Hearts legend Jim Jefferies suffers serious heart attack while playing golf at Gullane

Jim Jefferies is reported to have stopped breathing
Jim Jefferies is reported to have stopped breathing
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Former Hearts manager Jim Jefferies is recovering from a serious heart attack which he suffered while on the golf course on Monday.

The 68-year-old collapsed while playing at Gullane, and is believed to have stopped breathing en route to hospital, before paramedics resuscitated him during the ambulance journey. Jefferies, who captained Hearts during the 1970s and, as manager, led the club to Scottish Cup glory in 1998, was said to have responded well to treatment and was tonight sitting up in bed eating tea and toast. Having signed for Hearts as a 16-year-old from Gorgie Hearts youth team in 1967, Jefferies went on to become a legend of the Tynecastle club. He made more than 300 appearances, playing adeptly at full-back and in central defence, and he also had spells as a defensive midfielder.

He played in the 1976 Scottish Cup final, but finished on the losing side as Hearts were defeated 3-1 by Rangers.

Jefferies left Hearts in 1981 to spend two years with Berwick Rangers before hanging up his boots and embarking on a managerial career. He returned to Shielfield Park following an “apprenticeship” with Gala Fairydean in the East of Scotland League. The “wee Rangers” were going through a miserable spell when he picked up the reins, but he revived the struggling team and led them on a club record run of 21 matches undefeated.

In 1990, he moved to Falkirk, and guided the Bairns to the Scottish First Division title in his first full season, repeating the feat in 1994.

The following year he began the first of his two spells as manager of Hearts, a five-year stint during which he reached the pinnacle of his career, his team lifting the Scottish Cup by defeating Rangers 2-1 in the final at Parkhead, ending the club’s 36-year spell without a trophy.

Jefferies departed Tynecastle in 1995 for Bradford City but, following spells at Valley Parade and at Kilmarnock, he returned to Edinburgh in January 2010 to begin his second period as manager of Hearts, where he was appointed only a few hours after the dismissal of Csaba Laszlo. This time, it was to end abruptly, as he was sacked after only two matches of the 2011-12 season.

In 2012, Jefferies became manager of Dunfermline Athletic though his two-year reign was blighted by financial turmoil at the Fife club.

Since 2017, he has been the sporting director at Edinburgh City.