Over the last few months I have written quite a few player biographies mainly as a birthday piece concentrating on their Scotland career; there’s also some obituaries and some Focus On pieces from the likes of Shoot magazine. In the main it has tended to be players who maybe played only a handful of games for Scotland so if you are looking for pen pics on Kenny Dalglish, Denis Law or Kenny Miller maybe this isn’t the place. It will take time to build up as I only write maybe a handful a month.

David Stuart

Players in this section;

Arthur Albiston          Steve Archibald          Eamonn Bannon          

Alan Brazil          Bobby Brown        

John Brownlie          Martin Buchan          

Bobby Clark          John Collins          Charlie Cooke

Peter Cormack          Sammy Cox          Jim Craig

Pat Crerand

Alex Cropley          Warren Cummings          Tommy Docherty

Johnny Doyle

Allan Evans          Gary Gillespie          Arthur Graham

Andy Gray

Tony Green          Paul Hartley          Paul Hegarty

David Herd

George Herd          John Hewie          David Hopkin

Colin Jackson          Eoin Jess          Mo Johnston

Derek Johnstone

Tommy Lawrence           Graham Leggat          Bobby Lennox

Don Masson          Frank McAvennie          Peter McCloy

Eddie McCreadie         

Johnny McKenzie          Tommy McLean          Alex McLeish

Jimmy Murray          David Narey          Garry O’Connor

Paul Ritchie          John Spencer          Ian St. John

Pat Stanton          John Wark          Peter Weir

Derek Whyte          Lee Wilkie          Gareth Williams


Arthur Albiston

Born: 14th July, 1957, Edinburgh

Caps Total – 14 (All with Manchester United)

Years Active : 1982 – 86


Arthur probably couldn’t be described an exciting left back; more dependable and a good man to have in your team. He must’ve been as Manchester United played him 485 times! As for Scotland, in comparison a meagre 14. Perhaps Arthur was a bit unlucky as Frank Gray made the Left Back berth his own partnering Danny McGrain for a few years and then Maurice Malpas appeared on the scene. Of course, there is the fact that Jock Stein gave five caps to Ally Dawson in this period too, which maybe Arthur and the rest of us shouldn’t forgive. Mind you his main rival for the left back position at Man. U. for a few years, Stewart Houston only gained a solitary cap in his time too.

Arthur’s first cap came against Northern Ireland in April, 1982 in a dull 1-1 draw. John Wark scored for Scotland whilst Arthur’s Man Utd. teammate Sammy McIlroy netted for the Irish. It was probably a bad time to make your debut, if you’re hoping for a World Cup place a month or so later. Jock Stein discarded Arthur at this point as Frank Gray came back into the team; Danny McGrain and George Burley completed the full back cover for the Spain ’82.

His next game was in September, 1983 against Uruguay and he would go on to play in ten of the next twelve Internationals. In one of the games he missed his place was taken up by Doug Rougvie for his sole cap and in the other Maurice Malpas was given his debut.

The Uruguay game also saw the debut of Paul McStay as Scotland won 2 nil with goals from John Robertson and ‘Elephant Man’ Davie Dodds who was making his debut that night too.

Among the highlights for Arthur must have been that amazing game where Scotland beat Yugoslavia 6-1 in front of a crowd of only 18,512. Of course this had to be the one night there was no real TV coverage due to industrial action IIRC. There is grainy footage on You Tube though. There is no truth in the rumour that this game set in motion the disruption of Yugoslavia few years such was the beating we gave them.

Arthur must have also enjoyed the next two games as Scotland beat first Iceland 3 nil a month later and then shortly after that the night Mo Johnston put the Spaniards to the sword scoring a double in a memorable 3-1 win in World Cup Qualifiers. Not much happy memories for the Wales game in March ’85 when we lost to them at Hampden, which saw Arthur lose his place to Maurice Malpas and never really regain it. He would play in a friendly against East Germany in Alex Ferguson’s first game in charge and then in the final World Cup warm up against Netherlands in April ’86.

