Sandy Jardine
Tributes have been paid to Rangers icon Sandy Jardine, who lost his battle with cancer Rangers FC

Former Rangers, Hearts and Scotland defender Sandy Jardine has died at the age of 65 after battling cancer.

Jardine had fought the disease for 18 months before he died on Thursday night, Rangers confirmed.

He assumed legendary status at Ibrox after making 674 appearances for the Glasgow club from 1965 and was part of the 1972 European Cup Winners' side that defeated Dynamo Moscow 3-2.

Born in Edinburgh, the defender eventually left Rangers for Hearts in 1982, where he finished his distinguished playing career.

As Scotland international, Jardine earned 38 caps for his country and played at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups.

Rangers Manager Ally McCoist paid a touching tribute to a man who is etched in Rangers history.

"There have been many great names associated with Rangers Football Club in our 142-year history and Sandy is a Rangers legend in every sense of the word," McCoist said.

"We are all devastated by the news he has passed away, we have lost a great man today. I had the privilege of watching Sandy playing for Rangers when I was a young boy, I had enjoyed the pleasure of working with him closely since I returned to the club in 2007 and he was a truly remarkable human being.

"His achievements both on and off the pitch are second to none and I was honoured to regard him as a friend. He gave everything for this great club and worked tirelessly in a number of roles because he wanted to ensure the traditions, history and standards at Rangers were maintained.

"He was respected not only by Rangers fans but also the wider football community and he is a huge loss to the game. We will never see his like again in the modern era.

"He recently told me he was proud to be a Ranger and wanted to be remembered forever as a Ranger. Well Sandy you will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time and we will miss you terribly."

Sir Alex Ferguson, along with wife Cathy, also remembered Jardine. He said: "From Cathy and I, this is some of the worst news we have heard. Sandy was a noble and courageous man."

Jardine is survived by his wife Shona, children Steven and Nicola and his grandchildren.