IT is with deep regret that Rangers Football Club has confirmed the death of Light Blues legend Sandy Jardine.
Sandy had been battling bravely against cancer for the past 18 months and was a regular visitor to Ibrox until a short time ago but he sadly passed away peacefully tonight surrounded by his family.
Rangers has lost a man of dignity, class and honour tonight and the thoughts of everyone at the Club are with his wife Shona, children Steven and Nicola, his grandchildren and friends.
Rangers Manager Ally McCoist commented: “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.”
Chief Executive Graham Wallace commented: “Sandy Jardine epitomised everything that is good about Rangers Football Club. 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.
“On behalf of everyone at Rangers I wish to send my sincere condolences to Sandy’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
The term legend is often overused when applied to sporting heroes, but it certainly applies to Rangers great Sandy who gave five decades of service to the Club first as a player and then when he returned to Ibrox in a non-playing role.
A truly world class fullback who was a credit to the Club with his elegant, strong, fast and fair play during his days featuring on the hallowed Ibrox turf, was twice Player of the Year in Scotland and a key man in the Club’s Treble-winning teams of 1976 and 1978.
A hero in Light Blue, Jardine also featured in two World Cups, winning 38 caps for Scotland and made almost 800 appearances for Rangers scoring 77 goals in the process.
He won three League Championships with Rangers, five Scottish Cups, five League Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972 and is rightly regarded as one of the greatest Rangers players of the post-war era.
His contribution to Rangers since his return in the late 90s was just as significant as he epitomised the dignity, class, history, standards and traditions that are the hallmarks of this 142 year old institution.
Sandy played a key role in almost every area of the Club and he had a galvanising effect on the staff at Ibrox and Murray Park. He was instrumental in keeping spirits high within the staff and fighting for their views to be heard during administration and has the admiration and respect of every employee.
Sandy was also the first face any new player would meet when they joined Rangers, the man who would look after their day to day wellbeing and take them up the Marble Staircase for the first time, to instil the values and tradition of the Club.
He was key in the creation of the Rangers Hall of Fame, he looked after the Club’s memorabilia which includes the Trophy Room and Club Archives, he was on the Board of the Rangers Youth Development Fund, a key member of the Former Rangers Players’ Benevolent Fund and the driving force behind the Rangers Fans’ Fighting Fund which was launched during the dark days of administration.
Such was his affinity with supporters, he also led a march of thousands of Rangers fans to Hampden Park during administration to protest at the sanctions imposed on the Club that threatened its very existence at that time.
A Rangers legend in every sense, Sandy will be missed by everyone who knew him.