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Sandy Jardine

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From the Daily Record:

 

Sandy Jardine: I battled to save Rangers.. now I'm battling to save my own life

IBROX legend Sandy Jardine has spoken openly for the first time about his battle with cancer, the fight to save the club and his disgust at the stars who walked out.

THE 64-year-old played a major role in stabilising the club after Rangers went into liquidation but now he has another fight on his hands as he battles cancer.

 

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SANDY JARDINE spent 2012 battling desperately to save the club he loves.

The Rangers legend will spend this year fighting to save his life.

After playing a major role helping the Ibrox outfit emerge from the blackest of black holes and guiding them through the ignominy of liquidation, Jardine was hit by another crushing blow in November.

The 64-year-old’s world was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with cancer of the throat and liver.

And this time it really was life or death.

As one of the greatest ever players to don the Light Blue jersey, defeat was never a word in Jardine’s vocabulary and it is not something he’s contemplating as he braces himself for his toughest challenge.

Despite surviving a two-week stint in intensive care and being in the middle of a gruelling and draining course of chemotherapy, the former defender is determinedly upbeat and optimistic about the future.

Jardine was uplifted by the role the Rangers fans played in the club’s survival and admits they have been a real source of inspiration in recent weeks.

He has been inundated with cards and messages of support including a touching letter from Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell.

 

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His first goal was to get back on his feet after spending over a month in a hospital bed.

Now his next is to make a return to Ibrox to personally thank the fans who chant his name and applaud in the second minute (a tribute to the number he wore on his back during his 18 years as a player) of every home match.

Jardine said: “I hope to get back to Ibrox before the end of the season. That is one of my big aims.

“You need to set yourself targets and that is mine.

“I mainly want to say thanks for the incredible support I have had from all the staff and the supporters.

Rangers fans march to Hampden is one of the proudest moments of my life, says Ibrox legend Sandy Jardine  

“I have not been to Ibrox yet but I hear the fans clap on two minutes every week which is very, very humbling. I’m really grateful for things like that because it has given me a real lift.

“When I was in hospital my wife kept all the letters and I have read every one of them.

“There were hundreds and hundreds of them but I just don’t have the energy yet to reply.

“I have had so many inspiring letters and I got a tremendous one from Peter Lawwell at Celtic, which was a really nice touch.â€

Jardine also owes a huge debt of gratitude to club doctor Paul Jackson. Indeed, if it hadn’t been for the Ibrox medic he shudders to think what the outcome might have been.

Jackson was also responsible for saving the life of Celtic great Murdo MacLeod after spotting he had a life-threatening heart condition. And he was again alert to the seriousness of Jardine’s situation.

Jardine said: “It came completely out of the blue. Last November I had a sore throat and went to see Paul, our club doctor.

“He spotted I had swollen glands but also noticed another little lump and arranged for it to be checked out.

“I went to see a specialist who took a biopsy and within a week he came back to me with the bad news.

“I have to admit I was taken aback, especially when they discovered I also had secondary cancer of the liver.

“I know a lot of people are criticising the National Health but they have been absolutely fantastic.

“I couldn’t speak highly enough of the doctors and nurses who have been treating me.â€

After overcoming the shock of his diagnosis and an initial liver operation, Jardine’s life was placed in even greater danger when he developed an infection and was rushed into intensive care.

Matter of factly he says: “Because of the severity they had to treat my liver first so I had 80 per cent of it taken away. But the liver recovers.

“Unfortunately I got an infection and I had to spend 12 days in the high dependency unit.

“I then had another four weeks in hospital but I am at home now and trying to get back on my feet. I’m in a battle and while it is so far so good there is a bit still to go.

“I have had the first phase of my chemo and I start the next phase next Wednesday. It leaves me extremely tired but it is not as if I have any choice in the matter.

“The doctors just told me I was very unlucky. I’m not a smoker and only a very occasional drinker.

“When I asked the doctors how I’d got the cancer they said it had probably come from a virus.

“I don’t think the added pressure from the Rangers situation had anything to do with it. “

In a typically unselfish manner, Jardine is keen to play down the seriousness of his plight and genuinely appears more concerned for the Rangers support than they are for him. It goes without saying the past 12 months have been the worst of his life and while both he and Rangers have long fights on their hands he is confident they will both emerge victorious.

He added: “I was maybe a figurehead for the club along with Ally McCoist during our troubles but, behind the scenes, the rest of the staff and the fans were absolutely brilliant.

“They all deserve a medal for everything they put up with. The players will get one for winning the league but the staff and the fans should get one as well.

“People have got to remember we have just started this journey. And while we will get back into the SPL, we need to make sure we compete with Celtic when we do.

“That is a long way off and there is a long road to go. But. I’m very positive, with the supporters behind us, we will get there.â€
 

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More on the march to Hampden referred to above:

 

Rangers fans march to Hampden is one of the proudest moments of my life, says Ibrox legend Sandy Jardine

SANDY JARDINE led the 8000-strong fans march to the national stadium in protest at the SFA sanctions they believed could kill off their stricken club.

 

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SANDY JARDINE was part of Rangers’ famous European Cup Winner’s Cup triumph in Barcelona.

During a glittering career for club and country the defender played at a World Cup Finals and made over 500 appearances for the Ibrox men.

