I recently discovered WGS lurking on the back page of the programme for the February 1987 Scotland – Republic of Ireland Euro Championship qualifier. The then Old Trafford player was advertising something called ‘Centapost’ Portable Training Device.The associated blurb says it all – ”The go-anywhere, play-anywhere, easily portable new ball game. Recommended by Gordon Strachan of Manchester United and Scotland.

On the beach or in the park, it can be set up in seconds and ready for action. On either side are distinctively coloured touch sensitive pads – simply strike your pad with the ball, a ‘bleeper’ will sound off and your score will appear on the digital scoreboard.” The advert then closes with the boast – ”It’s probably the most exciting football invention since the ball”.

In 1987 I was playing amateur football -badly – and I have to confess I don’t remember this ‘ingenious’ new training device. I do remember being shown a barn door and being told to take it from there. I would like to hear from anyone who ever used ‘Centapost’ and if it helped turn them into a Graeme Sharp or even a Brian McClair. For all I know, a modern day version of this machine is central to the Germans’ training regime.

Back to the eighties, and Strachan would win his 40th cap in the said match against the Irish who would win 1-0 thanks to a goal from Mark Lawrenson. He must have ‘bored’ his way through our defence…..or maybe AH in his final Scotland appearance waved him through.

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook 24th June, 2015