First posted on Facebook on May 23rd, 2016
May 23rd, perhaps not the best day to be born if you’re hoping to have a successful Scotland career.
First up, Happy 60th birthday to Ian Wallace, he of the ginger frizz. Ian created quite stir down in England with Coventry City scoring goals quite freely after his move from Dumbarton. His first cap came under Ally MacLeod in February, 1978 against Bulgaria. Ian was brought on in the 55th minute for Kenny Dalglish with the game tied at one each. He would score the winner with five minutes remaining. Unfortunately for Ian, despite scoring that goal that would be all the game time he would get under MacLeod. World Cup ’78 came and went without him but Jock Stein would bring him back into the fold for Euro Qualifier against Portugal in Lisbon in November ’78. It would only be a mere cameo role as he was given the last twelve minutes coming on for Joe Jordan. Scotland were 1-0 behind at this time and that was how it would remain.
However, come April ’79 Jock would give Ian a starting berth down at Ninian Park, Cardiff. John Toshack of Wales would run riot with an inexperienced Scotland defence with new caps Alan Hansen, Paul Hegarty and George Burley all starting. Toshack scored three goals to give the Welsh a 3-0 victory, as for Ian he was substituted in the 55th minute with Jordan replacing him.
Ian was never capped again despite moving to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest a year later in a £1 million deal.
Also, having a birthday today is Stephen Glass who will turn 40 today. Stephen started out his career with Aberdeen and was seen as a player with great potential. He would move to Newcastle at the start of the 1998-99 season for a fee of £650,000. Stephen would return to Pittodrie shortly after in October to make his debut for Scotland under Craig Brown. Stephen would come on, in the 79th minute against the Faroe Islands in a Euro Qualifier. Scotland won 2-1 with goals from Craig Burley and Billy Dodds but Stephen would never feature again for the National side. Things would not work out at Newcastle as his time was injury blighted, however he did have more success at Watford and indeed flourished at Easter Road on his return to Scotland in 2003. However, Stephen never made his way back into the Scotland side; so 11 minutes was all he would ever play. Happy 40th birthday Stephen.
Happy 31st Birthday to Ross Wallace of Sheffield Wednesday who has become a bit of a forgotten man in terms of Scotland despite being a consistently good performer with likes of Sunderland, Preston North End and Burnley. It was during his time at Preston that he was capped by George Burley in what was to be his penultimate game in charge. Ross was given the first half against Japan in the Nissan Stadium, Yokohama before being replaced by Stephen Hughes of Norwich. Scotland would lose two late goals in the 2-0 defeat. Ross is currently part of the Sheffield Wednesday squad preparing for the Championship play-off final against Hull City and indeed scored two of their three goals in the play offs against Brighton to see them through to Wembley. Will WGS give Ross his chance at some point in the future or does the fact the Strachan didn’t fancy him when he was in charge of Celtic suggest he’s just not his type of player?
As if that was not enough, Scott Morrison who played for Aberdeen and Dunfermline around ten years ago and was capped 12 times at Under 21 level but never made it to the full side has a birthday today.
So will anyone born on this day ever make his way to a distinguished Scotland career?
Who knows but Liverpool goalkeeper Ryan Fulton may finally be the guy to break that duck. Happy 20th birthday Ryan and all the best