It is quite rare for a player to begin his career in the Highland League and progress to Full International Honours however on this day in 1994 two such players, both made their debuts for Scotland.
Inverness born John McGinlay started his career at Fort William and then went on to Nairn before working his way up the lower England leagues and eventually to Bolton where he gained his first Scotland cap. John would score in his opening game a 2-1 win over Austria in Vienna. He would be replaced in the 75th minute by Duncan Shearer who had also tread a similar path.
Fort William born Shearer started out at Inverness
Clachnacuddin before progressing through the English Leagues then moving to Aberdeen where he gained his first cap.
John would play 13 times for Scotland scoring four goals including that special one v Sweden in November, 1996 at Ibrox. Duncan would only play seven games scoring two goals.
So here’s to John and Duncan two players that worked their socks off to get to the Scotland team and were very popular players at the teams they played with.
Scotland team lined up as Jim Leighton (Hibernian), Stewart McKimmie (Aberdeen), Alan McLaren (Hearts), Colin Hendry (Blackburn Rovers), Brain Irvine (Aberdeen), Tom Boyd (Celtic), Billy McKinlay (Dundee United), Gary McAllister (Leeds United, Captain), John Collins (Celtic), John McGinlay (Bolton Wanderers) and Eoin Jess (Aberdeen).
Ian Ferguson of Rangers replaced Tom Boyd at half time. Duncan Shearer came on for Billy McKinlay in the 75th minute. Pat Nevin of Tranmere replaced Eoin Jess in the 84th and a minute later Stuart McCall came on for John Collins.
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