I was thinking about Peter Lorimer the other day and thinking there’s another great Scottish player who on the International front never made the big impact that he did on a club level in English First Division and even in European competitions. Peter was well known for his powerful shooting and was nicknamed ‘Lash’ because of it.
Peter was the last player to be capped in the 1960’s coming on as a late sub in Scotland’s final World Cup Qualifier in November 1969 against Austria for Hugh Curran; who also made his debut that night along with Francis Burns of Manchester United playing in his only game. West Germany had already qualified, which is why Bobby Brown went with a side that was quite inexperienced. They lost two nil.
As for Peter, he didn’t feature again until 1971, which if you read the Bobby Moncur article the other day you would wasn’t a great year for Scotland. Peter played in a 0-0 draw with Wales and a one nil defeat to Northern Ireland.
He played in all three games in the 1972 Home Internationals under Tommy Docherty and indeed scored in the 2-0 defeat of Northern Ireland and hit the only goal as Scotland beat Wales 1-0 at Hampden as were all the games that year. Scotland lost one nil to England in the final game of the series, which as Hamish Husband pointed out the other day was a rather dirty game. There were twenty fouls committed in the first twenty minutes. Must have been a bruising contest and I do wonder how much actual playing time there was.
Lorimer like a lot of English club players didn’t travel to Brazil for the Independence tourney; mostly at the behest of their respective clubs but Docherty did play him in our opening games of the World Cup Qualifiers, away and at home against Denmark which marked Tommy’s last games in charge. Scotland won the first game in Copenhagen 4-1 and Peter scored the second goal of the game at Hampden as they won 2-0.
Peter scored in six minutes and started off a rout in Scotland’s next game unfortunately it was an own goal and was followed by four more as Scotland lost to England in Willie Ormond’s first game as manager in February 1973 aka the Valentine Day’s Massacre.
Lorimer would again feature in a defeat to England as the Scots narrowly lost 1-0 at Wembley in May that year.
Timing is everything and although Peter did not play on the night of the victory over Czechoslovakia and World Cup Qualification, he did play in the game against England a year later which Scotland won 2-0 and was then an integral part of the team; which we all know because of his most famous moment in a Scotland jersey as he walloped in the first goal of our World Cup against Zaire. Peter then did his trademark celebration clapping his hands above his head.
Peter played in the games against Brazil and Yugoslavia; in the Brazil game if you watch the highlights he takes a few free kicks outside the area from a long way out such was the power in his shot.
Although, Peter would play in a few more games after the World Cup with the emergence of the likes of Masson and Rioch he became surplus to requirement and that was it for Scotland, although he would play on for quite a few years and would become Leeds United all time goalscorer, a record which he still holds and is doubtful it will ever be broken.
(For stickeraholics out there the photo is a Leaf sticker from the 100 Years of Soccer Stars set from 1988)