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Jim Baxter

Scottish forward, nicknamed 'Slim Jim', a folk-hero at Glasgow Rangers.  He remains a cult figure because of his style of play, as much for his achievements. 

Born in Hill o'Beath, Fifeshire in 1939, Baxter began work down the mines while playing junior football with local side, Crossgates Primrose. He continued his day job after signing part-time for Raith Rovers in 1957.

Baxter moved Rangers  in June 1960 for a fee of 17,500.  He won the first of 34 full international caps a few months later.  Scottish fans remember him most for the two goals he scored in Scotland's 2-1 triumph over England in 1963 and his contribution to the Scottish 3-2 victory over World Cup winners England in 1967.  Football historian Bob Crampsey, recalled: '

Inspired by Baxter, Ranger clinched three League championships and reach three Scottish Cup Finals and four League Cup Finals in a five year spell.  He was an unhurried attacking wing-half whose lazy-looking left-footed skill somehow created time to spare on the ball.  He could torment opponents and was at his best when teasing English defenders at Wembley.

He transferred to Sunderland in 1965 and two years later to Nottingham Forest before returning to Rangers.  Baxter's time south of the border was spent with clubs trying to avoid relegation and his form declined as he put on weight and, as he puts it in his autobiography, because of his liking for 'bets, birds and booze'.  Many believe he was never the same after breaking his leg against Rapid Vienna in 1964. 

Baxter played his last game for Rangers in December 1969 in a 3-2 win over Aberdeen, and, still only 31, retired shortly afterwards.  His drinking habits finally led to two life-saving live transplants in the mid-90s.   He was diagnosed as having cancer of the pancreas at the beginning of February 2001 and died on Saturday 14 April at home in Glasgow.

See a tribute to Jim Baxter at: http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=4RyCt1B5RXk