Rangers legend Sandy Jardine dies
Former Rangers defender Sandy Jardine has died at the age of 65, the club have confirmed.
The European Cup Winners' Cup-winning full-back was among the Ibrox side's most decorated servants. He is survived by his wife Shona, children Steven and Nicola as well as several grandchildren.
Jardine, a 38-time capped Scotland international, was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago.
"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," said Rangers boss Ally McCoist. "We are all devastated with 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."
McCoist added that Jardine's achievements both on and off the pitch were second to none and that he gave everything for the Rangers club and worked tirelessly in a number of roles because he wanted to ensure the traditions, history and standards at Rangers were maintained. Jardine was respected not only by Rangers fans but also the wider football community and his passing is a huge loss to the game.
"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," said McCoist.
As well as representing the Ibrox outfit almost 800 times, 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.
Jardine 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. Jardine also featured in the 1974 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.
His association with the Glasgow giants resumed after his three-year spell in charge at Tynecastle, when returned to work in the Rangers' PR and retail divisions.
"Sandy Jardine epitomised everything that is good about Rangers Football Club," said Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace. "He was a man of principle and class and his contribution during his career both on and off the pitch was truly remarkable. He was a credit to the club for decades and in my meetings with him his dignity, class and love for Rangers shone through."
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. He was one of the greatest players ever to wear the jersey. To Shona and family, we express our sympathy and sadness."
On Twitter, current Rangers player Steven Smith added: "Strong, proud, loyal and dignified. He is everything a Ranger should be. Rest in peace Sandy Jardine." And winger David Templeton added: "RIP Sandy Jardine absolute legend of a man."