Ian Redford: Rangers and Dundee United midfielder who was once Scotland's most expensive player

 

Ian Redford was a thoroughbred footballer – yet for all his elegance in the shirts of Rangers and both Dundee clubs, he arguably never quite fulfilled the potential that once made him the most expensive player in Scotland.

The tall attacking midfielder employed his lavish skills most frequently for the Ibrox side, but perhaps most entrancingly for Dundee United, with whom he reached the finals of the Uefa Cup and Scottish Cup in the spring of 1987.

From childhood, Redford was deaf in one ear, an infirmity both on the field and in the dressing room, where some of the banter could be cruel. When he was 12, his younger brother, Douglas, died of leukaemia, a tragedy which would cause him anguish for the rest of his life.

When he joined Dundee as a 16-year-old in 1976, he was principally a striker, with an exquisite touch. Having made his senior debut in April 1977, he shone the next season as the divisional championship was claimed. In February 1980 he was sold to Rangers for £210,000, a record fee between two Scottish clubs. He stayed for half a decade and helped capture three cups, but did not quite attain the heights expected of him.

In August 1985, still only 25, he was dispatched to the Terrors for £70,000 and it was during his three-year Tannadice sojourn that he produced his most compelling form, particularly during the stirring Uefa Cup run of 1986-87. Redford sparkled in the 2-0 aggregate semi-final triumph over Borussia Moenchengladbach, supplying the second goal at the Bokelberg. Alas, they lost the two-legged final to IFK Gothenburg.

In November 1988 he headed south to join Ipswich Town for £200,000; in 1991 he re-crossed the border to enlist with St Johnstone. There remained a last taste of success, in 1994-95, when he helped Raith Rovers to the First Division title and League Cup glory as Celtic were sensationally beaten in the Hampden final.

Ian Ponting

Ian Petrie Redford, footballer: born Perth 5 April 1960; married (one son, one daughter); died Irvine, Ayrshire 10 January 2014.

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