We started a new Book section on the website and although Robert Marshall has uploaded a few of his on it, as yet I have still to join the fray. One of the recent books I bought on ebay was this little beaut called imaginatively ‘England v Scotland’ by Brian James and published by the Sportmans Book Club in 1970.
It tells the history of the fixture from 1872 all the way to the 1968 game, giving an overview of each decade as such. One of the things that it goesinto detail about, is some of the games during World War II, which you don’t often see, giving scores, full line ups and a match details. Perhaps it’s just as well they’re not part of the official records as we would have include an 8-0 defeat at Maine Road, Manchester in 1943 in our records. There were some Scotland wins too including a remarkable 5-4 win at Hampden in 1942. Jock Dodds of Blackpool hit a hat-trick that day too; sadly this feat is not in the records, neither are any of Jock’s 8 Scotland appearances scoring 9 goals. Jock’s real name was Ephraim.
Incidentally, in the listing for this game, the players club is as usual in brackets after their name i.e. Dawson (Rangers), Carabine (Third Lanark) etc. but such are the times that Matt Busby is listed as (Liverpool and Hibernian).
There are quite a few good photos in the book too, stretching throughout the years. I haven’t had the time to read it through but I look forward to doing so.
The ’67 victory at Wembley comes in for a bit of a scathing and is definitely told from an English point of view. Brian Glanville of the Times is quoted as describing the game as ‘indifferent’, Scotland’s victory as ‘pedestrian’. Brian James in his summation of the game is similarly unimpressed. Talking about Jim Baxter and how he ‘conceived it his duty to indulge and encourage others to indulge, in pattern making to the exclusion of progress. When they should have been hammering at England’s goal, they were trying instead to humiliate English opponents with derisive passing movements and solo exhibitions of ball-skill. It wasn’t the arrogance of this that irritated, but its lack of intelligence.”
Overall though it looks a good read and what I really like about it is that I bought it in a book bundle with two other Sportsmans Book Club Issues ; ‘Great Masters of Scottish Football’ by Hugh Taylor and ‘Celtic Triumphant’ by Ian Peebles both from 1968. I had put a bid of £23 on it and got them for £1.20. Whoo-hoo Indeed!