Around 30 members of the County Armagh Glasgow Rangers Supporters’ Clubs travelled across the water last weekend to pay a special tribute to Sandy Jardine.
Sandy, a former Scotland international, was described as “a special man” by Richie Porter of the Northern Ireland-based football supporters’ organisation.
Fans from the area joined with fellow supporters at Ibrox Stadium on Saturday to remember the club legend, who died last week after a battle with cancer.
A minute’s silence was held before kick-off as Rangers defeated Stranraer by 3-0 and collected the League One championship trophy.
Sandy represented Scotland at the World Cup finals in 1974 and 1978 plus served Rangers in recent years behind the scenes within administrative and hospitality roles.
He developed links with the County Armagh Glasgow Rangers Supporters’ Clubs and spent time in Portadown during a 2002 trip held to celebrate the anniversary of the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph.
“Sandy was a special man and his loss is a massive blow to Rangers,” said Richie. “He always upheld and protected the name of Glasgow Rangers and helped to hold the club together during the administration trouble.
“His standing in the game, from officials at the highest level down to players, proved vital during Rangers’ difficult financial times.
“He was such a genuine man. I will always remember Sandy for his pride in representing Rangers and belief in doing things the right way. He was not someone to court the limelight but a true football man who loved talking about the game.
“That visit to Portadown in 2002 was a brilliant occasion and he had so much time for fans at the Brownstown Park fun day and trip to Clounagh Junior High School.
“I would meet him quite often before home games and Sandy always had time for a chat and was genuinley interested in our club and the views of the supporters.”
Saturday’s emotional tribute to Sandy included a minute’s silence and video montage.
“I had not been looking forward to the game at all since hearing the news of Sandy’s passing,” said Richie. “However, I must say, I felt the club put together a fitting tribute and handled the occasion in a way that celebrated Sandy’s status as a true legend.”
Fans with the County Armagh Glasgow Rangers’ Supporters’ Clubs’ are currently generating funds towards the Ibrox Disasters Memorial Fund by selling commemorative medals in celebration of this season’s title-winning campaign. Anyone interested can contact a member of the group, with each medal priced at £8.
“We managed to raise around £7,000 towards Sandy’s cancer fund by selling medals in the past,” said Richie.