Bobby will be 72 on August 30th. Like many of his contemporaries whether Lisbon Lions or not, Bobby deserved more caps but the competition for places was so fierce at the time and with generally no subs for most of the sixties, opportunities were not as readily available.
In total, Bobby played ten times for Scotland only suffering one defeat and playing a major part in the triumphant defeat of England at Wembley in 1967.
His first cap came in a Home International game against Northern Ireland at Hampden in November 1966. This game doubled up as a qualifier towards the 1968 Euros. Bobby started alongside club mates; Tommy Gemmell, John Clark, Bobby Murdoch, Joe McBride and Stevie Chalmers. Rangers trio John Greig, Ronnie McKinnon, Willie Henderson and goalkeeper Bobby Ferguson of Killie along with lone Anglo Billy Bremner made up the rest of the side. Scotland won 2-1 with the two Bobby’s, Murdoch and Lennox scoring the goals.
Bobby’s next game was the 3-2 win at Wembley in 1967. Bobby would score the second Scotland goal with Denis Law and Jim McCalliog supplying the other two. 53,497 turned up at Hampden a month later to watch Scotland play the USSR in a friendly, which was the only time Bobby suffered defeat in a Scotland shirt. A delightful own goal lob from Tommy Gemmell gave USSR the lead which was followed by goal from Medved late in the first half to complete a 2-0 defeat. Gemmell’s goal seems to have grown in stature over the years but as the video shows; it was not the rocket shot from 40 yards that has oft been described.
Bobby missed the 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland in October 1967 at Windsor Park, where George Best ripped us apart and ultimately saw us fail to reach the Euros. Bobby played in the game against Wales a month later that Scotland won 3-2 with an Alan Gilzean double and a Ronnie McKinnon goal giving us the victory. The final game of that seasons’ Home Internationals came against England in February 1968, with Scotland needing a win to progress through to the Euros last eight; alas it was not to be with a one all draw being played out with John Hughes supplying the Scotland goal and England going through. Cap number six and goal number three came in a one nil win against Denmark in a friendly in Copenhagen.Bobby’s next three games were at the start of our World Cup Qualifiers for Mexico ’70. The campaign got off to a good start with a 2-1 win v Austria at Hampden in November with Denis Law and Billy Bremner supplying the goals. Bobby came on as a late sub for Chelsea’s Charlie Cooke in the 5-0 win against Cyprus a month later. All the goals had come in the first half with doubles from Alan Gilzean and Colin Stein and a solitary Bobby Murdoch goal.
Next up, was in front of a crowd of 95,951 at Hampden against West Germany with Vogts, Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller all playing. Muller had given the Germans the lead in 39 minutes but once again Bobby Murdoch was to provide the goal to equalise in the 88th minute. Murdoch only played 12 games for Scotland but managed to score six goals, which is the type of record any Scotland forward would be proud of.
Bobby’s Scotland career petered out with only one more appearance as a sub in a nil nil draw with Wales in April 1970.So Happy Birthday Bobby and all the best. Thanks for the memories and in particular Wembley ’67.
Happy Birthday also to fellow Celts and Scotland players Peter Grant (50) and Kris Commons (32).
First posted on Facebook August 31st, 2015