Who was Sandy Jardine?
He signed for the Gers in 1964. Purchased as a midfielder, Sandy spent a couple of years in the B team before making his first-team debut aged 18 in a 5–1 division win at home to Hearts on 4 February 1967.
Sandy played in various defensive roles as he became a regular under head coach Davie White, even as a striker, before finally settling as a right-back at the start of the 1970–71 campaign under new manager Willie Waddell. The role was where Jardine went on to make the bulk of his 674 matches for the club.
He won his first major title in 1970, the Gers beating Celtic 1–0 in the Scottish League Cup Final. The following year he was an ever-present in the Gers side which reached the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final, featuring in all eight games en route to the final.
Sandy went on to help his team win the final, defeating Moscow Dynamo 3–2 at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain. From 27 April 1972 until 30 August 1975, he didn’t miss a single game for the club and played in 171 consecutive matches for Rangers.
In 1974–75, Sandy helped Rangers lift their first Scottish league trophy in 11 years and his showings were acknowledged by the Scottish Football Writers’ Association, who voted Sandy their Player of the Year. He was an important part of the Rangers sides that won the domestic treble (1975-76 and 1977-78).
By the early 1980s, the club were in decline, and 33-year-old Sandy was reluctantly given a free transfer to Hearts in mid-1982 by boss John Greig. John allowed Jardine to leave because of his long service and his stated wish to end his professional career at the club.
Jardine joined Hearts, the club Sandy had supported as a child, back in 1982. Hearts gained promotion in the 1982–83 season and became a competitive force in the Premier Division, finishing fifth in their first campaign back in the highest division and qualifying for the UEFA Cup.
Still playing frequently, Jardine was a key part of the side that almost won the Scottish league championship in the 1985–86 term.
During the term, Sandy made his 1000th professional appearance on 16 November 1985 in a league game at home against Rangers. His displays that season saw Jardine win the Scottish Football Writers Association Player of the Year award one more time, aged 37.
He was the first player to win the award with two different clubs and the second player to win the award more than once.