However, Arthur had one last game for Scotland at the Estadio Neza in Nezahualcoytl in one of the most frustrating games ever. Uruguay had a player sent off after 56 seconds and we thought that’s it we’re on our way to the second round but what followed was a travesty of a football match; as Uruguay dug in and weren’t afraid to put the boot in. As for Scotland we barely strung two passes together and that’s was it. Adios Scotland and Adios Arthur Albiston.

Steve Archibald

Born 27th September, 1956, Glasgow

Caps – 27 (1 with Aberdeen, 22 with Tottenham Hotspur and 4 with Barcelona), Goals 4

Years Active – 1980 – 86


Spotlight On Steve Archibald

Steve Archibald is another on the long list of failed Scotland strikers, despite playing in the great Aberdeen team under Alex Ferguson, a FA Cup winning Tottenham team and also Barcelona, he never made the grade with the national team. Steve would play 27 times for Scotland and would only score 4 goals.

Yet it started so well. Steve made his debut against Portugal at Hampden on 26th March, 1980. Scotland were already 2 nil up when Steve came on for Kenny Dalglish and within twenty minutes Steve had scored. Scotland would go on to win 4 nil. His Aberdeen teammate Alex McLeish would also make his debut that night, however this would be Steve’s one and only cap as a Don.

By the time of cap number two in May, Steve would be a Tottenham player. He was given a starting berth against Northern Ireland alongside Dalglish but Scotland would lose one nil. It is fair to say that the first couple of years of Jock Stein’s reign, Scotland were fairly poor and inconsistent.

Cap number three came in a friendly against Poland in Poznan in May 1980 with Dalglish, Joe Jordan and Archibald all starting. With that all starring forward line of course we got beat 1-0. Three days later in Budapest with Archibald starting alongside Alan Brazil, the Scots went down 3-1 with Steve scoring the consolation goal.

In fairness to Steve his Scotland career is one of the really being second to the likes of Dalglish, Jordan and Andy Gray in his early days. He did start some games in our successful 1982 World Cup Qualifiers including home games against Northern Ireland, Israel and away to Portugal. Goal number three came in rare win against Northern Ireland at that time but not in the Qualifiers rather in a 2-0 win in May ’81 at Hampden in the Home Internationals with West Ham’s Ray Stewart scoring his only Scotland goal. Steve continued upfront for the game at Wembley that year which saw Scotland win 1-0 with a John Robertson penalty which came after Steve was fouled by Bryan Robson. A slightly dubious but no doubt righteous decision.

Archibald didn’t feature too much in the warm-up games for Spain ’82 as Alan Brazil seemed to be favoured more but he would come on as a sub against New Zealand in opening game of the Finals and score his last goal for Scotland in the 5-2 win. He was then chosen for the final two group games starting against both Brazil and the USSR.

After, the World Cup he played in some Euro Qualifiers but it would be the rise of Maurice Johnston that would start to see him get less game time. Interestingly, he was returned to the team for a World Cup Qualifier against Spain in Seville. This was Steve’s first cap as a Barcelona player; Scotland lost one nil.

Cap number 26, was as sub against Iceland in Reykjavik in Jock Stein’s penultimate game in charge in May 1985, in which Jim Bett scored the sole goal.

It would be a year later that his final cap came. Alex Ferguson chose him for the game against West Germany in Queretaro, Mexico which saw us go down 2-1.

That was it for Steve and Scotland as Ally McCoist and Mo Johnston became the preferred players in the next few years. The thing about Steve; he was more an individual than a team player, often seen as a greedy player, who if there was a chance to shoot would do so. Although this led to a lot of goals for him it was not always the best choice for the team.

As for the spotlight article from Match magazine. Steve picks Danny McGrain for both his best all time British and International teams, with Dalglish being the only other Scot in his British team. His favourite food is not Steak but Lamb. Favourite TV shows are ‘Soap’ and ‘Fawlty Towers. However, it is perhaps in his Superstitions that we get a clue to his failed Scotland career. His superstition is “I always wear a long sleeved shirt”. Steve have you had a look at your photo? Of course, if you do look at photos of his time with Scotland, there’s not too many long sleeved shirts in them and given the stock players and indeed fans give to these things, then maybe just maybe . . .

