Obituary: Andy Jardine, footballer, bowler, printer and salesman

Andy Jardine: Defender honoured by Scottish football for a decade of service to Dumbarton FC
Andy Jardine: Defender honoured by Scottish football for a decade of service to Dumbarton FC
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Born: 25 November, 1935, in Paisley. Died: 4 July, 2014, in Paisley, aged 78

Andy Jardine, who was one of Dumbarton Football Club’s longest serving players, has died in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, aged 78.

His death was announced with deep sadness by the club on Friday, 11 July, and was received with genuine regret by the team’s supporters of a bygone era.

Jardine held the record for most league appearances in a Sons’ shirt, which was 298, and his total of 364 games, including 66 cup ties, made him third in the all-time list behind midfielder Johnny Graham and goalkeeper Lawrie Williams.

He made his debut against Stranraer on 10 August, 1957, in a 3-1 defeat at Stair Park in the Scottish League Cup.

His first game at the Sons’ old Boghead stadium was the following week, in the same competition against Dundee United.

Jardine was part of a legendary full-back partnership with Tommy Govan, which first lined up for Sons in the final game of that 1957 season against Forfar Athletic at Station Park.

The duo played together for almost a decade, a total of 309 appearances, and their last game together was on 11 March, 1967, in a 1-1 draw against Arbroath at Gayfield Park.

Andy’s final game for the Sons was a historic match in April 1967, when Dumbarton defeated Third Lanark 5-1 at Boghead in what turned out to be the now defunct Cathkin Park club’s last ever game.

Third Lanark folded during that close season due to crippling debts.

Despite the fact Dumbarton had held an esteemed position in the history of the formation of Scottish football, they could not compete with Celtic and Rangers – and to a lesser extent Queen’s Park – for supporters in the South Side of Glasgow.

Former Dumbarton Lennox Herald sports editor Jim McGhee, now based in Hong Kong, remembers that last match well.

He said: “I always went to Dumbarton’s matches but this one was special because my big brother, John, was playing centre half for Sons that day and it was to be Andy Jardine’s last game.

“Andy was an excellent player and a great servant to the club. He had been at Boghead for more than ten years and was a big favourite with the fans.

“There was another Dumbarton link with that match through the fact that Drew Busby, who had signed for Third Lanark from Vale of Leven, and who later played for Hearts and Airdrie, scored a last-minute consolation goal for his team.”

After that last game Andy Jardine and his colleague, Tommy Govan, became victims of a club youth policy introduced by manager Willie Toner and were given free transfers by Sons.

Jardine had been signed by a previous manager, Peter McGown, back in 1957 and made the number three black and gold jersey his own almost exclusive possession.

Had it not been for the club’s inability to win cup ties, it is probable that he would have held the all-time appearance record.

Jardine’s retirement did not go unrecognised, however, and he and Govan, who became known as “the Boghead twins”, were the recipients of special presentations from the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association for their long-service and devotion to a single club.

Scotland and Celtic’s legendary manager, Jock Stein, presented both Jardine and Govan with trophies at a dinner to mark their retirement.

The guest speaker that night was another former Scotland manager, Tommy Docherty, who two years earlier had agreed to bring his Chelsea side to Boghead for a joint testimonial match for the two players. Regrettably, Chelsea’s FA Cup commitments forced its postponement and that game was never played.

Jardine set out in his working life as an apprentice printer with the Co-op in Govan and became a salesman for a time with a food manufacturer before joining Rolls Royce at Hillington.

He played football for the works team there before eventually becoming their manager.

Jardine was also a keen bowler and he pursued his other sporting love at the Abercorn Bowling Club in Paisley.

He married Marion in 1960 at Govan Parish Church and the couple celebrated their golden wedding in 2010.

She survives him, as do their two children, Andy and Alison, their spouses and three grandchildren.

Andy Jardine’s funeral took place on Friday at Woodside Crematorium in Paisley.

A Dumbarton FC spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with Andy’s family at this sad time. He was a loyal servant to the club for many years and highly popular with the supporters.”