First posted on Facebook on May 1st, 2016
Happy Birthday, also today to a grand old man of Scottish football; Doug Cowie who turned 90. Doug played in defence over 340 times for Dundee and was capped 20 times for Scotland from 1953-1958 appearing in two World Cups.
Cowie was first capped in 1953 against England at Wembley in April. Playing alongside him was club teammate and Scotland legend Billy Steel. Steel was also born on May 1st but three years before Doug. Steel won 30 caps scoring 12 goals in the process including four in the one match against Northern Ireland in 1950 which Scotland won 6-1. Billy passed away in 1982 aged 59.
The result that day in 1953 was a 2-2 draw with the Auld Enemy with Lawrie Reilly hitting a double; one of which was in the last minute.
Doug would go on to play all four Internationals that year which included two Home Internationals that doubled up as World Cup Qualifiers. Scotland beat Northern Ireland 3-1 at Windsor Park, Belfast and drew 3-3 with Wales at Hampden. Despite a defeat to England in the final game of the series, Scotland travelled to Switzerland for the World Cup as runners-up.
Doug played in both of Scotland’s games in Switzerland; opening with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Austria, followed by a not so narrow defeat to Uruguay. Scotland lost 7-0 in the heat of Basle with their heavy cotton kit making sure they all shed pounds and couldn’t keep up with the Uruguayans who were more prepared for the climate.
Timing is everything in football and Doug would be in and out of the team over the next few years and didn’t feature in any of the 1958 World Cup Qualifiers. However, come the World Cup warm-ups, Doug returned to the side, perhaps as they had lost 4-0 to England at Hampden in April and would play in the first two games of the World Cup in Sweden. Scotland drew their opening game 1-1 with Yugoslavia but followed that up with a narrow 3-2 defeat to Paraguay. Doug would miss the final game, which Scotland lost 2-1 to France.
After the World Cup, Scotland looked to build a younger team and Doug never again played for Scotland he would however, play a few more seasons with Dundee before moving to Morton in 1961 for a couple of years and then moved into coaching and management.
Happy Birthday Doug and all the best