Continuing with Famous Scotland players and their debuts; this week it’s the turn of Colin Hendry. Colin came to the International scene quite late making his International bow at the age of 27 having never been involved at the Under-21 stage. Colin was in his second period with Blackburn Rovers following a short lived move to Manchester City. As Blackburn’s stock began to rise under Kenny Dalglish so too did Colin’s.
Following a disastrous result in Lisbon in April ’93, Andy Roxburgh decided to go with a new central pairing of Brian Irvine and Hendry. Colin’s first game was against Estonia at the Kadriog Stadion, Tallinn on May 19th, 1993. Scotland would win 3-0 thanks to goals from Kevin Gallacher, John Collins and Scott Booth.
Colin would play in the home game against Estonia with Scotland winning 3-1 but would be posted missing for Andy Roxburgh’s last games in charge. However, Craig Brown chose him for his first game in charge in Malta in November, 1993. Colin would repay Brown’s faith by scoring the second goal in Scotland’s 2-0 win. Brown would rarely leave Hendry out after this and indeed Colin would go on to Captain Scotland 23 times mostly in the absence of Gary McAllister it would have to be said.
Colin earned his 10th cap in Moscow as Scotland played a European Qualifier; making his debut alongside him would be Tottenham Hotspur’s Colin Calderwood. The game would end 0-0 and the Hendry / Calderwood partnership was born. They would play together a total of 26 times including all three games at Euro ’96 and two games of the World Cup ’98 in France.
When the film Braveheart came out in 1995, Colin with his ‘Never Say Die’ attitude seemed to take on a whole new persona as some sort of Mel Gibson / William Wallace amalgam and he was often seen as representing the Braveheart idea of a Scotsmen.
Colin’s Scotland career would come to a sudden halt in March, 2001. Colin scored two goals against San Marino in a World Cup Qualifier in a 4-0 victory at Hampden. However, he had been caught on camera elbowing a San Marino player and was given a six game retrospective ban which would effectively end his time with the Scotland team.
Colin gained 51 caps and scored 3 goals for Scotland and is perhaps the last domineering Centre Half we have had and he seemed to represent all that was great about the team at the time.