(First posted on Facebook on March 17th, 2016)
Time for one more birthday. Happy birthday to Lawrie Leslie who turned 81 today. Lawrie played in goals for Scotland in the early 60’s as an Airdrie player. Leslie made his first appearance in the 1960-61 Home International series as Scotland first played Wales in Cardiff and then Northern Ireland in late 1960. Scotland would lose 2-0 to Wales before thumping Northern Ireland 5- 2 in a game that marked the debut of Scotland legend Jim Baxter with goals coming from Denis Law, Eric Caldow, Alec Young and two from Ralph Brand.
I can’t decide if Lawrie was lucky or not to miss the next game through injury as his replacement Frank Haffey, gained immortal infamy after letting in 9 goals against England at Wembley in April, 1961. Who knows what would have lay in store for Lawrie had he been fit.
May, 1961 and a World Cup double header would see Scotland beat the Republic of Ireland 4-1 at home and then 3-0 at Dalymount Park, Dublin.
If Lawrie thought he had begun to establish himself as Scotland’s number one, a 4-0 defeat to group rivals Czechoslovakia in Bratislava put paid to that and Bill Brown of Tottenham was then brought in to take over between the sticks once more.
Leslie would soon leave Airdrie for West Ham and then move to Stoke, Millwall and ending his career at Southend.
Happy Birthday Lawrie and all the best. Incidentally Lawrie was not the last Airdrie player to be capped for Scotland. Who was?
A. Drew Jarvie who was capped three times in 1971