First posted on Facebook on April, 8th 2016
Billy Dickson will be 71 today. Billy was part of the Kilmarnock squad that won the 1964-’65 League Championship. Five players from that team would win caps with Scotland. Both goalkeepers involved Campbell Forsyth and Bobby Ferguson, centre half Jackie McGrory, winger Tommy McLean and lastly left back Billy Dickson.
Billy would win his first cap on April 18th, 1970. At this point, Bobby Brown, the Scotland manager was frustrated by the refusal of English clubs to release players and began to look more to home players and the less major clubs of the English First Division to fill positions.
Billy was among four players making their debut against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park. Along with Billy; David Hay of Celtic, Willie Carr of Coventry and Derby County’s John O’Hare were drafted in. It would be O’Hare who would score the game’s only goal heading in a cross from a Tommy McLean also of Kilmarnock.
Billy and the three others retained their place for the game against Wales four days later and although the defence continued to keep a shut-out; Scotland also failed to score, which would also be the case in the final game of the Home International series as Scotland and England played out a non-score draw. Again Dickson, Hay, Carr and O’Hare had all started the game.
However, Billy would miss Scotland’s next few games being replaced by Celtic’s Jim Brogan. Billy returned to the team in June, 1971 lining up against Denmark in Copenhagen. Scotland had already lost to both Belgium and Portugal in their European Championships Qualifiers and would do so in Copenhagen. This was at the time an embarrassing defeat, as Denmark were seen as one of Europe’s minnows at the time. The only goal of the game was scored by Finn Laudrup, father of Brian and Michael.
Billy’s final game was also Bobby Brown’s last in charge; a non-event of a friendly against the USSR in Moscow five days after the Danish farce. A make-shift team with John Brownlie of Hibs and Bobby Watson making their debuts, lost 1-0.
Tommy Docherty would come in and utilise Sandy Jardine as right back and switch Hay over to the left, meaning that Billy was no longer part of the Scotland set-up; Willie Donnachie would also come on the scene and eventually Danny McGrain too.
Billy would continue to play for Kilmarnock for a couple of more seasons and would play a handful of games for Motherwell and Hamilton in the following years.
Happy Birthday Billy and all the best.