First posted on Facebook on April 23rd, 2016
Happy Birthday to Andy Webster who will be 34 today.
Andy began his career at Arbroath and from there he moved to Hearts for £75,000 in 2001 and became an important player for the Jambos in the following years so much so that Berti Vogts gave him his International debut on April 3rd, 2003. Of course at this point Berti would give debuts to a lot of players, even if they were ballboys for the likes of Newcastle, Chelsea and others.
With it being a home friendly under Berti, Scotland got beat 2-0 at Hampden by Austria. However, Andy would win his third cap playing against Germany in a Euro Qualifier at Hampden a few months later in early June. On a glorious sunny day, Scotland gave a good account of themselves with the game ending in a 1-1 with Kenny Miller scoring.
This draw was achieved despite the handicap of playing with the likes of Rab Douglas in goal, Maurice Ross in defence and other ordinary players like Paul Devlin and Stevie Crawford in the mix. He would then go on to play the next two games a nil nil draw with Norway in a friendly in and a 3-1 win over the Faroes. However, he would then miss a few games and returned to the side after the mauling in the Netherlands in the Euro play-offs.
By the time of Berti’s long overdue departure as manager Andy had earned 13 caps in total. Walter Smith would continue to use him and Andy gained 22 caps by 2006. In November, 2005 Andy scored his only Scotland goal in a 1-1 draw with the USA at Hampden.
However, at this point he wanted a move from Hearts despite there being a year still to go on his four year contract. After, a protracted period of dispute, he did eventually get a move to Wigan and here the story takes a turn for the worse as he only ever played four times for Wigan before moving on loan to Rangers within months. Again, this move was disputed by Hearts; again this was overruled. Many Hearts fans and officials really believe the move was always on and that the move to Wigan was a ploy to get him to Rangers. However, this is where the curse of Berti comes in. I have often stated that it is remarkable the number of players first capped by Berti, whose career’s have went down the toilet mainly due to injury (Lee Wilkie, John Kennedy, Peter Canero etc.), even sometimes on a temporary basis (Craig Gordon, Darren Fletcher etc.) and indeed Andy would be one of those. In his years with Rangers due to injury he only ever played a couple of games and had loan spells at Bristol City and Dundee United before returning to Hearts again.
Craig Levein would bring Andy back into the Scotland fold when he was with Dundee United in March 2010 playing in his first game in charge; a 1-0 friendly victory over the Czech Republic. However, cap 24 came as a Hearts player and would come in the embarrassing 5-1 defeat to the USA in Florida. He would gain his 28th and final cap against Estonia in Gordon’s Strachan’s first game in charge in February, 2013.
Andy currently plays at St. Mirren and we wish him all the best on his birthday.