Eamonn Bannon

Born : 18th April, 1958

Caps – 11 (All with Dundee United), Goals – 1

Years Active – 1979-1986


Eamonn was a skilful midfielder who played for Hearts (twice), Chelsea and Dundee United and gained all his caps whilst at Tannidice. His Scotland career spanned 7 years but only amounted to eleven caps in three separate blocks.
Eamonn was first capped by Jock Stein in December, 1979 playing in a Euro Championship Qualifier against Belgium in 1979. Scotland had already lost a few games in the qualifiers and were already well out of contention by this time. The Bloody Belgians had routed Scotland (as always it seems) with three goals in the first half before John Robertson of Notts Forest had scored a second half consolation goal, however, by half time Eamonn had been replaced by Davie Provan of Celtic.
It would be just under four years before Eamonn was chosen again by Jock. Season 1983-’84 saw Dundee United win the Scottish Premier League for the only time in their history and Eamonn had played a very big part in that and he would line up against Northern Ireland at Hampden in May ’83 with three of his triumphant teammates; Richard Gough, David Narey and Paul Hegarty who was captaining the side that day. The game ended in a nil nil draw but Eamonn was retained for the following game against Wales at Ninian Park a few days later. Scotland won 2-0 with goals from Andy Gray and Ally Brazil.
However, Wembley beckoned on the 1st June and saw Scotland perform poorly and lose 2-0 to England with Eamonn being replaced by Brazil in the second half.
This was followed by a tour of Canada which would see Scotland play the hosts three times in the space of a week. Eamonn would only feature in the first game which Scotland won 2-0 with goals from Gordon Strachan and Mark McGhee.
Bannon returned to the side in November 1983 at the Kurt Wabbel Stadion, Halle in East Germany, once again on Euro Qualifying duty. Scotland lost two first half goals which Billy Thomson should have perhaps done better with before Eamonn grabbed his only Scotland goal volleying in from a Frank McGarvey of Celtic cross.

Once more Eamonn was left out in the cold as such and it would be Alex Ferguson who would give him 7th cap with a starting berth against Israel in Tel Aviv in a pre-World Cup friendly in January 1986. Scotland won 1-0 thanks to a Paul McStay goal. Two months later and Bannon played once more; against Romania, which Scotland won 3-0 at Hampden with Strachan, Gough and Roy Aitken scoring the goals. By now Bannon was beginning to play his way into Ferguson’s plans for the World Cup and faced England once more at Wembley in April, 1986 and was once more to taste defeat as the Scots lost 2-1 with Souness scoring in the second half from the penalty spot.
World Cup 1986 in Mexico and although he wouldn’t start in the opening game against Denmark, Bannon would replace Strachan in the 74th minute as Scotland were chasing an equaliser after Elkjaer-Larsen’s goal in the 57th minute. Alas, it was not to be but Eamonn would be given a starting place in the next game as Scotland faced West Germany. Despite Gordon Strachan’s opening goal in the 18th minute and the pretend hoard jumping that followed Scotland would eventually lose 2-1 but Bannon would hit a wonderful free kick in the first half that Schumacher had to be smart to save. Davie Cooper would replace Eamonn in the 74th minute and this would be the last piece of action Eamonn would have, not only in the World Cup but as a Scotland player.
He would continue to play for United for a couple of more years before moving back to Hearts where he played a further five years. Eamonn was a great player who just seemed to stroll through games rather gracefully often bypassing opponents before they knew it and was also an excellent finisher.

Alan Brazil

Born – 15th June, 1959, Glasgow

Caps – 13 (all with Ipswich Town), Goals – 1

Years Active – 1980 – 1983

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Alan, of course started out at Ipswich Town in the same side with George Burley and John Wark under Bobby Robson in the late 70’s. He would win 13 caps altogether and like many a Scottish International striker around that time would sadly prove a failure on the International front.

