Another ‘Dragonfly’ Scottish Football magazine was ‘The Punter’ from Scotrun Publications Ltd of Kelvingrove Street, Glasgow. The first issue came out in 1989 and cost £1.00 for 48 pages. The following year the cover price increased to £1.30 .

First and foremost, ‘The Punter’ championed the research of former Wing Commander Charles Reep and his ‘Performance Analysis’ which suggested that the route to success lies in simple, direct football. ‘The Punter’ then argued that if a team like Wimbledon can win the F.A. Cup then Scotland could win the World Cup and as such there was no better time to throw off the self-imposed shackles of possession football and utilise Reep’s research in harness with the Scottish strengths of fast football and determined tackling.

I can only assume that Reep’s research was never translated into Spanish or Catalan and so moving along, the attached two covers are from the January and February 1990 issues.The January issue reflects on the world cup draw [ie the draw for the FINALS] and concludes that Scotland being alongside Brazil, Sweden and Costa Rica are in a glamour group whilst the Republic of Ireland with England, Netherlands and Egypt form the Group of Death. As it transpired it was the Egyptians, the Swedes and the Scots who ended up mummified.The February issue publishes the results of a readers survey which made for interesting, er reading. Apparently 54% of respondents wanted Hampden replaced as opposed to upgraded with the favoured choice of location being somewhere in the Stirling area. Dundee United’s Maurice Malpas was the readers’ choice for Scotland captain with 30% of the vote. Alex McLeish and Richard Gough both polled 17% whilst Willie Miller was next with 16%. The beleaguered incumbent- Roy Aitken- got the backing of only 5%.


Maurice Malpas won a total of 55 caps between 1984 and 1992 but would captain his country only twice [cap no.39 – away to Bulgaria in November 1990 and cap no.50 – away to Norway in June 1992]. For the record, Aitken was captain on 27 occasions, Miller 11, McLeish and Gough 8 each.

Overall, George Young leads the way with 48 ‘captaincies’ then comes Billy Bremner on 39 followed by Gary McAllister on 32 and Barry Ferguson with 28. Almost forgot- Graeme Souness was the captain of our ship 27 times. Of the current squad, Darren Fletcher leads Scott Brown 24 -16. Oh yes, and WGS got the job 5 times…..

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook July 8th, 2015