The Scotland Epistles Football Magazine

Scotland Football Fanzine

On this day in 1998.

Scotland played Estonia gaining a 3-2 victory but for three players it was to be their last Scotland appearance.

Gaolkeeper Jim Leighton won 91 caps overall, making him our second most capped player. He played at the World Cup in 1986, 1990 and 1998.

Ally McCoist also made his last appearance and his one of his only two as a Kilmarnock player. Ally scored 19 goals in 61 Internationals and is fifth on the all time scorers list.

He is seen here tussling with Ricardo Rocha of Brazil at Hampden in the Rous Cup 1987.

Draren Jackson played his 28th and final match on that day too. Jackson was part of the 1996 Euro Squad and played in the last two matches in France ’98. Darren scored four goals for Scotland.

Postcard set and Issue 15

A reminder that our 15 postcard set and #15 are available for £15 including postage on ebay or from myself for £13.

Scotland Epistles #15

Now listed on ebay. We have failed to break even on the last two issues but hopefully with games at Hampden we’ll pull through with this one. It is slightly dearer due to ebay costs and is now a round fiver including postage. I will send three random postcards with each one too. You can buy direct from me if you prefer.

Scottish Football Today Annual


I think it was the lack of a good football annual this year that made me plummet for a few oldies. Here’s one from 1987, the Scottish Football Today Annual #1, a mere snip at £4.95 which must be about a over a tenner now . . . and was it worth it?
Was it whit. The cover is about as good as it gets although Murdo MacLeod and Jim McInally look a wee bit effeminate in their attempts to rob some Brazilian guy of the ball in the Rous Cup defeat earlier in the year.
It does stick to a similar format to the old Scottish Football Book and looks at the Scottish League winners etc and it does touch on stuff about most of the bigger clubs and even has an article on Meadowbank Thistle but as for Scotland; it’s coverage is quite poor and there are no great action shots but mostly for £4.95 I would expect colour photo. Only the front cover has that which is disappointing as is the fact it’s a paperback. The Scottish Football Today magazine would come and go as quickly as it came and there would be one more annual as far as I know but I don’t think I’ll be in too much of a hurry to buy it.

The Denis Law book of Soccer No.2


So not many annuals out there this year was there. So here’s one from a bygone age. The Denis Law Book of Soccer No.2. I featured a John Greig one a few months back and the make up is fairly similar; articles ghost written by the stars of the day and lumped together in the one book with the cover star getting a few extra pieces.
In this one we have pieces written by George Best, Terry Paine but a host of Scots too; Pat Crerand on the ‘Battles of Hampden and Wembley’, Billy McNeill on ‘Hampden – The Home of Football’ and Jim Baxter on ‘Is the game faster in England’ – apparently it was but Jim did admit that in Scotland he quite often had games that weren’t that intense throughout the season. Bobby Collins, Matt Busby and Ian St. John also contribute.
Denis himself gets to write about the ‘Selection, Care and Maintenance of Gear’, ‘ The Game’s Greatest Honour’ which for Denis was playing for Scotland and other things.
As to the photos it’s all black and white shots and although ether’s nothing too great there are some I might use in future. As far as I know the Denis Law book of Soccer only reached number 4. This one is dated 1967. The front cover photo is Denis scoring against England in the 1966 4-3 defeat at Hampden.

Happy Birthday Willie Carr


First posted on Facebook on January 6th 2017

Happy Birthday to Willie Carr who turns 67 today. Willie was capped six times for Scotland, all during his time with Coventry City. Willie was midfield player with a bit of inventiveness in his play including his famous ‘donkey kick’ in 1970 when he took a free kick by holding the ball between his ankles and flicking it, allowing Ernie Hunt to volley the ball into the net. Everybody loved it at the time except the English FA who banned it’s use almost immediately.
Willie was unbeaten in a Scotland jersey playing in three wins and three draws. He played in the 1970 Home International series in May, where Scotland started with a 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland in Belfast, thanks to another player making his debut, John O’Hare.
They then drew 0-0 with Wales away and with England at home. Willie’s final game for Bobby Brown was a Euro Qualifier against Denmark in November that year, which once again saw O’Hare provide the only goal.
Tommy Docherty brought Willie back into the fold in April, 1972 to play in the friendly v Peru which Scotland won 2-0 with John O’Hare and the returning Denis Law scoring the goals.
His final appearance was once more against Denmark at Hampden, this time in a World Cup Qualifier as he came on for Kenny Dalglish in the 69th minute, By this time Dalglish and Peter Lorimer had already bagged the goals that would see Scotland just needing to overcome Czechoslovakia at home to reach the World Cup in 1974.
Willie would play over 250 times for Coventry before moving on to Wolves were he would play almost as many games, finishing up at Millwall before spells in Non-League football.
Willie’s six game spell without a defeat was bettered by the late Colin Jackson who was unbeaten in eight and it did look as though it would be surpassed by Gordon Greer who until he stepped on the pitch for his 11th cap in Metz against France last summer, looked as though he would surpass it. So, Jackson may well be a record holder but there could be some guy a way back in the early years of Scottish football who has done better but I’m way too lazy to check that out.
Anyway, Happy Birthday Willie and all the best.

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.

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