Allan Evans will be 59 on October 12th. Allan is a member of that possibly extinct breed of Scottish player who has won the European Cup as it was known in old money. He achieved this with Aston Villa in May 1982 beating Bayern Munich 1-0 in Rotterdam. There were three other Scots involved that day too.

Allan’s defensive partner was Ken McNaught, who was never capped despite playing over 200 games for Villa. His father Willie, won five caps for Scotland as a Raith Rovers player in the 1950’s. I have mentioned Des Bremner’s one and only cap before which came in April, 1976 when he played for 36 minutes as a sub for Kenny Dalglish against Switzerland at Hampden. Des was a Hibs player at the time. The final player was a guy called Andy Blair; who was on the subs bench. Andy also played for Coventry, Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley in his time and won five Under-21 caps. Although, he never got to play in the final he did get to play against Barcelona at Villa Park in the Super Cup the following season. After a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp, Villa beat Barcelona 3-0 in the return leg with all four Scots playing and Ken McNaught scoring the third.

Allan gained four Scotland caps in total; all under Jock Stein and was part of the 1982 World Cup Squad. His first cap came against Netherlands in a friendly at Hampden in March, 1982, Jim Bett then of Rangers also made his debut in this game. Allan played alongside Willie Miller that night. A Frank Gray penalty and a Kenny Dalglish goal was enough to give Scotland a 2-1 victory. Next up a month later was a Home International against Northern Ireland in Belfast, where Allan played in defence with Alex McLeish, who was replaced by Alan Hansen in the 75th minute. The game ended in a one each draw with John Wark scoring for Scotland. This game had been brought forward due to I imagine the aforementioned European Cup match being played on May 26th.

Allan would miss the next Scotland match against Wales at Hampden on 24th May but would find himself back in the line-up for the England game at Wembley on the 29th. Scotland lost one nil with Evans lining up with Hansen in defence.

Allan’s final Scotland game came in our opening match of the 1982 World Cup against New Zealand. Again he lined up beside Hansen but given Scotland lost two goals to the World Cup minnows, Allan was among the players dropped by Jock Stein for the next game v Brazil.

So that was Allan’s final involvement in a Scotland shirt but who knows if some day someone builds a time machine and we can go back to Malaga ’82, maybe with a wee word to Big Jock at half-time he will replace either Miller or Hansen with Evans and the disaster against the USSR doesn’t happen. Then again, given our seemingly endless torturous fate maybe we would still have found a way to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Happy Birthday Allan and all the best to you.

David Stuart