Duncan will be 79 today ( 14th July, 2016) and he played 14 times in total for Scotland. Duncan was a regular for Celtic in the late fifties and early sixties playing at right back. He was first capped for Scotland in April, 1959 taking part in the Home International match against England at Wembley. John Dick a forward for West Ham would make his only Scotland appearance on that day too. Scotland would lose one nil to a second half goal from Bobby Charlton.
Duncan retained his place for the next three games as Scotland played a trio of friendlies. First up was a 3-2 victory over West Germany at Hampden with John White, then of Falkirk, Andy Weir of Motherwell and Graham Leggat of Fulham scoring. From there, towards the end of May, Scotland defeated the Netherlands 2-1 at the Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam with Bobby Collins of Everton and Leggat hitting the goals. In early June, Scotland lost the final friendly one nil in Lisbon to Portugal.
He wasn’t involved on the two opening games of the 1959-’60 Home International series but returned to face England once more, this time at Hampden in April 1960. Graham Leggat would give Scotland the lead but a Bobby Charlton second half penalty gained England the draw. This game was again followed by a series of friendlies starting off with a 3-2 defeat at home to Poland despite goals from Denis Law and Ian St. John. (This was the first of four home games we have played against the Poles and we have still to beat them; losing twice and drawing the other two).
A small tour of Europe followed and saw Scotland lose 4-1 in Vienna, with Duncan’s namesake Dave Mackay hitting the consolation goal, draw 3-3 with Hungary in Budapest with Willie Hunter of Motherwell, Alex Young of Hearts and George Herd of Clyde and finally on to Ankara in Turkey. Duncan is one of that elite Scottish brand who have played Turkey in a match, as 8th June, 1960 is still the only occasion the two teams have met. Scotland were to lose 4-2 with Eric Caldow hitting a penalty and Alex Young the other.
Duncan played in the two opening games of the ’60-’61 Home Internationals in which Scotland were to lose 2-0 down at Ninian Park and then win 5-2 at Hampden in November, 1960 with goals from Law, Caldow (another penalty), Alex Young and two from Ralph Brand. Duncan had played seven games in a row and had now accumulated 11 caps, however, he was dropped for the game against the Auld Enemy in April ‘61 in favour of Bobby Shearer of Rangers where he was chosen as the reserve player. Ill fortune or good luck? With Scotland losing 9-3 perhaps it was the latter.
He wasn’t involved in Scotland’s opening three World Cup ties that year but was brought back to the defence after a 4-0 crushing by Czechoslovakia in Bratislava to face the Czechs at Hampden in a must win game in September, ’61. Scotland left it late and did it the hard way. Is there any other? Twice, going behind to the Czechs with St. John and Law hitting equalisers before Denis hitting the winner with seven minutes remaining.
Duncan would start one more game for Scotland, a crushing 6-1 victory over Northern Ireland in October ’61. All the goals were scored by Rangers players; Davie Wilson with one, Ralph Brand with two and Alex Scott with a hat-trick. He would be replaced by Alex Hamilton of Dundee who would play in 24 of the following 25 games for Scotland at right back. His final appearance would come against Uruguay in a friendly at Hampden in May of ’62 coming on as a sub for fellow Celt Pat Crerand in the 75th minute. Scotland were three down already in this rather tousy match but two late goals by Jim Baxter and Ralph Brand would put some respectability on to the score line.
Duncan would leave Celtic in 1964 having been with them since 1955 without winning a major honour, however he was very highly thought of at the time during Celtic’s barren spell. He moved on to Third Lanark and then played out his football days in two stints in Australia.
Happy Birthday Duncan and all the best.