The Scotland Epistles Football Magazine

Scotland Football Fanzine

Scotland Glory, Tears & Souvenirs


Founders of the Scotland Epistles Magazine, Robert Marshall and David Stuart have produced a book which is published by Pitch Publishing and is available now. Here are links to Amazon, the Book Depository which posts Worldwide for free and WH Smith, who currently have the best deal on the book.—Glory–Tears—Souvenirs/9781785313318—glory-tears–souvenirs/9781785313318

Happy birthday John Collins (January 31st)


Happy Birthday to John Collins who will turn 49 today. John was capped 58 times for Scotland scoring 12 goals, which ranks him equal twelfth alongside Billy Steel and Alan Gilzean. Only two of his goals were from penalties including that one from France ’98.
Happy Birthday John and all the best.

Youth Side – early 80’s.


A photo of a Youth team; not many made it to Full International level but that guy at the front certainly did.

26th January.


On this day in 1884 Scotland took part in the very first British Championship Match against Ireland at Ballynafeigh Park, Belfast. Scotland won 5-0 with doubles from William Harrower of Queens Park and James Gossland of Rangers, with Abercorn’s John Goudie scoring the other. Other teams represented at the game include Kilmarnock Athletic, Vale of Leven, Annbank, Dumbarton, Boswell and Arthurlie. Scotland went on to win the first Championship with victories over England (1-0) and Wales (4-1) both played at Cathkin Park, Glasgow.
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of the match but here’s Kenny Dalglish and Danny McGrain from 1976 holding aloft the Bristish Championship Trophy that was awarded from 1935 onwards.

Happy Birthday Shaun Maloney (January 24th)


Happy Birthday to Shaun Maloney who will turn 34 today.
Shaun has 47 Scotland caps in total, scoring 7 goals including 4 in the 2016 Euros campaign.
Shaun provided one of the great moments in that campaign with his wonderful finish to give us victory against the Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park.
Happy Birthday Shaun and all the best.

Happy Birthday Alex McLeish (January 21st)


Happy Birthday to Alex McLeish who turns 58 today. Alex gained 77 and is third in the all-time list behind Kenny Dalglish and Jim Leighton. So here goes. Jock Stein gave Alex his first cap against Portugal in March, 1980 in a fine 4-1 win at Hampden in a Euro Qualifier. Of course being a Euro qualifier despite this great result we were already well out of contention, finishing fourth behind Belgium, Austria and Portugal. Thank goodness we still had Norway to prop us up. Also making his debut that night and for his only cap as an Aberdeen player was Stevie Archibald who despite his pedigree i.e. Spurs, Barcelona and Clyde never quite sparked in a Scotland shirt, only scoring 4 goals in 27 appearances. Although Alex would start in the first few games of the campaign to reach Spain ’82, by season ’81-’82 he seems to have fallen out the picture with Jock Stein preferring to play in the main Alan Hansen alongside Willie Miller, which as we all know proved to be a mistake come the World Cup. Alex did get game time during the World Cup, making a 30 minute appearance as a sub in the game against Brazil.
Throughout the qualifiers for Mexico ’86, Jock Stein had gone with the Miller / McLeish partnership as would his club manager Alex Ferguson for the play-offs against Australia, however Alex would play in the in opening game against Denmark and would then miss the final two games. Alex and Sir Alex seem to differ on their stories as to why he never played more games.
Alex would finally get to play a big part in the World Cup Finals for Italia ’90 where he played in all three games against Costa Rica, Sweden and Brazil. After, the World Cup Alex would play in the first few games of a finally successful Euro campaign but by 1991 was being left out for players such as Craig Levein, Richard Gough and Dave McPherson (that can’t be right, can it?). A final swansong in February 1993 in a World Cup Qualifier against Malta would be Alex’s last appearance in a Scotland shirt. He would of course go on to manage Scotland rather successfully in some ways, in 2007 but like many a fan it rankles with me that he jumped ship to an average English club side in Birmingham City at the first opportunity.
Happy Birthday Alex

Happy Birthday Colin Calderwood (January 20th)


Happy Birthday to Colin Calderwood who will turn 52 today. Colin was capped 36 times for Scotland appearing at both Euro ’96 and France 98. He was central defence partner to Colin Hendry on 26 occasions.
Happy Birthday Colin and all the best.

