ALLY McCoist dedicated Rangers’ Scottish League One title win to Sandy Jardine following their 3-0 win over Stranraer at Ibrox.
Skipper Lee McCulloch was presented with the trophy after the match but the celebrations were tinged with sadness following the death of the former Gers and Scotland full-back who lost his battle with cancer on Thursday night at the age of 65, latterly having worked behind the scenes at the club.
Goals from Fraser Aird, Arnold Peralta and Dean Shiels kept McCoist’s side unbeaten in the league with one game remaining.
The former Rangers striker, a team-mate of Jardine, said: “Sandy unfurled the (bottom tier championship) flag (at the beginning of the season) and on Thursday night when the news came in, it was tough for everyone.
“So without doubt we dedicated that championship to one of Rangers’ greatest sons.
“I am not sure strange is the right word but it was different today. We obviously wanted to do the right thing and win the game and celebrate with the fans in picking up the trophy.
“But there is absolutely no doubt that the whole day was tinged with an awful lot of sadness due to Sandy’s passing.
“He was an amazing man, a wonderful friend to me in the last couple of years, although I have known him a long, long time obviously.
“But more than that, I looked at the reaction of the staff he worked with and helped over many years on Friday, and at the stadium today and they were in tears, and obviously the stadium today was wonderfully respectful to a great human being.”
McCulloch agreed: “It was a day of mixed emotions.
“Getting the win in the manner which we did and dedicating it to Sandy Jardine was brilliant and the dressing room is happy about that.
“It’s certainly been a sad occasion, the players had words in the dressing room before the game and we spoke about going out and getting a win as that’s what he would have wanted us to do.
“What a man he was, he will be sorely missed around Ibrox and Murray Park.”
However, amid heavy emotion inside Ibrox, there was simmering resentment and anger among a huge section of the Light Blues’ support still coming to terms with the club’s business review.
The document was presented by under-fire chief executive Graham Wallace on Friday and revealed the club had “mismanaged” around £67million in less than two years, leaving Rangers with less than £3.5million in the bank.
McCoist will meet with Wallace on Monday morning to discuss next season’s budget having already being told that it “it won’t be too dissimilar to this year”.
He said: “We will meet with a view to planning and changing, with a view to bringing in boys who will strengthen the squad for what will be a tough campaign next season.
“I have had a brief indication that it won’t be too dissimilar to this year so straight away that tells me that we can perhaps juggle about and make one or two changes here and there.
“The economics will determine what we can and cannot do but I would be loath to comment on that until we can inform our own staff for next season.”
Stranraer boss Stephen Aitken, whose side have almost secured a play-off place ahead of their last game against Forfar next week, said: “Today was always going to be a difficult day.
“Obviously with the events in the last 48 hours our thoughts are with Sandy Jardine’s family and friends and everyone connected to Rangers football club.
“But the boys gave it everything they had and were running on empty.
“We now need to look to the Forfar game which is now the biggest game of the season.”