The Scotland Epistles Football Magazine

Scotland Football Fanzine

Happy Birthday to Davie Holt


First posted on Facebook 3rd January 2017

Happy 80th birthday to Davie Holt. Davie gained five Scotland caps in the mid-60s all coming in his days as a Hearts player.
However, like Ronnie Simpson, Davie represented Great Britain at the Olympics before he played for Scotland. Simpson took part in the 1948 London Olympics and Holt the 1960, Rome one. Both were Queens Park players at the time.
Davie’s first Scotland cap was quite memorable as it ended in the 79th minute, as the game between Scotland and Austria descended into a bit of a riot, with one or two punches thrown. Scotland were winning 4-1 when the ref hauled the players off.
His next two games were memorable for the wrong reasons too as Scotland lost to both the amateurs of Norway 4-3 (despite a Denis Law hat-trick) and the Republic of Ireland, who were not renowned as a good team at the time.
However, within the space of a month Davie played in an abandoned game, two defeats and finished it up nicely with a 6-2 hammering of Spain in the Bernabeu. These results were somewhat typical of Scotland in this era.
Jim Kennedy of Celtic then took over the left back position for the next few games and Holt would only play once more, coming on as a sub for Alex Hamilton in a 2-2 friendly draw against West Germany in Hanover in May 1964.Scotland were losing two nil at the time but two late goals by Alan Gilzean gave then the draw.
Holt went on to play with Hearts until 1969 then briefly playing with Partick Thistle before hanging up his boots.
Happy Birthday Davie.
(The card is from a set of ten by Phillip Neill of Scotland Internationalists of the 60s released in 2002.)

Happy Birthday to Scot Gemmill


First posted on Facebook on January 2nd 2017

Happy Birthday to Scotland Gemmill or as he is more likely known, Scot Gemmill who will turn 45 today. Scot, is of course the son of Scotland legend Archie, who drove his wife to Paisley six weeks before the birth of their son to ensure he was born in Scotland.
Scot was capped 26 times for Scotland gaining his first one in May, 1995 in the Kirin Cup against Japan, at which time he was a Nottingham Forest player. Also making their debuts that day were Brian Martin and Paul Lambert of Motherwell, Craig Burley of Chelsea and Paul Bernard, then of Oldham Athletic would also make an appearance. Scotland drew 0-0.
It is fair to say that Scot’s Scotland career was quite frustrating for him; he was only ever a bit part player. He seemed to be on the subs bench a lot or would play from the start in the pre-tournament friendlies for both the ’96 Euros and ’98 World Cups. Scot would make the squad for both but never played in either.
He would have a late flurry of caps under Berti Vogts but once more these would mostly be in friendlies including the Reunification Cup match against the Hong Kong League XI where he would score his only Scotland goal.
Scot’s final cap came in April 2003 against Austria in a friendly at Hampden in front of a meagre crowd of 12,189, in which the Scots lost 2-0. Scot had gained his last thirteen caps as an Everton player.
Scot is of course, the current Scotland Under-21 coach but as yet has not seen much success come his way in that endeavour.
Happy Birthday Scot and all the best.

Scotland line-up 15th October, 1986


Here’s a team picture from 15th October,1986. The 1988 Euro campaign has to go down as one of our worst, starting off with a 0-0 against Bulgaria at home, we followed it up with the same score in this game against the Republic of Ireland at Lansdowne Road. The Republic of Ireland would beat us at Hampden in the February of 1987 and then Belgium would stuff us once more in Brussels. Better times were ahead though as we did manage to beat Belgium 2-0 at Hampden in October 87. I will repeat that “we did manage to beat Belgium 2-0 at Hampden” since it sounds so good. The following month, Gary Mackay wrote his way into Irish history scoring the winner in Sofia, Bulgaria to give the Irish qualification as group winners.
This was Andy Roxburgh’s first campaign as manager and it ended in embarrassment as Scotland drew 0-0 away to Luxembourg in the final game.
Still better times were ahead as Qualifying for Italia ’90 was just around the corner.

