As far as I am aware one of the last Scottish Football magazines to appear in paper format [before the Famous Tartan Army Magazine fought a rearguard action] was one entitled Pride of Scottish Football.

Issue 10 dates from April 2004 and now represents a classic piece of early 21st century nostalgia with cult hero James McFadden adorning the front cover alongside the heading ‘Great Expectations’ and the suggestion that he may be the ‘Next big thing.’Well here we now are in 2015, McFadden is aged 32 and he hasn’t played for Scotland for five years. Most frustratingly he is stuck on the 48 cap mark- just two short of the half-century necessary for inclusion in the S.F.A. Roll of Honour. His 15 international goals has him 7th equal overall but with a better goals per game ratio that Kenny Dalglish, Ally McCoist and Kenny Miller who are all above him in the Scotland scorers league. Sadly, McFadden reminds me of former England star Michael Owen in that he too appears to have lost his ‘Mojo’ way too early.

Back to the magazine which concentrated on the positives from the November 2003 Euro Play -offs against the Netherlands. The highlight was of course McFadden’s second goal for Scotland which gave us a 1-0 victory in the first leg at Hampden. The second leg result is then dismissed as a fluke followed by the rallying-call ”What we did to Holland at Hampden was only the start of a new era in our national game. So roll on the world cup qualifiers!”So the world cup qualifiers rolled on and we rolled over… but then came the Euro 2008 campaign and McFadden’s wondergoal in Paris which gave us a 1-0 victory over the 2006 World Cup Runners-Up. Still, qualification eluded us.


McFadden’s last game for Scotland was in that Euro qualifier against Liechtenstein at Hampden in September 2010 and shortly afterwards he picked up a serious injury which has had a debilitating affect on his career.

Last season McFadden made 19 appearances for St. Johnstone, scoring only two goals. Who knows what the future holds of the one-time Scotland talisman and occasional bad boy. Ever the optimist, I’m still holding out for an international comeback.Meantime, looking at the current set-up I wonder who will now be our next big thing. Ikechi Anya? Matt Ritchie? Ryan Gauld?

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook July 13th, 2015