The other day in the George Connelly birthday piece I wrote that George was one of the players that were in Willie Ormond’s initial 40 players named for the World Cup in 1974 but had not made the final 22 but were expected to keep themselves fit.
The list is an odd mixture of players whose Scotland career was generally considered to be over, some who would become part of the squad for Argentina and some were just so leftfield that they never gained a Scottish cap at any time.
Among the players who would never be capped again were the likes of Bobby Lennox, who was last capped in 1970, Colin Stein, then of Coventry who had been last capped the year before. George Connelly also and Pat Stanton who had played for the last time a few months before the World Cup. Jocky Scott would also come into this category having last played for Scotland in 1971. Another player who rather surprisingly came into this list was the only standby player who made the full squad; Peter Cormack. Although Peter had only recently joined Liverpool and would go on to enjoy great success with them, he was never picked again for Scotland and actually won the last of his 9 caps in 1971. Jim Smith of Newcastle had been sent packing from the squad prior to the World Cup after arriving two days late for the Squad gathering for the Home Internationals and so Cormack was given his place.
There were a few players who gain a few more caps, mainly around 1975 as Willie rebuilt the team, these included Derek Parlane of Rangers, Bobby Robinson of Dundee, Wolves’ Frank Munro and goalkeeper Jim Brown who would win his only cap in Bucharest the following summer as Scotland drew 1-1 with Romania in a Euro Qualifier.
Several players would be part of the 1978 World Cup Squad and some like Archie Gemmill and Graeme Souness would become Scotland legends. Derek Johnstone, Lou Macari and Kenny Burns, then of Birmingham City would all travel to Argentina.
Leaving us with the final three who would never actually play for Scotland. John Duncan was a big strong striker who was at Dundee at the time and had been on the periphery of Scotland teams over the last few years without being capped. After Dundee he would go to Tottenham where he would play 103 League scoring a respectable 53 goals. John became famous, years later for taking Chesterfield to FA Cup semi-finals in 1997 losing out in a replay to Middlesbrough.
Defender Jim Hermiston of Aberdeen was also included and this would be as close to the Scotland team as he got and indeed he would quit football shortly after to become a police officer.
Finally, the other perhaps strange one would be Jackie Copland of Dundee United but like Hermiston, Jackie had represented Scotland in a Scottish League XI in March of ’74 where they had lost 5-0 to England at Maine Road. Jackie would go on to play for St. Mirren and like a lot of these players would be very familiar to Scottish card collectors for years.