It’s funny how we can look at players from the same era and categorise them as Hero and Villain. Gordon McQueen is a hero, I mean look at that leap to score against England in the photo in his birthday article.
As for Don Masson, well he’s the villain of the piece for missing that penalty in 1978 against Peru, which I fully get and even I find it hard to let that one go. However, I think it’s unfair on Don Masson, if you look at his record prior to 1978, it’s as good as anybody’s.
Willie Ormond first picked Don for the start of the 1976 Home Internationals. His debut came against Wales at Hampden in a 3-1 win, followed by a 3-0 win v Northern Ireland at home as well. Don scored his first goal for Scotland in this match which was quickly followed by another against England in a 2-1 win at Hampden. A six nil win against Finland at home in September saw Don score his first goal from the penalty spot.
Don would first taste defeat in Prague in a World Cup Qualifier against Czechoslovakia, which saw the Scots go down 2-0.
The following season saw wins against Northern Ireland and England at Wembley and a draw against Wales allowing us to regain the British Championship under Ally MacLeod. This was followed by a summer tour of South America which saw us beat Chile 4-2, draw one each with Argentina with Don scoring from the penalty spot again and then a 2-0 defeat to Brazil.
Don played in two more World Cup Qualifiers at home to Czechoslovakia winning 3-1 and the supposedly away to Wales at Anfield, where Don scored that famous penalty under immense pressure.
The interesting thing is that this was Don’s last appearance as a QPR player. He then moved on to Derby County under Tommy Docherty. Tommy’s a great manager if he likes you, if he doesn’t then he can be quite ruthless and make your life a misery. Don would only play 23 times for Derby before being punted to Notts County in the summer of ’78.
It makes you wonder if he turned up for 1978 Home Internationals lacking confidence and zip, which seemed to effect the whole team for that Championship, which saw Scotland draw with the Irish and Welsh and then get beat by England in a lacklustre performance. . . . and then came Peru.
So Don played 17 games for Scotland which we won 9, scoring 5 goals. Gordon McQueen played 30 in which we won 12, scoring 5 goals. In fairness to Gordon, Don never played in any Euro Qualifiers but then again Don didn’t play at Wembley in 1975.
Anyway, now to Don’s Focus on. Favourite player is Johnny Giles, other team is Aberdeen and most difficult opponent is Gerry Gow of Bristol City (go figure!). His favourite food is Scampi and of course steak. TV Shows are Kojak and Man Alive, sadly his actress is Glenda Jackson (sorry Lads, no photo this time round).
The biggest influence on his career is Nots County manager Jimmy Sirrel and if you have read the excellent David McVay’s ‘Steak Diana Ross’ you will not be surprised by this answer.
First posted on Facebook 26th June, 2015
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