Arthur Duncan will be 68 on December 5th. Arthur is best known as a Hibernian player where he currently holds the record for most League Appearances with 446 over a fifteen year period from 1969-84. Arthur also played for Partick Thistle prior to moving to Hibs for four years and finished his career at Meadowbank Thistle.
Arthur was known as a speedy left winger and was an intricate part of Turnbull’s Tornadoes. It was ex-Hibs legend Willie Ormond in his time as Scotland manager that decided to give Arthur his chance on the International stage. Arthur would play only six times for Scotland and they all came in 1975.
The first five of Arthur’s appearances would come in a three week spell staring on May 13th 1975 at Hampden culminating on June 1st in Bucharest.
His debut came in the 77th minute of a friendly v Portugal coming on for Bruce Rioch who was also making his first appearance. Bruce of course would go on to make 24 appearances overall and would captain his country on ten occasions with a healthy return of six goals too. Making his final appearance that night was another great Scottish winger; Charlie Cooke of Chelsea bowing out after sixteen caps for his national side.
Scotland won 1-0 with Artur scoring the goal; that is Artur of Portugal not Arthur of Scotland.
17th May and it was the start of the Home Internationals and a start for Duncan down at Ninian Park, Cardiff. Scotland found themselves 2-0 down to Wales following a seven minute blitz in the first half with John Toshack and Brian Flynn providing the goals. However, the Scots were not to be denied and Colin Jackson pulled one back early in the second half and then Arthur ran the ball down the line before cutting in and crossing through the middle for Rioch to hit one of his howitzer’s into the net. 2-2 it finished.
20th May and it was back to Hampden to play Northern Ireland. The Scots romped home in this 3-0 with goals from Ted MacDougall, Kenny Dalglish and Derek Parlane. Shouts of Bring on the English were chanted throughout the match. Unfortunately, four days later they did and it was the Scots that were humbled five one. Although, for Arthur it was only 61 minutes of misery leaving when the score was only 3-1 being replaced by Tommy Hutchison. Messrs. Dalglish, McQueen, McGrain and Rioch all played that day but they would get their revenge by taking part in two victories over England in 1976 and ’77.
A disappointing Euro campaign continued (having already lost to Spain at home) in Rumania with Scotland drawing one each in a game that saw Willie Miller make his Scotland debut along with Jim Brown of Sheffield United in goal in his only Scotland appearance after the failure of Stewart Kennedy at Wembley the week previous. Gordon McQueen equalised for Scotland in the 89th minute.
After that mad dash of five games in three weeks; Arthur would play in Scotland’s next fixture in Copenhagen as the Scots scraped by with a one nil win with Joe Harper providing the only goal in September ‘75. This game was noted for the bar brawl that led to bans for Billy Bremner, Arthur Graham, Joe Harper, Pat McCluskey and Willie Young.
You would think with a squad losing five players Arthur might have kept his place but he and Tommy Hutchison never played again for Scotland after that night.
So Happy Birthday Arthur and all the best.