Happy Birthday John Robertson (January 20th)


Happy Birthday to John Robertson who turns 64 today. In any list of great Scotland wingers Robbo has to be up there with the best. A twice winner of the European Cup with Nottingham Forest, planting a cross on the head of Trevor Francis for the only goal in the ’79 triumph and then scoring the winner in the 1980 victory.
He may not have looked like a footballer but his ability to get to the byline and eke some space to deliver a perfect cross was uncanny.
John gained 28 caps for Scotland scoring eight goals including that penalty winner against England at Wembley in 1981. John also scored from a well worked free kick against New Zealand at the World Cup in 1982.
Happy Birthday Robbo and all the best.

Happy Birthday Bobby Moncur (January 19th)


Happy Birthday to Bobby Moncur who will turn 72 today.
Bobby is most famous for being captain of Newcastle United in the late 60’s, early 70’s. In over 300 games for Newcastle Bobby only ever scored 8 goals but three of them were in the two legged final of the Inter-City Fairs Cup, which was the Europa Cup in old money before it was the U.E.F.A. Cup.
Bobby played for Scotland 16 times and captained his country 7 times.
His first cap came against Netherlands in a friendly in May 1968 in Amsterdam, along with four other players making their debuts; Doug Fraser and Bobby Hope of West Brom, George ‘Dandy’ MacLean of Dundee in his only Scotland game and Jimmy Smith of Aberdeen who would team up with Moncur at Newcastle the following season. The game ended in a nil nil draw.

It would be over a year later when Bobby gained his second cap coming in for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Dalymount Park, Dublin where Scotland drew one each with Colin Stein scoring for the Scots.

Bobby again had to wait until April ’70 for his next cap, in the first game of that years’ Home Internationals against Northern Ireland in Belfast where Scotland won with a goal from debutant John O’Hare; this was followed by non-score draw with Wales at Hampden. Although Scotland fielded a relatively inexperienced team against England that year with the likes of Moncur and players with only three caps and mostly all in the previous two games such as Derby’s John O’Hare, Coventry’s Willie Carr, Killie’s Billy Dickson, David Hay of Celtic and Hearts’ Jim Cruickshank in goal; they proved the equal to an English side with the likes of Banks, Stiles, Moore, Hurst and Ball in a rather dull nil each game. Of course, this game is famous for a stonewall of a penalty that was not given for Brian Labone upending Colin Stein in the box.

Scotland finished 1970 with a win against Denmark at Hampden in a European Qualifier with O’Hare again scoring the only goal. In the four games in 1970 Scotland never conceded a goal with Bobby in defence. Bobby was also given the Captaincy at this point with Billy Bremner out of the team but this was still a surprise as previous stand in captain John Greig was still in the team.

If 1970 was a reasonable year for a changing team; 1971 was a nadir for Scotland of this era. Scotland played 10 games, winning 2, drawing 1 and losing 7. The two wins would be with Tommy Docherty in charge and without Moncur also.
Of course, if it’s Belgium in Liege and European Championships of course it’s going to be a bad start as the Scots went down three nil in the mud of Stade Sclessin in February, then on to Lisbon to be beaten by Portugal 2-0 in April.

A nil nil draw at Ninian Park with Wales was the only relief that May as the Scots lost one nil to a John Greig own goal at Hampden against Northern Ireland, followed by a 3-1 defeat to England at Wembley. Moncur retained his captaincy even after Bremner was picked to play in this game as he did for his twelfth cap and further humiliation being beaten 1-0 by the Danish in Copenhagen.

Moncur did not play in Scotland’s seventh defeat that year and indeed, last game in charge for Bobby Brown; a friendly in Moscow where the Scots lost to the USSR by a solitary goal.

However, by April 1972, Tommy Docherty brought Bobby back into the fold for a 2-0 win over Peru at Hampden and kept him for the Home International Series where the Scots beat Northern Ireland 2-0 with two very late goals from Denis Law in the 86th minute and Peter Lorimer in the 89th. I wonder how many people left early. That would be Denis’ last ever goal for Scotland in his 44th International. Next up was a one nil victory at home against Wales with Lorimer providing the goal. A narrow one nil defeat to England at Hampden would prove to be Bobby’s last Scotland game.

That summer Docherty would go to Brazil with a squad for Independence Cup without Moncur. I honestly don’t know if Moncur declined the invite or was not picked but either way the pairing of Martin Buchan of Man. Utd. and Sheffield United’s Eddie Colquhoun was Docherty’s first choice for his remaining time in charge.

Of course, Bobby went on to play for Newcastle for a few seasons more before moving first to Sunderland and finishing up at Carlisle, where he became Manager before a time in charge at Hearts among others.

So here’s to Bobby, who must have commanded a great deal of respect when you can be picked ahead of John Greig and Billy Bremner and captained his country seven times.

Happy Birthday and all the best Bobby.

Powered by

Up ↑