Posted on Facebook on 28th May, 2016
One of the things that is in the news just now is the 100th Anniversary of the naval Battle of Jutland which took place in May, 1916. I am in some ways a history buff and have always been interested in battles, wars etc. However, the first time I came across the name Jutland was not in a history book or in a documentary but in the Wee Red Book in the Internationals Results Section. I’m not sure when but it seems to have disappeared from the book in recent times and is not mentioned on the SFA site or in Scotland football books but a game did take place on 24th May, 1959.
This game was a prelude to two full Internationals and was being used to blood some young Scots who hopefully would go on to full national careers. It did not go too well and in Gair Henderson’s report for the Evening Times; the headline is: The Scots Were Bad Boys; Woeful display v Jutland.
In references to this game Scotland are listed as a Scotland XI v Jutland. The Scots fielded a young team mostly under 23’s. The line-up was follows: Bert Slater (Motherwell), Duncan Mackay (Celtic), Doug Baird (Partick Thistle), Eric Smith (Celtic), Jacky McGugan (St. Mirren), Billy Stevenson (Rangers), Alec Scott (Rangers), John White (Falkirk), Andy Kerr (Manchester City), Denis Law (Huddersfield Town) and Bertie Auld (Celtic). Andy Kerr was named as captain, Andy had won two caps in 1955 as a Partick Thistle and was the most experienced player in the team.
The match took place in the city of Aarhus and was made of young players from the surrounding area.
Scotland had scored two goals in quick succession in the first half through Law and Kerr and seemed to be coasting but similarly lost two goals in three minutes in the second half and by then their discipline began waiver. Denis Law was of course relatively young at this point but Denis could always give it out as well as he could take it and he apparently gave it out a bit too much that day too and was spoken to by the referee on a few occasions.
Bertie Auld did put Scotland back in the lead following good work from Law but then the most controversial moment of the game followed. Billy Stevenson lost the ball in the Scots half and Doug Baird scythed down the Danish forward in the penalty box and a spot kick was given. Andy Kerr then ran from his opponents half and began to berate the ref over the decision for a prolonged amount of time. The Evening Times reported stated it was a definite penalty and needed no demonstration against it’s award. The kick proceeded and the Danes equalised and that was how it finished. Scotland were booed by the Danish for bad sportsmanship towards the end of the game.
Henderson in his report is quite scathing of the Scots and says of some of them “The kindest thing that can be said of many of the players is very little. It is enough to say that Baird, Stevenson, McGugan, Scott and Kerr will not play so badly for years to come. But unfortunately the damage has already been done.”
As stated the damage had been done and only Alex Scott would resurface in the dark blue of Scotland of that lot. A more experienced Scotland team would beat Netherlands 3 days later in Amsterdam with goals from Graham Leggat and Bobby Collins. However, they were to lose 1-0 to Portugal a week later in Lisbon.
If it’s of any consolation England lost 2-1 to Mexico on the same day as the Jutland game in their third match of a tour of the Americas. They already lost the first two; 2-0 to Brazil and then 4-1 to Peru in Lima.