Whilst looking for a photo of Ian Wallace the other day I came across these two Scotland and Coventry connected photos but there was something off about the two of them, something just not right.
The first one was titled Coventry’s Tartan Army and fair enough all the players centred around Manager Gordon Milne are Scottish but for some there may have been a tinge of sadness as their days of International football were over. I think the photo is probably taken in early 1978, I have used extensive Math to work this out; spending my days creating Venn Diagrams for all the players involved and this is the only date that makes sense other than 1977, 1979 and even 1980.
By this time, however Tommy Hutchison and Jim Holton’s Scotland careers are both over. Some would argue though that Hutchison was playing the best football of his career at this time though. Tommy won 17 caps between 1973 and ’75 and was most notably a member of the 1974 World Cup Squad. Although not Coventry teammates at the time, Jim Holton played alongside Tommy in the Scotland team. Jim played 15 times for Scotland in the years 73 and 74 and was with Manchester United at the time.
The main reason I reckon 1978 is that Ian Wallace and goalkeeper Jim Blyth were both capped that year and indeed Blyth would travel to Argentina with the World Cup Squad. Ian and Jim would win 3 and 2 caps respectively.
The final player is Bobby MacDonald. Aberdeen born Bobby was a full back with Coventry from 1976-1981 and although occasionally touted as a possible Scotland player, Danny McGrain would be the first choice throughout this period making it nigh impossible for anyone else to be given a chance. Bobby is probably typical of a lot of Scottish players in the 70’s, who were well-loved at their clubs but never reached the International stage.
Jump forward over thirty years later and it’s a Scottish legends day at Coventry and again there is something not quite right. Starting from left to right, we have the ginger nutted Willie Carr, who gained six Scotland caps from 1970-72 and was unbeaten in all his games.
Next to Willie was a fellow ginger, Ian Wallace already mentioned in the above paragraphs. Then comes the man, whose record Steven Fletcher finally, finally laid to rest after 46 years when he scored a hat-trick. Yep, it’s Rangers legend Colin Stein who until Steven’s intervention was the last Scot to score a hat-trick. Colin played 21 times for Scotland scoring 10 goals, his last four caps were as a Coventry player.
And so we get to the non-Scot, Scot. It’s the late Gerry Baker who died in August 2013. If Gerry had been born a decade or so later, he would have been eligible to play for Scotland as both his parents were Scottish and indeed he spent most of his childhood living in Scotland. Gerry played for St. Mirren and indeed scored in their 1959 Scottish Cup Final triumph. He also played for Hibs, Ipswich and of course Coventry among others. The quirk of fate that saw Gerry born in the USA also allowed him late in his career to play in World Cup Qualifiers for the country of his birth as they attempted to reach the 1970 World Cup. Gerry’s brother was of course Joe Baker, who similarly due to family relocation to Liverpool for six months before returning to Lanarkshire to live was also not eligible for Scotland. However, Joe was such a goalscoring machine that he did play for England eight times, five of these were earned as a Hibs player.
Next to Gerry having a laugh is of course Tommy Hutchison. Is it possible that he’s laughing at Quinton ‘Cutty’ Young’s expense, as his name has been called out and no one can remember who he is? Quinton, only played for Coventry in 26 League games. Quinton had played for Ayr United before moving to Coventry in 1971 but by ’73 he was back up the road again to play for Rangers for a few seasons. Quinton was capped for the Under – 23’S on one occasion in 1971.
First posted on July 4th, 2015