His first caps came on a European two game tour in late May 1980. He was given 45 minutes in Poznan, Poland coming on for Joe Jordan. Scotland would lose 1-0 with the great Zbigniew Boniek scoring the only goal. Full back Ally Dawson of Rangers gained his first cap that day too coming on for George Burley in the last ten minutes. As for Alan, he was given a starting berth by Jock Stein three days later in Budapest, however he would come off at half-time and be replaced by Gordon Strachan. Scotland lost 3-1 with Steve Archibald netting for the Scots.

It would be February 1982 before Alan was back in the team as Scotland played host nation Spain in a pre-World Cup match in Valencia. Scotland would lose 3-0 but Brazil would be on the winning side in the next game. Scotland beat Netherlands 2-1 at Hampden in March ’82 with first half goals from Frank Gray and Kenny Dalglish. Brazil would replace Dalglish at half time and making their debuts that night would be Jim Bett of Rangers and Allan Evans of Aston Villa.

Stein must have been impressed by Alan’s efforts that night as he would play the full ninety minutes in each of the Home Internationals that year. Club teammate John Wark would score for Scotland in the first game at Windsor Park, Belfast before Sammy McIlroy would equalise for the Irish to gain the draw.

Next up a 1-0 victory over Wales at Hampden with Asa Hartford scoring the last of his five Scotland goals in the 7th minute with Brazil providing the through ball. The final game of the series against England was a dour affair with Paul Mariner providing the only goal of the game for the visitors at Hampden.

Alan would be given a starting place in Scotland’s opening game of the World Cup lining up alongside Kenny Dalglish in attack against New Zealand. Dalglish would open the scoring and once more John Wark would get among the goals with a brace all coming in the first half. Slackness in the Scotland defence saw their lead reduced to one soon after half time. John Robertson, then Steve Archibald who had come on for Brazil in the 53rd minute finished the scoring.

Archibald was then given the nod ahead of Brazil for the Brazil game and indeed Alan perhaps, ironically would not feature against his namesake team at all but would return to the side as a late substitute as Scotland looked for a winner against the USSR, to no avail.

After the World Cup, he played in the opening two games of the 1984 Euro Qualifiers; a 2-0 defeat of East Germany with Wark and Paul Sturrock scoring and also a 2-0 defeat to Switzerland in Berne.

Alan would only feature twice more for Scotland and both would be in the 1983 Home Internationals. He would score his only International goal down at Ninian Park, Cardiff as Scotland won 2-0 with Andy Gray scoring the other goal. By this time Brazil was a Tottenham Hotspur player.

He would come on as a sub for Eamonn Bannon in the second half as Scotland toiled to a 2-0 defeat to England at Wembley and that would be his final appearance.

His time at Tottenham was not a particular successful one and he moved on to Manchester United where a recurring back injury hampered his progress and as his injury worsened he had stints in Australia and Switzerland before retiring. Alan does feature in our Scotland Players abroad section on the website as in his early days at Ipswich, he was loaned out to NASL club Detroit Express to gain some experience. Of course, Alan continues to work on Talksport where he is more than happy to give his opinion on anything and everything.

Bobby Brown

Born : 19th March, 1923, Dunipace

Caps* – 3 or 5 (All with Rangers)

Years Active* – 1946-1952


Bobby Brown; The Oldest Surviving Scotland player

When I was doing research for the Johnny McKenzie piece the other week, someone let me know that Johnny was in fact the second oldest Scotland surviving Scotland player. *The first is Bobby Brown of Rangers, who was goalkeeper for Scotland in in 3 internationals or is it 5? Bobby took part in some of the Victory Internationals, which took place in season ’45 -’46. Of the home nations Scotland is the only one that recognises these and so it’s quite hard to keep track of how many exactly.

Richard Keir’s excellent ‘Scotland the Complete International Record’ book does not count them so Bobby is only listed as having won 3 caps there as does the Wee Red Book. The Fitbastats website and Wikipedia have him down for 5 and the SFA website has him down for six, although one of those is a mistake as it gives him credit for playing a game in which George Farm played in goals.

