sport

Rangers legend Jardine dies

Former Scotland and Rangers defender Sandy Jardine has died at the age of 65.

The European Cup Winners' Cup-winning full-back was among the Ibrox side's most decorated servants after spending five decades involved with the Gers, first as a player and then in a non-playing club role.

Jardine - capped 38 times at international level - was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago.

He made his Scotland debut against Denmark in 1970 and played in all three group matches during the 1974 World Cup finals in West Germany, where he and Celtic's Danny McGrain would be voted the competition's best full-backs.

He also featured in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and skippered the Dark Blues on nine occasions.

During his Ibrox stint, he won three league championships, five Scottish Cups and five League Cups but the finest moment of his career was undoubtedly Rangers' 1972 Cup Winners' Cup final victory over Dynamo Moscow in Barcelona.

The Edinburgh-born defender was also appointed co-manager of Hearts alongside former Light Blues team-mate Alex MacDonald in 1986.

The duo came within three goals of leading the Jambos to the Scottish title, only to lose out in dramatic fashion to Celtic after a infamous last-day defeat to Dundee.

While MacDonald ran the team from the sidelines, Jardine was still turning out as a player and, aged 38, he was named Scotland's player of the year for the second time, 11 years after he had claimed the prize whilst playing for Rangers.

His Light Blues association resumed after his three-year spell in charge at Tynecastle, when he returned to work in the Rangers' PR and retail divisions.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist said: "There have been many great names associated with Rangers Football Club in our 142 year history and Sandy is a Rangers legend in every sense of the word.

"We are all devastated by the news he has passed away, we have lost a great man today.

"I had the privilege of watching Sandy playing for Rangers when I was a young boy, I had enjoyed the pleasure of working with him closely since I returned to the club in 2007 and he was a truly remarkable human being.

"His achievements both on and off the pitch are second to none and I was honoured to regard him as a friend. He gave everything for this great club and worked tirelessly in a number of roles because he wanted to ensure the traditions, history and standards at Rangers were maintained.

"He was respected not only by Rangers fans but also the wider football community and he is a huge loss to the game. We will never see his like again in the modern era.

"He recently told me he was proud to be a Ranger and wanted to be remembered forever as a Ranger. Well Sandy you will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time and we will miss you terribly.

"It is a very sad day for everyone associated with Rangers and our thoughts are with his wife Shona, his children Steven and Nicola, his grandchildren and the rest of his family and friends."

Former Rangers boss Walter Smith also said: "He was a gentleman and someone I always felt privileged and honoured to know."

Tributes also came from across the Glasgow divide, with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell saying: "This is absolutely devastating news and our thoughts and prayers are very much with Sandy's wife Shona, his children Steven and Nicola, and the wider family.

"Sandy was a tremendous servant to Rangers Football Club and to Scottish football for so many years. He was a very fine man and it was a privilege to know him. Sandy was widely respected right across the game and he will be sadly missed by us all."

Former Ibrox colleague Sir Alex Ferguson also responded to Jardine's passing, saying: "From Cathy and I, this is some of the worst news we have heard. Sandy was a noble and courageous man. The respect he is held in at Rangers is immense.