Sandy Jardine

By Adam Robertson
 September 30, 2020

Sandy Jardine - Saved Our Club

Sandy Jardine - Saved Our Club

When I was asked to do this there was only one player I considered and it was Sandy Jardine.

I wasn’t born until 1984 but I have my Dad, my Grandfather, my Uncles and my Dads friends to thank for educating me on Sandy and also my good friend John Cowden who joined me on Heart and Hand earlier this year to talk about Sandy, the notes from which form the basis of this piece of writing. 

William Pullar Jardine (he was given the moniker 'Sandy' because of his crop of hair of the same colour) won several honours with Rangers, including two trebles in 1976 and 1978, and won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972. He won 38 caps for Scotland and played in the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. 

These aren’t my memories as I never lived through them but they are the ones that others have brought to life for me. 

In 1967 Rangers got to the Cup Winners cup final. Incidentally we got there by playing the same number of games as we played in 2019 just to qualify for the Europa League. This amazingly was the same campaign we progressed to the semis by a coin toss. 

In the final we faced Bayern Munich of West Germany and match took place at the in Nuremberg in front of a crowd of 69,480.  The match finished 0–0 over 90 minutes & Rangers had a goal disallowed during regulation time. In extra time, Bayern scored through Franz Roth and the match ended 1–0. It was Bayern's first European trophy.

That Bayern line-up contained some of the finest German players of all time Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller and they just beat us, they just got it over the line. We came so close but finished the season with nothing and witnessing it all in his first full season in the first team was 18 year old Sandy Jardine. 

In April of 1972 we would play Bayern again this time in the Cup Winners Cup Semi Final. This time Sandy was 5 years wiser and played in all 8 games in competition.  He got some revenge on Bayern scoring one of the best goals you’ll ever see against them and just a week later he was a European Cup Winners Cup winner in Barcelona. 

In September of 1973 a time when supporting Rangers and Scotland was synonymous he played a part in Scotland getting to their first World Cup in a generation. A stage he fully deserved to play on. 

Back at Rangers though he was doing even more important things. In season 74/75 he helped us to win the final Scottish Football League Division One title before it was rebranded as the Scottish Premier Division.  A nice title to win though all the sweeter when you realise it also stopped Celtic's quest for ten-in-a-row. Sandy played every game that season 42 matches, scoring 14 goals. 

It would be remiss of me not to mention this other moment from August of 1979. When you hear the words Drybrough Cup Final you think of the late great Davie Cooper juggling the ball over Celtic defenders heads before scoring and rightly so. However that wasn’t the only great goal that day. Sandy also scored an absolutely wonderful goal and although that day will always be Cooper’s as was often the case Sandy wasn’t too far behind. 

Sandy lifted his last trophy with Rangers as Captain against Dundee United  in League Cup final of 1981.  This competition was our only success in a season that saw Sandy play 52 out of 55 games. 
Rangers won the match 2–1 thanks to goals by Davie Cooper and Ian Redford but it was Sandy who held the trophy aloft first, his 14th major honour as a Ranger.  His medal collection included the cup winners cup, 3 championships, 5 Scottish cups and 5 league cups. 

After 17 years at the club and making 685 appearances for Rangers (only John Greig has played more often for Rangers in the post-war era), Sandy left Rangers in the summer of 1982 and joined up with former team-mate Alex MacDonald at Hearts.

He played on for another 6 seasons there and even won player of the year as well as helping Hearts gain promotion in 1982–83 and became a competitive force in the Premier Division, finishing fifth in their first season back in the top division and qualifying for the UEFA Cup. It was at Hearts where he made his 1000th professional appearance on 16th November 1985 in a league match fittingly against Rangers. 

Few players earn legend status at 2 different clubs and it’s an indication of how special he was that he did that not just at Rangers but also at Hearts. 

Sandy would find his way back to Ibrox working for the clubs in a public relations capacity and then in the retail department as the club's sales and marketing manager. Who doesn’t remember the recorded phone calls from Sandy urging you to buy your tickets? 

I mentioned earlier that Sandy was a legend and I say that quire confidently despite never seeing him play myself. The thing is Sandy would be a legend even if he has never kicked a ball for the club for the work he did to save our club and lead the fight against those that tried to harm us.  

No greater example of this is the The march of the 10,000 when he led us to the gates of Hampden to protest over the SFA’s treatment of us.  It’s a mark of the man he was that the March passed without a single arrest and Police Scotland actually praising the behaviour of the fans. Sandy simply wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

It’s well known that the team of the 70's would gave their all for the club even in the darkest of times, Sandy took those learnings seriously and was still implementing them 5 decades later at a time when he was actually suffering quite badly health wise but nobody knew. 
Jardine died on 24 April 2014, aged 65. Our Govan Stand is a lasting tribute to the wonderful and brilliant man. 

We as a club are coming up to 150 years of history.  We will have countless people to celebrate, remember and raise a glass to when the time comes and for me I can’t wait to raise mine for Sandy.  

If you want to hear more about Sandy from someone who watched him most weeks check out the show I mentioned earlier with John Cowden on Heart and Hand as without it this piece of writing wouldn’t exist. 

Colin McMillan - @atcolin

Rangers fc charity foundation - legends challenge

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