First posted on Facebook on May 6th, 2016
Happy Birthday to George Herd who will turn 80 today. George played for Scotland 5 times between 1958-1960 and was the last Clyde player to represent Scotland. Clyde won the Scottish Cup twice in the fifties in ’55 and ’58. Around this time three other players were capped including ‘Off the Ball’ favourite Tommy Ring, Harry Haddock and Archie Robertson.
George was first capped against England in April 1958, fellow team mate Harry Haddock also played. Making their debut that day was also James Forrest from Motherwell in his only appearance and Jimmy Murray of Hearts. Jimmy belongs to that select bunch of players that have scored for Scotland at a World Cup. Jimmy achieved this in a one all draw with Yugoslavia in Sweden 1958.
Sadly for George, Scotland got pumped 4 nil and it would be two years later before he would make another appearance. George returned to the fold in a three each draw with Hungary in Budapest on June 5th 1960, George scored one of the goals with Alex Young of Hearts and debutant Willie Hunter of Motherwell also scoring.
Three days later, George would become one of a very select band of Scotland players when he played against Turkey in Ankara. Scotland lost 4-2 with Eric Caldow converting a penalty and Alex Young scoring the other. To this date the eleven players on duty that day are the only Scottish team to face Turkey at any full international level.
His next game for Scotland came in October 22nd 1960 and was in a 2 nil defeat to Wales. George was picked for one more game a 5-2 win against Northern Ireland on 9th November 1960. Ralph Brand of Rangers scored a double that night on his debut. Brand’s record for Scotland is an incredible 8 games and 8 goals.
George would move to Sunderland from Clyde in 1961 where he played over 270 League games scoring a very respectable 111 goals. In an interview in 2003 George said this about his time with Scotland “when I moved to Sunderland and Ian McColl took over as Scotland’s manager my international career came to an end. We just did not see eye to eye. I would have loved to have won more caps for my country”.
So here’s to George who may not have had the greatest of Scotland careers but like his club Clyde, who have provided 11 players for the National side, his efforts should be celebrated. Happy Birthday George and all the best.
Further to this Robert Thompson added on the Facebook page;
“I first saw George Herd after he signed for SAFC in 1961. His footballing talent was amazing. When he arrived at Roker Park he was cleary supremely fit and he continued (and continues at 80) to be so. Alan Brown saw him and signed him for Sunderland. His amazing skill, vision and trickery along with the time he created for himself when on the ball, would be deemed wasteful by managers in the current era of “athletic” football. God bless him for providing us all with so much pleasure.”