JIM Jefferies has just returned from a golfing break with pals on the Algarve.

Yet two months ago, doctors feared the former City boss had died from a heart attack while playing on a course near his Edinburgh home.

Jefferies was rushed to a nearby hospital as medics thought he had passed away when his heart briefly stopped.

Luckily, they were able to save him after surgery to insert a stent into a valve that had become blocked. And within two days, the 68-year-old was back home.

“I feel brand new now,” he told the Telegraph & Argus. “But it’s an experience I don’t want to go through again.

“It’s not nice when you’ve been told that you’d passed away. But I look at it positively, I had something wrong with me and it’s been fixed.”

Jefferies admits he was fortunate to have medical expertise on hand on the golf course.

The group playing behind them included an American doctor who was in Scotland on holiday to watch the Solheim Cup.

“There was a lady who was a first aider who came straight across on her buggy and put me down on the ground.

“The other guy, a surgeon, was there telling everybody not to move me and wait for the ambulance. They took control before I was all wired up in case anything happened on the way to the hospital, which it did.

“But I had the procedure on the Monday night and they told me that the other arteries were fine. The scan showed there was no damage whatsoever.

“By the Wednesday, I had a bit of lunch and was told I could go.

“They told me initially that I wouldn’t be able to drive for a month and go golfing for six weeks. But it went so well I was driving again in a week and back on the golf course within a fortnight.

“I had been feeling a bit lethargic for a couple of months but just thought I was getting old after playing with the grand kids.

“It was obviously when this problem started. But I feel better than ever now since having this procedure.”

It was November 2000 when Jefferies was appointed to the Valley Parade hot-seat in City’s doomed second season in the Premiership.

Now 69, his passion remains for the game in his current role as sporting director with part-time Edinburgh City.

Jefferies joined the new club when they were promoted to the Scottish League after the chairman heard him on the radio saying he might be tempted out of retirement if “somebody gets me at the wrong time and I say yes.”

Edinburgh did that and he is now in his fourth season in the role. But there is no Geoffrey Richmond-style interference from above with manager James McDonaugh.

Jefferies laughed: “I just speak to the manager if he needs advice but it’s his choice if he takes it or not. I won’t phone him up and say, ‘I told you so’ and I don’t pick his team.

“I speak to James mostly the day after the game and discuss if there’s anything he needs.

“They train twice a week but I don’t go up there because I don’t want to be seen hovering.

“A few times early on I wanted to kick the dressing room door down. The chairman was always complaining about bruised ribs sitting next to me because I was kicking every ball and elbowing him!

“But I wouldn’t like it done to me so I’d never ever wade in at half-time or anything like that. That should be left to the manager.

“I want him to do well because it proves you’ve picked the right person.”

Nineteen years on and Jefferies still remembers how Richmond would try to influence his own decisions. and sulk if he didn't. He recalls the first game of the 2001-2002 season back in the First Division against Barnsley.

“Geoffrey pointed out a couple of things and said he wasn’t happy about the team I’d chosen. So I told him, ‘fine if that’s what you want, you decide and I’ll just go back up the road.’

“You have disagreements with chairmen and just get on with it. But the funny thing is we went out and won 4-0.

“I passed him in the corridor afterwards and he just walked by without saying a word. I knew then that the writing was on the wall.

"The last two or three games I was managing knowing he was looking for someone else. It wasn't ideal but you do the best you can."