Bobby also went on to manage Scotland and had what was arguably the greatest start to any Scotland manager’s career with that famous 3-2 win over England at Wembley 1967. However, in 28 games Scotland only won nine, drew eleven and lost eleven.

To be fair to Bobby, if you look at the ’67 team, Jim Baxter who was the star that day only played two more times for Scotland as his career began to dip. Denis Law due to fitness issues would only play six times for Bobby in total, with three games in ’67, one in ’68 and two more in ’69.

Also, at this time English clubs were still reluctant to release players so at various points you find Billy Bremner and his Leeds colleagues missing from games among others.

Bobby gaves debuts to Ronnie Simpson and Jim McCalliog that day in April 1967. The full line up being; Simpson, Tommy Gemmell, Eddie McCreadie, John Greig, Ronnie McKinnon, Billy Bremner, McCalliog, Denis Law, Willie Wallace, Jim Baxter and Bobby Lennox.

Four years later in his third last game Bobby lines up against England with Bobby Clark (Aberdeen), John Greig, Jim Brogan (Celtic), Billy Bremner, Frank McLintock (Arsenal), Bobby Moncur (Newcastle), Jimmy Johnstone (Celtic), Tony Green (Blackpool), Peter Cormack (Nottingham Forest), Davie Robb (Aberdeen) and Hugh Curran (Wolves). Frank Munro of Wolves and Drew Jarvie of Airdrie would come on as subs. There are some good players in that team but also a few sadly lacking International class particularly compared to the team of ’67. England won 3-1 with Hugh Munro scoring for Scotland.

Bobby would quit a month or so later as Scotland lost another two games, making it four in a row with a defeat to Denmark in Copenhagen in a Euro Qualifier being particularly galling. Bobby would be succeeded by Tommy Docherty and then Willie Ormond who was Bobby’s successor as St. Johnstone manager. Here’s to Bobby and long may he continue to be the oldest Scotland player.

John Brownlie

Born 11th March, 1952, Caldercruix

Caps – 7 (All with Hibernian)

Years Active – 1971-75


Focus On John Brownlie

Full back John Brownlie, was one of the mainstays of the Hibernian team in the early ‘70’s. John was a skilful, over lapping defender in the classic mould. He was first capped by Bobby Brown in his last match as Scotland manager in a one nil defeat to USSR in Moscow in June ’71. Also winning his first and only cap that night was Bobby Watson of Motherwell.
Tommy Docherty would pick John for the friendly against Peru at Hampden in April ’72 and then for the Home international game against Northern Ireland that followed. Both games were won 2 nil. John would also play in that month’s game against England which saw Scotland, which saw Scotland go down to a single goal defeat at Hampden. The Doc then picked John for two World Cup qualifiers away and at home against Denmark in October and November 1972 respectively. These wins would set Scotland up for qualifying for Munchen ’74. However, just as it seemed that John had begun to cement his place in the Scotland team, fate would then play it’s part within a few months.
By the time of Scotland’s next game in February, Scotland had changed manager with Willie Ormond coming in and John had broken his leg against East Fife in January 1973. It would take over a year for John to recover and to some he was never the same player after this. May ’73 also saw Danny McGrain make his debut for Scotland and his partnership with Sandy Jardine was about to flourish.
Willie Ormond would pick John once more for cap number seven against Romania in December 1975 in an Euro Qualifier at the end of another failed European campaign. However, Danny McGrain was cap number 24 by this point and would prove to be impossible to shift for John.
John would leave Hibs in 1978 and move to Newcastle for a few seasons before spells at Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Berwick and Blyth Spartans. John would also have spells in management in the lower Scottish Leagues.
As to his Focus On choices as his Most Memorable Match he has went for his Scotland debut, which probably means this interview took place before January 1973. Hearts fans won’t need reminding of that date! Most difficult opponent is David Wagstaffe of Wolves, which suggests a recent Texaco Cup Clash. Great answer to best country visited as our John has put Scotland! Favourite food is of course Steak. What else did footballers eat in the 70’s? However, sadly John was in his early twenties at the time and has put Dean Martin as one of his favourite singers.
His biggest Drag in Soccer was missing games through injury, which unfortunately for John is going have a great impact on him as already explained. His Professional Ambition was to be in a winning Scotland side at Wembley. Sadly John never achieved this.

