GLASGOW: Sandy Jardine, the former Rangers, Hearts and Scotland defender, has died at 65 after an 18-month battle against cancer.

Edinburgh-born Jardine began his career with Rangers in 1965 and made more than 600 appearances for the Ibrox side. He played 38 times for Scotland.

As well as playing in Rangers’ European Cup-winners Cup triumph in 1972, the full-back won three top-flight titles, five Scottish Cups and five Scottish League Cups with Rangers. He was twice voted Scotland’s player of the year – at the ages of 26 and 37.

A move to Hearts followed in 1982 and, along with former Rangers team-mate Alex MacDonald, he was joint manager at Tynecastle between 1986 and 1988.

Under their command, the Edinburgh club lost out on the Scottish title to Celtic on the final day of the 1985-86 season.

Current Rangers manager Ally McCoist said: “He was respected not only by Rangers fans but also the wider football community and he is a huge loss to the game.

“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.”

Campbell Ogilvie, the Scottish FA President, added his condolences. “I am extremely saddened by the news of Sandy’s passing,” he said.

“I have known him for more than 40 years and found him to be as warm and courteous off the field as he was reliable and elegant on it.

“As well as being a talisman for both Rangers and Heart of Midlothian during an illustrious and enduring playing career, he was also a terrific servant to the Scotland national team.”