Ipswich: Tributes paid to former Ipswich Town footballer Ian Redford found dead in woods in Scotland
PUBLISHED: 20:17 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 22:46 10 January 2014
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Tributes have tonight been paid to former Ipswich Town player Ian Redford who has been found dead in an area of woodland in Scotland.
The body of Redford, who was once Scotland’s most expensive footballer, was found in Irvine, Ayrshire, this morning.
It is understood there are no suspicious circumstances. He was aged 53.
The former midfielder played for the Blues between 1988 and 1991, scoring eight goals in 68 appearances.
The club is expected to hold a minute’s silence before their game against Queens Park Rangers at Portman Road tomorrow.
Players are also expected to wear black armbands.
Simon Milton, who joined Town a year before Redford arrived from Dundee United, said news of Redford’s death was a “big shock”.
“He was a top lad who did not have an ounce of arrogance in him,” Milton, now a sponsorship manager for Ipswich Town’s academy, said.
“He came in and just did his job. He kept himself to himself but everyone really liked him. He was a really popular lad.
“No-one who played alongside him at that time will have a bad word to say about him.
“This is very, very said news. It brings everything back into reality and my thoughts go to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
An Ipswich Town spokesman said: “This is absolutely devastating news. He was a fantastic servant to Ipswich Town football club.
“The club sends its deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this terrible time.”
The ex-Rangers midfielder played with Dundee, Dundee United, St Johnstone, Brechin and Raith Rovers in a career that lasted almost 20 years.
He started his career with Dundee before joining Rangers for a then Scottish record fee of £210,000 in 1980.
The midfielder moved to Dundee United in 1985 where he played in their Uefa Cup Final defeat to IFK Gothenburg in 1987.
A police spokeswoman said: “Around 11.15am today police received a report of a man’s body being found within a wooded area near to Long Drive in Irvine.
“A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course to establish the exact cause of death.”
John MacDonald, who played with Redford at Rangers in the 1980s, said: “It’s unbelievable, I met him not long ago at Colin McAdam’s funeral and he was in good spirits and talking away to all the boys. It seems the only chance you get to see former team mates is at these sort of things or Rangers functions now.
“He was a brilliant player, his pace and skill down the wing was great and he set up a few goals for me. He was great to play with, I remember him scoring the winner in the 1981 League Cup final against Dundee United and that was a great day.
“You couldn’t meet a nicer guy off the park. I met him at a few Rangers golf days over the years and he was great, even though we’d all slowed down a bit because we were all older.
“He was from Perthshire and although he moved when he played with Rangers, he moved back to be nearer his family after, but he always made an effort to make all the functions. It’s terrible to hear, really unbelievable.”
Redford’s first club, Dundee, paid tribute to him.
A statement on the club’s website described him as “one of the most talented kids to come through the Dens’ youth system over the last few decades”.
It read: “Ian was mainly a striker during his time at Dens - and he scored four goals in one match against St Mirren in 1978 in a 4-1 win, something not done by an individual since.
“It was the kind of performance that brought attention from richer clubs and Ian was sold to Rangers for a Scottish record transfer fee not long afterwards.
“While there he won trophies and his return to the city to play for rivals Dundee United saw him earn runners up medals in the Uefa and Scottish Cups.
“Ian was a silky and attacking player who was not quite the stereotypical footballer - he’ll be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Dundee United, who he played with between 1985 and 88, said: “The memory of his performances for United at a time when the Club competed in the higher echelons of European football will forever be part of our history and his winning goal against Borussia Monchengladbach in the semi final of the Uefa Cup in 1987 will always be looked back on with particular fondness by Arabs everywhere.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ian’s family at this very sad time.”