He also won a stack of domestic honours during 18 trophy-laden seasons with Rangers including two historic trebles in the seventies.

But the 64-year-old says leading a protest march of fans after the club’s descent into administration last year ranks as one of his proudest ever moments.

Jardine, who is battling liver and throat cancer, was the forefront of Rangers’ survival fight and became a fans’ figurehead as the club teetered on the brink in the wake of Craig Whyte’s wrecking spree.
Rangers legend Sandy Jardine: I battled to save the club now I am battling to save my life  
Sandy Jardine's plea for fans to be patient with Ally

He was in the front line as an 8000-strong group marched to Hampden in protest at the SFA sanctions they believed could kill off their stricken club.

Following administration it was the public show of strength that convinced the Ibrox ambassador Rangers would never die.

 

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Jardine said: “I felt so much for all the workers at Ibrox because they were in a total state of shock after we went into administration.

“But given the incredible support the club has always had and its stature I was always
confident we would pull through.

“It really hit home to me that we’d be all right when we marched to Hampden back in April.

“The idea came from a group of young Rangers fans who arranged a committee on the Friday night and had the whole thing organised by the Saturday.

“To be honest it’s one of my proudest moments during my time at Ibrox – and I’ve been there, give or take a year or two since 1964.

 

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“To lead that march was a tremendous feeling and I was honoured and privileged.

“There were around 8000 people in the march and the same number on the street supporting us.

“After that I had no qualms the club would survive with everybody behind us. Given the passion and the size of our support there was no doubt.

“Probably only Celtic fans, because they have the same backing and support, would understand and have an inkling about what we went through.â€

Valentine’s Day will mark the one-year anniversary of Rangers going bust yet time has done little to heal the rift between the Glasgow giants and the footballing authorities. There is no love lost between Rangers and both the SPL and the SFA due to what Jardine believes was a total dereliction of duty from the Hampden beaks.

The Ibrox legend understands, to a degree, the ill-feeling from other clubs. Yet the perceived vindictiveness from the SFA is something he’ll never be able to get his head around.

He said: “I can understand why there was some negative feeling towards the club.

“If Rangers are successful most years and denying other clubs then supporters can get vitriolic.

“Maybe they seen this as a chance to get revenge and there’s no doubt some were vindictive.

“Even if you don’t happen to support Rangers you still have to understand they are a huge part of Scottish football.

“If you don’t have a successful Rangers you don’t have a successful Scottish football.

“You have to put your petty jealousies out of the way.

“There’s no doubt in my mind the SFA and SPL treated us abysmally. If you look down south at Portsmouth, they went into administration about the same time as Rangers.

“They were getting help from their FA but I don’t think one person from the authorities stepped forward to help us.

“To leave us hanging until the day before the season started before giving a licence and the associated constraints was out of order.

“The players, staff, manager and supporters did nothing wrong. We had one person who raped our club and we are paying the cost.â€

Jardine has helped raise millions of pounds after launching the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund along with Walter Smith.

The money has been ploughed back into the club in an effort to replace the fortunes plundered by Whyte and his cohorts.

From the outset Jardine was suspicious of the controversial businessman and his motives.

He said: “It wasn’t a real surprise where the club was heading under Whyte because there were huge concerns before he came in.

“The old board had flagged them up and the way he immediately started to act quickly added to those concerns.

“He was so secretive and kept everything close to his chest.

“He decapitated the club by getting rid of all the directors and was running it himself. There were so many rumours flying about but it was difficult trying to get some proof of any wrongdoing.

“When he first arrived I went in to introduce myself and to tell him what I did.

“His body language after two minutes told me he wasn’t bloody interested.

“It left me feeling I shouldn’t have bothered my backside.

“I really sensed something was up when he was hawking about Nikica Jelavic in a desperate bid to get money in the January transfer window.

“It beggars belief that he was willing to sell him so cheaply at £5million when he was clearly worth double that.

“While it wasn’t completely unexpected it still came as a shock when it was announced we were going into administration.

“I became involved with the fans and the fighting fund because my
over-riding thought was just to make sure the club survived no matter what we had to go through.

“There were things that needed to be said and because I’d been at the club so long I felt it was my duty to step forward.

“I was prepared to do anything to save the club.â€

Jardine feels Rangers are now heading in the right direction under Charles Green but he has already warned the new supremo he will have no hesitation speaking out if he senses all is not as it should be.

He added: “I really hope we now have the right people at the helm. I really do.

“However, as I said to Mr Green on the first day he came in. I told him I would get behind him, back him and support him as much as I possibly could.

“But I also said to him that if I seen him doing anything wrong then I would tell everybody.

“Obviously the fans and every person at the club are hugely apprehensive after everything that happened with Whyte.

“However, so far Charles has been good for Rangers and he has fought the corner of the club.

“In many ways he is voicing what the supporters feel.

“He has built up a good relationship with the fans and he tells it how it is.

“Things are now going well and hopefully they can continue in the same vein.â€
 

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Guest RFC_CFC

We are all thinking of Sandy and cannot wait till he's back in his rightful place in Ibrox.

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Sandy Jardine is one of my favourite ever Rangers players, right up there with Davie Cooper, Derek Johnstone and Ally McCoist. Really hope he retains the strength to fight this disease and come out on top. Sandy Jardine - Rangers legend!

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