First posted on Facebook on August 28th, 2016
Duncan Shearer will turn 54 today. Duncan played seven times for Scotland in 1994 and 1995. Like John McGinlay and Darren Jackson, both of whom also played around that time, he was not the most gifted of strikers for Scotland but like McGinlay and Jackson he stuck to his task and he helped us get to the 1996 Euro finals in England.
Duncan had played most of his football in England and begun to make a name for himself at Huddersfield, then Swindon and was transferred to Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn Rovers. This move did not pan out and Aberdeen paid £500,000 for his services in 1992. Duncan would have some great years at Aberdeen scoring 53 times in 157 League Games.
It was during this period that Craig Brown brought Duncan into the Scotland team. Duncan would make his first appearance in April, 1994 coming on as a late sub for the aforementioned John McGinlay for the last fifteen minutes against Austria in a friendly in Vienna. Scotland won 2-1 thanks to goals from McGinlay and Billy McKinlay.
A month later and Scotland were well beaten 3-1 by the Netherlands in Utrecht in another friendly. Once more, Duncan would replace McGinlay late in the game but he would score in the 81st minute with a nice dinked header after good work from Aberdeen teammate Eoin Jess (I will post this video later so please look out for it).
Scotland started their qualifying for Euro ’96 in Helsinki, Finland in September, 1994 and Duncan was given a starting place alongside Andy Walker of Celtic. A good passing move early on in the game saw Tom Boyd fire a cross over which Duncan headed into goal to give Scotland the lead. John Collins would double the score in the second half to give Scotland a comfortable win and a great start to their qualifying campaign. (I will post this one also)
It would be March 1995 before Duncan played for Scotland again. He had missed the 5-1 win over the Faroes at Hampden, 1-1 draw also at home to Russia and the 1-0 defeat to Greece in Athens. He returned as a late sub to Darren Jackson in the Luzhniki Stadion, Moscow. Scotland earned 0-0 draw to keep their Euro hopes alive.
Duncan started alongside McGinlay for the game away to the Faroes in Toftir. Billy McKinlay and John McGinlay would score midway through the first half to give Scotland the win. Shearer was replaced by John Robertson with only a few minutes remaining.
His final Scotland game was in the vital home game against Greece; a Scotland win would see them through as runners up. Shearer had started the game but this was not to be his night but would belong to one Alistair Murdoch McCoist. McCoist came on for his first Scotland game in over two years following his leg break in Portugal, 1993 and within a minute scored the goal that would spark wild celebrations and ultimately see Scotland reach the Euros in 1996.
Duncan would play in two ‘B’ Internationals in the next few months as Scotland prepared for the England ’96, scoring in a 2-1 win against Sweden in Stockholm but would not be selected for the Finals squad. In 1997 Duncan would move on to Inverness Caley Thistle where he would finish his playing career before moving into coaching.
Happy Birthday Deadly Dunc and all the best.