as a player but definitely as a person.”

Skarz shares a similar tale of Tavernier – the man and says Rangers possess a captain who leads by example.

“Rather than a shouter and a bawler, I think it's more that players follow him in high performance,” he said.

“He leads by going, ‘Do you know what, just follow me on how I play, how I want to get on the football and how I drive the intensity of the game.’ That’s one of his main strengths.

“I saw him the day before my friend’s wedding in Cheshire a few years ago. He took time out to talk to me and my misses. I think that sums him up as a person, he’s a real down-to-earth, humble human being.”

Abbott has lent a helping hand to several household names in British football during his time at Elland Road and in James Tavernier, he has earned his place amongst some prestigious company.

“We had Jonny Howson, Aaron Lennon, Fabien Delph and Tav all coming through at Leeds as young kids,” he said.

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“You think they’ve all got a chance of making it and they all went on to have special careers. I’d put it down to the work they put in and the effort and commitment they showed. We just helped to guide them.

“I’ve got Aaron Lennon’s shirt on my wall when he played for Tottenham against Carlisle and it takes pride of place in my dining room. Little things like that make you go, ‘Do you know what the young boys actually appreciate the help you gave them along the journey.’

“To make it to the top you have to be really self-acquitted. It’s a tough journey and they make it because they deserve to make it because of all the work they put in.”

He may not have a Tavernier shirt to hang up on his wall but Abbott isn’t giving up just yet.

“Just tell Tav, I’m a bit disappointed,” he joked. "It’s the only one I haven’t got but I had Aaron for two or three seasons whereas Tav I only had him on a short loan. Maybe I didn’t do enough to earn his shirt. He’d laugh at that!”

Abbott may not have earned his shirt but Tavernier has undoubtedly earned his place in the pantheon of Rangers greats.

A Hall of Fame induction followed by becoming just the 18th player to score 100 goals for this footballing institution is a testament to the graft and belief a young lad from Bradford has displayed throughout his footballing career.