Well with no birthdays today I thought I would do one of these again. The photo is of course of Gordon’s greatest moment in a Scotland jersey as he towers above the English defence and bullets an unstoppable header past Ray Clemence. This was at Wembley in June 4th, 1977 in one of Ally MacLeod’s first games in charge. The timing was perfect; two minutes before the break and Dalglish would add a second in 61 minutes and although Mick Channon would score with a penalty in the last few minutes, the day was ours and bedlam and a pitch invasion followed.
It was a bit of a surprise when Gordon was picked for the 1974 World Cup squad by Willie Ormond as he had yet to earn his first cap but had made good progress in the Leeds United team in season 1973-’74. Gordon’s first cap came in a World Cup warm up game against Belgium in June ‘74 in Bruges. Scotland lost the game 2 -1 with Jimmy Johnstone providing the Scots goal.
Gordon didn’t play in any part in the World Cup that year and sadly due to injury he never played in the 1978 World Cup despite travelling as MacLeod hoped to have him fit for the later stages of the tournament. Sadly, we all know what was wrong with that scenario.
Gordon would play for Scotland from 1974 until 1981 winning a total of 30 caps (17 of which were with Leeds, the other 13 from Manchester United) scoring five goals; which is a goal every six games, if only some of our centre halves or even forwards could achieve that today we’d be fine.
His first goal would be a last minute equaliser in Bucharest, Romania in a European Championship Qualifier in June 1975. This would be Gordon’s only game as team Captain rather surprisingly. Prior to the England game of 1977, Gordon scored against Northern Ireland at Hampden three days before, in between two Dalglish goals to give Scotland a 3-0 win.
Gordon would then score in Ally MacLeod’s last game in charge, a 3-2 European Qualifier defeat to Austria in Vienna. Andy Gray would get the other as Scotland staged a late comeback from 3-0 down. His final Scotland goal came in the same competition as Scotland under Jock Stein humbled Norway 4-0 in Oslo with goals from Joe Jordan. Kenny Dalglish, John Robertson and the last one from Gordon.
As to Gordon’s Focus On; there are some wee gems of answers. His favourite other team is Kilbirnie Ladeside, even though Gordon was born and bred in the Ayrshire village of Kilbirnie; it’s still a great answer. His biggest thrill was Captaining Scotland and biggest disappointment was missing the 1975 European Cup Final through suspension. (The article was written in 1977 and with missing the 1978 World Cup perhaps that would have been superceded.)
He has went for the classic shaving as a miscellaneous dislike but likes “Going home to visit friends in Scotland.”
Finally, his professional ambition was “To win the World Cup with Scotland”. Oh dear.