Jimmy Johnstone and David Hay had very contrasting World Cups In 1974. As we all know one of the major controversies of the ’74 was that Manager Willie Ormond never picked Jimmy to play nor did he come on as a substitute in any of the games. In fairness to Ormond though he had brought Jimmy back from the International wilderness after a two year break. After defeat to Northern Ireland on 11th May, 1974 Willie had chosen Jimmy Johnstone ahead of Willie Morgan for the coveted right wing position for the Wales game a few days later. At this point in a ten year period with the Scotland team Jimmy had only accrued a measly 17 caps as no doubt his reputation as a difficult player to handle had made Managers wary of picking him. Although Jimmy received his first cap in 1964, it is interesting that in his seven game part time reign as Scotland’s Manager in 1965, Jock Stein never chose to play him either, generally choosing Rangers’ Willie Henderson ahead of him.

Scotland beat Wales 2 nil and this was followed up by what is seen as Jinky’s greatest performance in the Dark Blue of Scotland in the 2-0 win over England on 18th May. Even this game was clouded with controversy as a few days before, Jimmy had been involved in the infamous Largs boat caper and had at the end of the game give the ‘V’ sign to the gentleman of the press who pilloried him in their rags all through the previous week.

So it seemed Jimmy was on his way to World Cup glory as he also played in the warm-up games but alas no as Willie Morgan was reinstated to the team for two of three games.

As for David Hay, his conversion in the Celtic team from full back to midfield dynamo had seen him become indispensable to the Scotland team. He had become one of the first names on the team sheet for Willie Ormond and by the end of the ’74 World Cup his stock was high after some outstanding performances in midfield. By the end of the World Cup David had earned 27 caps.

The sadly remarkable thing is that only Jimmy ever played for Scotland again. Jimmy would be picked to play in Scotland’s first two games after the World Cup; a 3-0 win over East Germany and a 2-1 defeat to Spain in the Euro Qualifiers, both at Hampden.

As for David Hay, bad luck would dog him for the rest of his short career with injuries, an eye operation and even a family bereavement all preventing him from playing for Scotland again. By 1979, David Hay had been forced to retire from the game. He had been one of my early Heroes in a Scotland shirt and if fate had been kind to him, he would’ve won many more caps too.

As to what’s wrong with these pictures? Neither player gained a cap with the clubs mentioned. Jimmy’s time at Sheffield United was very brief; only making 11 League appearances and of course David Hay never did so with Chelsea as already stated.

David Stuart

First posted on Facebook July 26th, 2015