John Hewie passed away on May 11th, 2015

John Hewie of Charlton Athletic made his Scotland debut in a one all draw with England in April 14th 1956. John generally appeared as left back with Scotland with Alex Parker of Falkirk his right sided full back partner initially, but he would also play a lot with Eric Caldow of Rangers. Graham Leggat of Aberdeen scored for Scotland in a team with three of the Hibs ‘Famous Five’; Bobby Johnstone, then of Man. City along with Lawrie Reilly and Gordon Smith as well as Bobby Evans of Celtic and George Young of Rangers. The English team included Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse, Johnny Haynes and one of the tragic victims of the Munich Air Disaster, Duncan Edwards.

The photo is of the team for John’s third game which was against Wales on 20th October, 1956, which ended in a 2 all draw with Willie Fernie of Celtic and Lawrie Reilly of Hibs grabbing the other. I love the optical illusion of all of 5’ 3” Bobby Collins looking almost the same size of the man mountain at 6’ 2” that George Young was.
Qualification for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden began with a 4-2 win over Spain at Hampden with Jackie Mudie of Blackpool hitting a hat trick and John scoring his first goal for Scotland from the penalty spot. (His other goal would come in a 4 nil thrashing of Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, also from a penalty, in October 1959.) A 2-1 win against Switzerland in Basle in May 1957 with goals from Mudie and Bobby Collins followed. However, a 4-1 defeat with Gordon Smith of Hibs scoring, to Spain in Madrid left Scotland having to beat Switzerland to qualify, by virtue of Spain’s draw with Switzerland in the group opener.
This was achieved, on November 6th, 1957 with Alex Parker taking John’s place. The Scots stood at 3 -1 with ten minutes to go, when the Swiss made it 3-2, which must have led to a very nervy final ten minutes. The three goals came from Archie Robertson (Clyde), Mudie again and Alex Scott of Rangers for the third. Sweden here we come!
John played in two of our three games in Sweden. The first being a one all draw with Yugoslavia in Vasteras with Sammy Murray of Hearts scoring a second half equaliser. He then missed the 3-2 defeat to Paraguay with Parker again deputising. Mudie and Collins were the scorers for Scotland.
John returned for the final game against France which ended in a 2-1 defeat, Sammy Baird of Rangers scored our lone reply after two goals from French legends Raymond Kopa and World Cup record scorer Juste Fontaine. John only played a few times after this with Duncan Mackay of Celtic becoming the preferred choice of left back. His final game came in May 1960 in a 3-2 defeat at Hampden to Poland in a friendly, with Denis Law and Ian St. John bagging the goals for the Scots. In total, John won 19 caps for Scotland. As far as I can tell John is still the only Scot ever to be capped whilst playing for Charlton Athletic, although Tony Watt might have something to say about that in the near future.
So here’s to John Hewie, one of the select few players ever to grace the World Cup playing field for Scotland, may he rest in peace.
David Stuart

First posted on Facebook May 13th, 2015