Monty Gum Postcards 1982


Another day, another football card. This time it’s from the Monty Gum company who released a set of postcard sized cards for the 1982 World Cup. There is apparently two Scotland ones; if you have the other could you post it please.
This one is taken from Scotland’s last World Cup Qualifier for ’82 in November ’81 at the Estadio Da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal. The line up is from left to right is: Asa Hartford (Captain), Paul Sturrock, Billy Thomson, Frank Gray, Gordon Strachan, Ray Stewart, Davie Provan, Stevie Archibald, Graeme Souness, Alan Hansen and Willie Miller.
Scotland lost 2-1 but had already qualified following a draw in Belfast the month before. Paul Sturrock scored for Scotland.

Happy Birthday Craig Gordon


First posted on Facebook – December 31st, 2016

Happy Birthday to Craig Gordon who will turn 34 today. Craig gained his first cap as a Hearts player in May 2004 in a 4-1 win over Trinidad & Tobago. This was a rare friendly win for Berti Vogts. Although, David Marshall would make his debut in the following game, Gordon became Scotland’s number one choice as goalkeeper until 2010 following the breaking of his arm by a kick from Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe playing for Sunderland; Alan McGregor took over between the sticks.
However, worse was to follow as Craig faced two years out of the game from May 2012 due to a knee injury. Fully rehabilitated, Gordon signed for Celtic in July 2014 and proved to still be a top class goalkeeper and after a gap of four years he earned his 41st cap as a second half sub in the friendly against England in November 2014 at Celtic Park.
Craig currently holds 45 caps and you wouldn’t bet against him gaining more and but for his injury he could have been chasing down Jim Leighton’s record total for a goalkeeper with 91.
Happy Birthday Craig and all the best.

Happy Birthday Frank McLintock


First posted on Facebook, December 28th 2016

Happy Birthday to Frank Mclintock who will turn 77 today. Frank gained 9 caps in total but was never really given a great run in the team at any point. His first few caps came as a Leicester City player making his debut in the summer of 63 coming as a late sub for Dave Mackay. Unfortunately, Scotland lost two late goals in those final twelve minutes to lose 4-3 to a mostly amateur side of Norway. It did prompt a newspaper report to claim he was not International class. Frank in his excellent autobiography “True Grit” lambasted the press of the time, writing, “The majority of the press had disappeared so far up the Old Firm’s arse that they could never be objective about English based players and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) often treated us like the shit on their shoes.”
Frank did score in his third International a week or so later in that thrilling 6-2 victory over Spain at the Bernabeu.
A late flurry of caps came in the 1971 Home International series. Frank in reflection said he should never really have taken part as it followed the end of Arsenal double winning season and he was exhausted.
Happy Birthday Frank and all the best.

Christmas came with stickers

FKS Set of 1982


Four from the 1974 Panini World Cup set


and finally four Panini ones from 1978


Bobby Collins


Bobby Collins won his 28th cap on 3rd June, 1959 in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Portugal. His next cap would come almost six years later as he lined up to play England on April 10th, 1965. Bobby’s career had revitalised after a move from Everton to Leeds in 1962. This photo is from the game at Wembley, Bobby was aged 34. The game ended 2-2 with goals from Denis Law and Ian St.John. Bobby would gain two more caps for a total 31 scoring ten goals in the process.

Jim Blyth at John Greig Testimonial


Here’s an oddity Scotland playing in white against Rangers. This is from John Greig’s testimonial in April ’78. A makeshift Scotland team lost 5-0 to Rangers, included in the side and in this picture are Coventry’s Jim Blyth, Partick Thistle’s Brian Whittaker and Bruce Rioch. Blyth would play in two full Internationals for Scotland; the first in a friendly against Bulgaria at Hampden in 2-1 win in February ’78 and the last one, a lot of us will remember as he let a last minute Willie Donachie backpass to give Wales a draw.

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