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One of the things I liked about the Shoot Focus On series was that it caught a player at a particular point in their career and for Roy here, he talks about his International Honours that entails 3 Under 21 caps, which makes this around 1978. In total Roy would win 16 caps for the Under 21’s a lot of which came as the overage player, even long after he had gained his first Full cap.
His first full cap came in 1979 and he was generally a bit player for the next few years until 1985 and right through ‘til 1990 World Cup when he was an essential part of the team, captaining his country on 27 occasions. That first game was against Peru in September, 1979 in a friendly at Hampden. Roy came on as a second half substitute for John Wark. Also, gaining his first cap that night was Davie Cooper. Asa Hartford scored the Scotland goal in the 4th minute but the Peruvians equalised with five minutes to go and it finished one each.
His first start came in a 2-0 defeat to Belgium (who else?) in Brussels (where else?) in a Euro qualifier, this was followed a month later in late December in a 3-1 defeat to Belgium (who else?) at Hampden (where else?) in of course a Euro Qualifier. Roy would also play in the Home International Series of 1980 where Scotland did not do too well, two defeats and a solitary win against Wales through a Willie Miller goal (I kid you not!).
He would gain no caps in 1981 at all and would only be a bit player for seasons ’82 to ’84, however it all changed when in May 1985 he was back in the team for the Rous Cup game against England which Scotland won 1-0. After that, he became a permanent fixture for a while, playing in the vital Qualifiers in Iceland, Wales and both legs of the Australian adventure. Roy also played in all the games of the 1986 World Cup.
It was Andy Roxburgh in October, 1986 who first named Roy as his Captain in 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland in our poor 1988 Euro campaign. However, Roy would continue to captain Scotland through to Italia ’90 reaching 50 caps on the night Scotland qualified for the World Cup in November 1989 where a last minute equalising goal for Norway made an anxious few moments before the final whistle celebrations. This would be Roy’s last cap as a Celt as he would soon move to Newcastle United.
Once more, Roy played in all the World Cup games in Italy continuing to captain the team. A final swansong came in October ’91 when he was given twenty minutes in Bucharest coming on for one cap wonder Mike Galloway of Celtic. Although, Scotland lost this game one nil, they would still qualify for the 1992 Euro Finals. This last cap of Roy’s was won as a St. Mirren player.
Back to the Focus On article, Roy’s favourite player is team mate Danny McGrain, well who’s going to argue with that one then? Biggest thrill was scoring two goals against Rangers; biggest disappointment losing to Aberdeen in the League Cup Final. His Personal ambition was to win a Full Cap and to do well with Celtic in Europe the following season. 1 out 2 isn’t bad.
As for favourite food he went for the classic Steak; miscellaneous likes Movies and Discos (Saturday Night Fever would have satisfied that one then.). Bear in mind that Roy was round about twenty at this time it’s very sad that among his favourite singers were . . . . wait for it Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey. Favourite Actors were Clint Eastwood and Jerry Lewis; which means there will be no gratuitous picture of some hot female from the 70’s (Damn you Roy) and rather sadly who would he most like to meet ; the Fonz. Oh well Happy days indeed for Roy.
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David Stuart