McCoist’s shot – heading wide – struck the back of his team-mate, Trevor Steven, and spun past van der Gouw in the United goal.
Rangers’ supreme fitness told in the final 20 minutes and McCoist, Rangers’ all-time highest goalscorer, netted another when his free-kick snuck in at the near post.
Alex Rae then rounded out the scoring on 86 minutes when he burst forward, combined with Brian Laudrup and fired a low shot past van der Gouw to make it 4-1.
Of course, the scoreline was largely immaterial on a day when two of Britain’s most successful clubs came together to use football to raise funds for those less fortunate.
United: van der Gouw; Martin, Berg, Dublin, Irwin; Blackmore, Johnsen, Fortune, Sharpe; Yorke, Beardsley
Subs: Anderson, May, Robson, Thomas
Rangers: Goram; Konterman, Amoruso, Gouh, Numan; McCall, Rae, Albertz, Novo; Mols, Laudrup
Subs: Andrews, Durie, McCoist, Hateley, McCall, Steven, McSwegan