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During the Arsenal and Aston Villa FA Cup Final, after Alexis Sanchez had scored that wonderful second goal for Arsenal, a caption flashed up on the screen stating he was the second Chilean to score in a FA Cup Final and asking who the first was. It turned out, it was a guy called George Robledo who scored in the 1952 final for Newcastle. Robledo’s story in itself is quite fascinating and well worth a peek at his Wikipedia page.
However, being a bit of an anorak I turned to my Celtic supporting work colleague and asked him who the goalkeeper was for Newcastle that day. He didn’t know and was surprised to hear it was Ronnie Simpson, the future Lisbon Lion.
Ping! Went that sad light bulb in my head and suddenly an article on Ronnie Simpson started to formulate but I have no idea why I decided to do it in US quiz Show Jeopardy style.
Who represented Great Britain in football at the 1948 Olympics and yet would have to wait until 1967 before being capped by Scotland?
Who is Ronnie Simpson.In 1948, Matt Busby was asked to pick a team for the London Olympics to represent Great Britain. As it has to be an amateur team there was no major outcry from various football associations nor did Sepp Blatter who was probably in charge of FIFA at the time raise any objections. There were a few Scots in the team, which having Queens Park players to pick from did help. Among them was 17 year old Ronnie Simpson who played two games in the tournament. Team GB ended up 4th losing in a play-off to Denmark for the bronze medal. No one else from the squad achieved any great success as football players.
Who played in goals for Newcastle in their 1952 and 1955 FA Cup wins at Wembley and yet would have to wait ‘til 1967 to make his debut for Scotland at the same ground?
Who was Ronnie Simpson.Ronnie joined Newcastle in 1951 and stayed there until 1960 winning the FA Cup twice. Ronnie had made his debut for Queens Park in 1945 at aged 14 years and 304 days, which is an unofficial record as the youngest player to appear for a Scottish League Club. However, as this was during the war years it is not deemed an official match. Ronnie went on play for Third Lanark before joining Newcastle.
At 36 years and 196 days he is the oldest player to make his debut for Scotland and that is a record that will stick! His debut of course, came in the famous 3-2 defeat of England in 1967. Ronnie played for Scotland five times, including a draw with England in 1968 and a World Cup Qualifier against Austria which Scotland won 2-1 at Hampden in November 1968. The photo is taken from the October 1967 defeat to Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, which saw us fail to reach the 1968 Euro finals. Ronnie saved a penalty in this game.
And now my personal favourite. The father played for Rangers and Scotland, the son for Celtic and Scotland. Who were they?
Who were Jimmy and Ronnie Simpson.Jimmy Simpson played for Rangers between 1927 and 1940, having played previously with Dundee United. As centre half, he won the Scottish League 5 times and the Scottish Cup 4. His time with Scotland was quite good too. Jimmy played 14 times for the National side between 1934 and ‘37, captaining them thirteen times including two wins against England, playing alongside the likes of Hughie Gallacher, Bob McPhail and the wonderfully named Dally Duncan. So there you go Ronnie Simpson, so much more than 1967 and I didn’t even mention being sold by Jock Stein from Hibs to Celtic due to his poor attitude to training nor his time as a Tory councillor in Edinburgh.
David Stuart

First posted on Facebook June 1st 2015