First posted on Facebook, August 24th, 2016
Happy Birthday to Iain Munro who turns 65 today. Iain was capped seven times for Scotland, over a two year period from 1979 to 1980. All seven of his caps came during his second spell with St. Mirren having already played for Hibernian and Rangers (briefly), before returning to Love St.
Following the World Cup in 1978, Frank Gray had taken over as left full back from Willie Donachie, however Jock Stein gave Iain his chance to stake his claim for the position following a disappointing Home International Series in May, 1979. Iain’s first game was to be against Argentina at Hampden in June 1979. Scotland were well beaten 3-1 by the World Champions and in particular by a reputation building performance by Diego Maradona.
Five days after this, Scotland played a Euro Qualifier in Oslo with Munro retaining his place. The Norwegians were soundly beaten 4-0 with goals from Joe Jordan, Kenny Dalglish, John Robertson and Gordon McQueen.
With the start of the ’79 – ’80 season, Munro held onto the left back slot and played in a friendly with Peru at Hampden which ended 1-1 with Asa Hartford netting the Scots opener in the 4th minute. Next up was the Euro Qualifier action with a 1-1 draw with Austria at Hampden with Hans Krankl opening the scoring before a second half equaliser from Archie Gemmill.
If it’s Belgium away, then it must be a defeat. Scotland lost to Belgium in November, 1979. Iain had played with Sandy Jardine as his full back partner for the last three games and perhaps with Danny McGrain returning from injury, it was perhaps no surprise that the Jardine and McGrain partnership was resurrected at Iain’s expense for the next game; a 3-0 defeat to Belgium at Hampden. This would be Jardine’s final game for Scotland.
Following this, McGrain would flit from right to left back and Iain would gain his final two caps in the 1980 Home International Series starting with a win against Wales, with that midfield dynamo Willie Miller scoring the only goal of the game at Hampden. This was followed by a poor team performance against England at Hampden a few days later as the Scots went down 2-0.
And that was to be it for Iain as Frank Gray would soon return to the team and make the position his for the next few years. Iain would of course continue to play for St. Mirren before moving to Stoke City, Sunderland, Dundee United and then Hibs once more before having stints in management. Iain stills works in football over in the USA.
Playing for Scotland is not his only claim to fame as apparently he taught P.E. to not but two of the Scotland Epistles finest at Cadder Primary school in Glasgow. If he could have seen the way Robert Marshall and Alan Nelson look now he may well have given it all up there and then. Happy Birthday Iain and all the best.