Happy Birthday Frank McLintock

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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.

Bobby Collins

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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

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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.

December 19th

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On this date in 1979 we played Belgium in a European Championship Qualifier and of course, we got pumped. A Belgian blitz lasting eleven minutes in the middle of the first half saw Scotland lose three goals. John Robertson would pull one back in the second half but that was as good as it got for the 25,389 crowd.
The team lined up as: Rough (Partick Thistle), Jardine (Rangers), McGrain (Celtic), Burns (Nottingham Forest), McQueen (Manchester United), Bannon (Dundee United), Aitken (Celtic), Wark (Ipswich Town), Robertson (Nottingham Forest), Dalglish (Liverpool) and Johnstone (Rangers). Davie Provan of Celtic would come on for Bannon in the second half.
Sandy Jardine would be captain for the night in his last Scotland appearance as it was for Derek Johnstone.

Happy Birthday Scott Booth

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First posted on Facebook December 16th, 2017

Happy Birthday to Scott Booth who will turn 45 today. Scott was capped 22 times for Scotland scoring six goals. 13 of his caps came as an Aberdeen player and the others, during spells with Dutch clubs FC Utrecht and FC Twente Enschede; Scott also had spells with Borussia Dortmund and Vitesse Arnhem.Among his goals were vital ones in our Qualifying for the 1996 Euros coming against Russia and Finland at Hampden.
Happy Birthday Scott.

Happy Birthday Stevie Nicol

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First posted on Facebook on December 11th

Happy Birthday to Steve Nicol who will turn 55 today. Steve was capped 27 times for Scotland making his debut on that crazy night in September, 1984 when Scotland put six past Yugoslavia. The goals that night came from six different players too; Davie Cooper, Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish, Paul Sturrock, Mo Johnston and Charlie Nicholas.
Steve played in all three games of the 1986 World Cup playing more in a midfield role than his usual Liverpool position of full back. He is perhaps remembered most in his Scotland days for missing our one and only gilt edged chance in that miserable game against Uruguay.
Stevie last cap came in 1992 against Switzerland in Berne as Scotland grabbed 2-2 draw.
Happy Birthday Steve and all the best.

11th December

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On this day in 1968 Scotland played Cyprus in a World Cup Qualifier in Nicosia. Scotland won 5-0 with goals from Alan Gilzean (2), Bobby Murdoch and two from Colin Stein.
The full line up was: Jim Herriot (Birmingham City), Doug Fraser (West Brom), Eddie McCreadie (Chelsea), Billy Bremner (Leeds Utd. / Captain), Ronnie McKinnon, John Greig (both Rangers), Tommy McLean (Kilmarnock), Bobby Murdoch (Celtic), Colin Stein (Rangers), Alan Gilzean (Tottenham Hotspur) and Charlie Cooke (Chelsea). Billy McNeill and Bobby Lennox of Celtic were both second half subs.

Happy Birthday To Gordon Durie

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First posted on Facebook December 6th, 2016

Happy Birthday to Gordon Durie who will turn 51 today. Gordon played for Scotland on 43 occasions, scoring seven goals. He was first capped in November , 1987 in a Euro Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria on the night that Gary Mackay would score the goal that thrust the Republic of Ireland into the 1988 Euro Championships.
Gordon was first capped as a Chelsea player but would also gain caps with Tottenham Hotspur and Rangers.
Remarkably Gordon is the only Scottish player to ever play at four Major Tournaments but had you read the latest issue of the Scotland Epistles you would have known that.

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