ALEX MacDonald has expressed his eternal gratitude to long-time friend Sandy Jardine after reclaiming the most precious memento of his football life and went on to insist that Jardine must have a key role in the renaissance of Rangers.
On 24 May 1972, MacDonald and Jardine were part of the Rangers team that won the European Cup Winners’ Cup, beating Moscow Dynamo 3-2 in Barcelona. MacDonald always wore his medal around his neck but was shattered when a street thug ripped it away in Benidorm in the summer. Jardine, despite his own battle with cancer, made arrangements for Uefa to strike a replica, paid for by the Kirkintilloch Rangers Supporters Club, of which MacDonald is a member.
“It’s unbelievable,” said MacDonald. “I wore this medal for 40 years and I was sick when it was stolen but this is a fantastic gesture from Sandy and the Kirkintilloch boys and I can’t thank them enough.”
MacDonald also spent eight years with Jardine at Hearts and came agonisingly close to a League and Cup double in 1986, would dearly love to see his old friend have a key role at Rangers as he did before his illness.
He said: “I phone Sandy every week and there were times I could hardly hear him talk because his voice was so weak. But as time went on his voice got stronger.
“We’ve had a long relationship – twelve years at Rangers and eight years at Tynecastle – and he’s one of the best.
“You need a Sandy Jardine. He’s in touch with everybody. It’s important to have someone like him at a club. He’s the one who’s stood up there and it’s been very difficult at times, because he’s not top level or on the board and he’s only got so much information. I would love to see him back but his health has to come first.”
Jardine himself craves stability at Rangers and hopes that the path to calmer times at the club will begin at the 19 December agm. He said: “Whoever takes the club, the fans deserve somebody who is going to take this club back to what it was.
“We’re a club who always did things correctly. We’ve got standards.
“We’ve got a fantastic history and heritage, which makes us different to any other club. We want to get back to that, do things right. And we want to rebuild bridges, particularly within the Scottish game.
“There are people that we feel really put the boot into us but that’s in the past and we have to build bridges for the benefit of Rangers Football Club, get back to where we were.
“You have to draw a line and move forward. I will always remember what certain people did to our club. You can’t forget that.
“Now that two other clubs, Hearts and Dunfermline, are in bother – and maybe other clubs in the future will have hard times – hopefully, we can rise above it and help them.”