First posted on Facebook, October 3rd, 2016
So when you were a wee boy, did you ever dream of playing for your country against England at Hampden in front of a crowd of 149,269, opening the scoring and to add to that dream were you the Captain of Scotland and all of this on your debut? Well, it did actually happen to one Jimmy Dougal who was born on this day in 1913. Jimmy was playing with Preston North End at the time.
There is of course, a twist to the tale; Scotland got beat 2-1 and it was also Jimmy’s first and last game for Scotland. Why would such a thing happen? Well, Hitler decided to invade Poland. So Britain declared war and by the time Internationals were played again after the war Jimmy was out of the picture. Talk about bad timing.
But let’s go back to Jimmy’s Wembley game in April, 1939. Lining up alongside him were some famous names; in goals was Jerry Dawson of Rangers also known as ‘The Prince of the Yellow Jersey’, George Cummings of Aston Villa who went by the nickname the ‘Granite-Hard Full Back’. Can’t see Alan Hutton ever being called something like that. Then there was fellow Preston North End player Bill Shankly in the line-up. England had some notable players too, such as Tommy Lawton, Joe Mercer and Stanley Matthews.
The only Scotland player able to bridge the gap from pre to post war International football was Jimmy Delaney then of Celtic who won his 9th cap against Wales in November, 1938. His tenth would be awarded against England in 1947. Jimmy was by then a Manchester United player and would win 15 caps in total, scoring 6 goals. His grandson John Kennedy also played for Scotland, as I’m sure most of us know John suffered a horrendous injury on his debut for Scotland in March, 2004 against Romania and was destined never to play for Scotland again.
As to Jimmy he would play for Carlisle United and then Halifax Town before retiring in 1949. Jimmy passed away in October, 1999.