One of these days, the Scotland Epistles, Bullshit & Thistles magazine is going to make a profit and before Robert unloads it to a deserving charity, I’m going to put in an expenses claim. I’ve been buying a lot of Scotland magazine covers and clippings over the last ten months or so and as the Facebook page has grown I,’ve had to buy some more. In most cases, the picture tells the story and I move on from there but sometimes, like this photo it’s hard to see where the story is going to take us.Jim Hermiston was a full back who played for Aberdeen from 1966 to 1975 and was one of the first names to be included in the Aberdeen Hall of Fame. I could just rewrite his Wikipedia page and dress it up as my own but it’s a photo of Jim in a Scotland strip on the one occasion that he wore it. The wonderful thing about the internet is that you can stumble upon the most helpful websites, in this case it was Fitba stats, which has details of Scotland games at Full, B, under 21 and 23 levels. Most excellent it is.
The occasion was an Under 23 friendly against Wales in Swansea, which unfortunately Scotland lost one nil. The line-up for the game is quite interesting with only four of the thirteen players used failing to make full caps. It does beggar the question was Under 23’s a better way to prepare young players for the full team rather than under 21’s.
The line-up was as follows; in goals Motherwell’s Keith MacRae, one of the ones not to progress to a full cap. Next up was Celtic’s Davie Hay, who as we all know was a major part of our 1974 World Cup Squad, as did Sandy Jardine who replaced him during the game. Hermiston was next and was substituted for Hearts’ Peter Oliver, this would also be Oliver’s only appearance.
Next up is probably one of the most interesting players. Eddie Kelly was an Arsenal player who indeed would score a goal in the FA Cup Final later that year against Liverpool, which Arsenal famously won as part of their double that year. Eddie incidentally goes down in history as the first substitute to ever score a goal in a FA Cup final. Eddie would also go on to be captain of Arsenal at one point and yet he never won a Full Scotland cap. I can barely imagine a Scot playing for Arsenal now, never mind one being the Captain. Frank Munro played for both Dundee United and Aberdeen before moving on to Wolves where he won all his Under 23 caps and 9 full ones. Unfortunately for Frank, Scotland only won one game in which he played. Martin Buchan, Jim’s team mate at Aberdeen was number six that night and can be seen in the background of the photo. Buchan would play as a Manchester United player in both the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. Asa Hartford of West Brom, would also play in the ’78 and ’82 World Cups gaining 50 caps in total for Scotland.
Coventry’s ginger headed wonder player Willie Carr was next up. Willie would only gain 6 caps for the Full team but unlike Munro, he would never play in a losing side. Carr played over 250 times for Coventry and also Wolves.
Our bustling centre forward that night was the mighty Joe Harper of Aberdeen. Joe would play four times for Scotland and remarkably three of those were against Denmark. His two goals came in World Cup and Euro qualifiers in Copenhagen. Maybe you shouldn’t have celebrated that second time around, Joe? Joe would be one of the Copenhagen five, who were banned for life from playing for Scotland after a night out went awry. Joe and Arthur Graham would have their bans lifted, however, Billy Bremner, Willie Young and Pat McCluskey would not. Sadly for the latter two they would never represent their country. Perhaps Joe might have preferred the ban to continue as his final game was against Iran in Argentina and we all know how miserable that was.
John Connolly of St. Johnstone was number ten that night. Connolly would play for the full team, but only the once, against Switzerland in 1973, lasting only 46 minutes. John was an Everton player at the time.
The final player was Tommy Hutchison, not quite archetypal winger we were used to in Scotland given a lot of us grew up with Jimmy Johnstone and Willie Henderson as what a winger should look like. Tommy was with Blackpool at the time but by the time of his first full International in that legendary game against Czechoslovakia which saw us qualify for West Germany ’74, Tommy was a Coventry player. Tommy gained 17 caps in total and some say he should’ve went to Argentina as he was playing the best football of his life at the time.
So there you go, one picture and eight hundred words later I told you it wasn’t about Jim Hermiston but if any Aberdeen fans want to add to the story, please do.
PS I’m just glad the shadow that’s coming through on the picture is not a Scot or I’d need to write another ton of words.
First posted on Facebook 28th May, 2015