I recently made a return visit to Area 51 [aka the back of my garage] to go in search of those ‘dragonflies’ of the literary world – magazines dedicated to football in Scotland.

First out the C&A poly bag was the June 1990 edition of ‘Scottish Football Today’ [a scan of page 17 is attached]. SFT was published by Business Information Publications of Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow on a monthly basis and cost £1.30 for 52 pages.The June 90 edition was an Italy World Cup Finals special with articles on our very own Gok Wan [ie manager Andy Roxburgh]; an interview with our Assistant Manager – the shy, retiring Craig Brown; plus a look at possible squad members with ‘unsuccessful nominations’ of Stuart Munro, Steve Nicol, Brian McClair, Pat Nevin and Hearts’ John Robertson all being touted. Personally speaking, I would have included Robbo and Nevin before Rambo and Fleck but then again, for me a trip to Largs meant an ice-cream at Nardini’s not an SFA coaching course.


Back to the mag and I was also able to gorge myself on features on Italian football, host venues, other finalists plus Scotland’s route to the finals which ended with a nervy game against Norway at Hampden in November 1989. Needing just one point to qualify, Scotland took the lead just before half-time when Ally McCoist lobbed the ball over the Norwegian keeper following a superb headed pass from Maurice Malpas. Norway equalised however in the 89th minute with a 35 yard shot which Leighton misjudged completely. 64,000 Scotland supporters then knelt in prayer…..

Both the July and August editions of SFT review the World Cup Finals – the article on the Scotland-Costa Rica game includes words such as debacle,shame, indignity and humiliated. Fanzines were able to tell it like it really was – We fucked-up big style!

I don’t know if ‘Scottish Football Today’ continued in existence so as to cover Scotland at the 1992 European Championship Finals but if Scotland make it to Euro 2016 then I would hope that special one-off magazines will appear that are dedicated to Scotland’s pursuit of the Delauney trophy – ‘When Gordon meets Henri’ – non? OK then, but I wouldn’t want to rely on ‘British Publications’ which are likely to include token spotlights on Wales, Northern Ireland and ourselves. [Yes I know I’m getting carried away again, but being an optimist is much more fun than being a realist].

Needless to say, if you are looking for an irreverent, prejudiced, parochial and non pc slant on the Euros then you can always rely on your friends at Scotland Epistles.

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook 7th July, 2015