First posted on Facebook on April 22nd, 2016
Ex-Dundee United and Blackburn player Billy will 47 today. Billy earned his first cap for Scotland in 1993 against Malta, one of only three players who have been capped for Scotland while playing in the First Division that was. His fellow Dundee United player David Bowman will be another and I suspect Alan Rough could be the third but I could be wrong.
Anyway, Billy scored within fifteen minutes of starting in his debut game against Malta in the Ta’Qali Stadium in Valletta in November, 1993. Colin Hendry scored late in the second half to give Scotland one of their very few wins in the 1994 World Cup campaign.
Rather bizarrely, Billy’s other three goals would be accompanied by John McGinlay of Bolton also scoring in the same game. There first double was in a friendly in Vienna which Scotland beat Austria 2-1 with McGinlay and then McKinlay bagging goals either side of half time.
Then in October, 1994 in a game against the Faroes as Scotland won 5-1 in a Euro Qualifier. Scott Booth and John Collins with a double, were the other scorers that night at Hampden. Their final double came against the Faroes in Toftir in June 1995 as they hit a first half double inside the first thirty minutes to win the tie. Billy would win 15 caps as a Blackburn Rovers player and 14 as a Dundee United one but never scored as a Rovers player.
Billy is also quite unique in having come on as sub in our opening games of Euro ’96 v Netherlands and then France ’98 v Brasil and not featured again in either of the tournaments. Sadly Billy also succumbed to that dye your hair peroxide blonde fad in ’98. Who can forget Craig Burley scoring against Norway in France, only to think he was a superstar by getting his hair dyed blonde for the Morocco game and to play like a complete fud? Although in fairness to Craig he wasn’t the only one.
Happy Birthday Billy and I hope it’s not too cold in Norway at the moment where you are the manager of Stabaek. All the best.