First posted on Facebook April 24th, 2016
Happy Birthday to Rab Douglas who will be 44 today. Rab was probably Berti Vogts’ first choice goalkeeper but was fortunate that Berti chose to go with Neil Sullivan in his first game in charge; so it was Neil that picked the ball out of the net 5 times rather than Rab in Paris.
Rab was a Celtic player at the time of his first cap which came up at Pittodrie against Nigeria, which despite an early goal Christian Dailly saw Scotland lose 2-1.
Berti did go with Sullivan again in the 4-1 defeat to South Korea that followed. However, after this Rab was given a clear run of games to establish himself as Number one choice.
Our campaign for the Euros 2004 got off to a really poor start as Scotland lost two quick goals to the Faroes in Toftir; an equaliser in the last ten minutes from Barry Ferguson barely saved Scotland’s blushes. David Weir would withdraw from the International scene due to criticism that came his way from Berti after the game; as for Rab he continued to be the first choice for wins home and away against Iceland; a draw with Germany at Hampden and a win against the Faroes at home. He would also take part in the 2-1 defeat to Germany in September 2003 before the victory against Lithuania at home that secured Scotland’s place in the play offs. Cap 15 came with the highest of highs as we beat the Netherlands 1-0 at Hampden in November 2003. Caps 16 and 17 saw him lose 6 goals to the Netherlands and then 4 to Wales and suddenly other names started to appear on the teamsheet such as Craig Gordon, David Marshall and Paul Gallacher as he moved rapidly down the pecking order.
However, things changed when Walter Smith came on the scene and suddenly Rab was back in the mix and indeed started in Smith’s first game in charge, a World Cup Qualifier against Italy in March, 2005. Unfortunately good fortune was not to shine on Rab as he came off injured in 39 minutes and was replaced by Craig Gordon who was winning his sixth cap.
Rab would be given one more cap and his only one as a Leicester City player, coming on as a half time sub for Craig Gordon in a friendly in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadion, Graz v Austria in August, 2005. Scotland were leading at half time 2-0 thanks to goals from Kenny Miller and Garry O’Connor but were to lose two goals in the last ten minutes to end the game in a draw.
That was it for Rab but to be fair Craig Gordon was going through an exceptional period at this point and would have been hard for any keeper to shift from the Number One spot.
Happy Birthday Rab and all the best.