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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Saturday, 14 April, 2001, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
Jim Baxter: A profile
Jim Baxter scores against England in 1963
Jim Baxter scores against England in 1963
Jim Baxter was born in the Fife mining village of Hill O'Beath on 29 September 1939.

Having begun work down the mines while playing junior football with local side, Crossgates Primrose, Baxter continued his day job after signing part-time for Raith Rovers in 1957.

He soon signed on full-time at Starks Park and picked up international recognition for the first time when he was selected for Scotland under-21s against Wales in 1958.

A move to Rangers materialised in June 1960 for a fee of 17,500 and he made his competitive debut for the club against Partick Thistle in the League Cup on 13 August that year.

Old Firm dominance

His first league match also came against Thistle and his first goal arrived in a 3-1 win over Clyde on 5 November.

Baxter's Rangers career was laden with trophies, coming as it did in the years prior to Celtic's nine-year dominance of the Scottish First Division.

In the five years he played in his first spell at Ibrox, he won three championship medals (1961, 1963 and 1964), three Scottish Cup medals (1962, 1963 and 1964) and four League Cup winners' medals (1960, 1961, 1963 and 1964).

That first year saw Baxter collect a League Cup winners' medal by the end of October as Rangers beat Kilmarnock 2-0 in the final.

They also wrapped up the league title and reached the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup only to lose out to Fiorentina in the final.

Those five years were also notable for the remarkable record Rangers enjoyed against fierce rivals Celtic.

Although Baxter's first involvement in an Old Firm clash on 20 August 1960 ended in a 3-2 defeat, he tasted defeat only once more in 17 games against Celtic.

Baxter played 254 times for Rangers
Baxter played 254 times for Rangers
'Slim Jim', as he was known, won the first of 34 full international caps in the months following his move to Rangers.

His debut came in a 5-2 victory over Northern Ireland on 9 November in the British International Championship.

Some of Baxter's finest moments came in a Scotland jersey and, fittingly, he is best remembered for performances against the Auld Enemy at Wembley.

In 1963, Baxter inspired 10-man Scotland to a 2-1 victory over the English, scoring both goals himself after Eric Caldow had broken his leg.

But it is the 1967 match when Scotland became 'world champions' for a day that sticks out in the memories of any Scots who have seen the pictures.

Scotland won 3-2 that day against the World Cup winners and Baxter ran the show, mocking the English team with all manner of trickery.

It was typical of the man, who many considered arrogant, but who could not have been the same player if his cheek had been curtailed.

Early retirement

In April 1965, Baxter made his final appearance for Rangers in that period before moving to Sunderland for 72,000.

He spent 18 months at Roker Park but never quite recaptured the form he had shown at Ibrox.

Baxter had never been the best trainer in the world and, like fellow genius George Best, he was often to be seen with a drink in one hand and a lady on the other.

A move to Nottingham Forest in December of 1967 was less successful yet and 18 months later he found himself back at Ibrox.

But he was not the player that had left Glasgow four years previously and with the arrival of new manager Willie Waddell, he knew his days were numbered.

He played his last game in the light blue of Rangers in December 1969 in a 3-2 win over Aberdeen, retiring soon after.

That brought to a close a Rangers career encompassing 254 games and 24 goals.

Baxter ran his own pub for some time, but his love of the good life eventually saw that collapse.

His drinking habits finally led to two life-saving live transplants in the mid-90s, after which he pledged to stop drinking.

He was diagnosed as having cancer of the pancreas at the beginning of February and died on Saturday 14 April at home in Glasgow.

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