Former Scotland midfield hardman Graeme James Souness is 62 on 6th May 2015 although he probably wouldn’t thank me for telling you that. Souness won the first of his 54 caps in a friendly match at Hampden against the German Democratic Republic [East Germany] in 1974. Scotland won that game 3-0 and Celtic’s John ‘Dixie’ Deans got the first of his two caps that evening as well.

Graeme’s final Scotland appearance also came against the Germans – when he skippered his country in the 1986 Mexico World Cup Finals match versus the Federal Republic [West Germany]. Gordon Strachan gave us the lead in that tie but unfortunately goals from Rudi Voller and Klaus Allofs spoiled everything. Souness also played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cup Finals with the first of his four international goals being the last minute equaliser against the U.S.S.R. at those 82 finals in Malaga. Another heartbreaker.

Souness had a reputation for being a hard, sometimes brutal tackler, however he was creative as well as destructive but like his Liverpool team-mate Alan Hansen, his commitment to the Scotland squad was sometimes called into question by the press and supporters alike. Conversely, he has often been touted as a potential Scotland Manager and I for one would have preferred him to messrs Vogts, Burley and Levein. Perhaps the problem with Souness was his good looks. I think a lot of Scotland supporters had trouble getting used to having a Tom Selleck lookalike in midfield let alone as captain. I think we sometimes prefer the terrier looks and attributes of Billy Bremner, Archie Gemmill and Scott Brown. That said, Souness probably makes it into a lot of Scotland Dream Teams.

So Happy Birthday Graeme Souness and don’t forget that no matter what, Jonathan Watson will always love you.

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook May 5th, 2015