Martin Buchan

Born – 6th March, 1949, Aberdeen

Caps – 34 (2 with Aberdeen, 32 with Manchester United)

Years Active 1971 – ’78


Martin gained a total of 34 caps in a period stretching from 1972 to 1978, appearing in two World Cups for Scotland. At times though, Martin seemed not to be the first choice of Scotland managers, despite in many ways never letting the team down with solid performances in defence.

He was first capped as an Aberdeen player in October, 1971 in Tommy Docherty’s first game in charge coming on as a sub for Eddie Colquhoun of Sheffield United in the 60th minute against Portugal at Hampden. Scotland had just gone into a 2-1 lead with John O’Hare and Archie Gemmill netting and that is how it finished.

Martin started the next game up at Pittodrie, lining up alongside of Pat Stanton of Hibs in Scotland’s final Euro Qualifier against Belgium, a month later. John O’Hare would score the only goal.

He would move to Manchester United in February, 1972 for a fee of £120,000 and would be back in the Scotland line up as a left back for the injured Willie Donachie for the Home international against Wales in May ’72 which Scotland won 1-0 with Peter Lorimer scoring the goal.

Although Billy McNeill and Bobby Moncur of Newcastle had been utilised by Docherty as the central pairing during the Home Internationals; as Scotland embarked on a trip to Brazil to play in the Independence tournament, they were left behind and Martin alongside Eddie Colquhoun established themselves as the Doc’s first picks. They played together in all three games and also in Scotland‘s first two 1974 World Cup Qualifiers against Denmark away and at home, which Scotland won comfortably 4-1 and 2-0 respectively.

Both Martin and Colquhoun featured in Willie Ormond’s first game in charge; a 5-0 thumping by England at a snow covered Hampden. Colquhoun never played again for Scotland and Buchan dropped out of sight for a while too.

Martin made his return to the Scotland side in March ’74 to face West Germany in a friendly in Frankfurt. Scotland lost 2-1 but Martin did enough to convince Ormond to reinstate him to the team and so Martin faced Northern Ireland and Wales in the Home Internationals with clubmate Jim Holton as his defensive partner; Scotland losing out to the Irish 1-0 and then beating Wales 2-0 with goals from Dalglish and a Sandy Jardine penalty.

He was injured for the England game and John Blackley of Hibs, ably took his place as Scotland ran out 2-0 winners with Jimmy Johnstone putting in a memorable performance.

Holton and Buchan lined up together again in the last game before the World Cup with Scotland struggling to beat Norway 2-1 in Oslo with late goals from Kenny Dalglish and Joe Jordan. It was expected that Buchan and Holton would start against Zaire but injury to Martin meant his place once more went to John Blackley.

He would however, return for the draws against Brazil and Yugoslavia in the World Cup and would retain his place for the first game after this; a 3-0 friendly victory over East Germany at Hampden.

Injury must have kept him out the next game as Willie Ormond went with a defensive pairing of Kenny Burns and Gordon McQueen, who had three caps between at this point for an important Euro Qualifier against Spain at Hampden in November, ’74. Scotland lost 2-1 but with Buchan back in the team for the game in Valencia in February ’75 alongside McQueen, Scotland came away with a credible 1-1 draw in Spain. However, in terms of qualifying the damage had been done in that first game.

He would only gain one more cap in the ’74-’75 season, in a one nil friendly victory over Portugal in May at Hampden with the likes of Colin Jackson of Rangers and Frank Munro of Wolves being chosen ahead of him; a pattern of being in and out of the team was established and over the next season or so, he would see McQueen and Tom Forsyth of Rangers become first choice.

However, once more a tour of South America would bring him back into the fore as McQueen did not travel for 1977 tour and Buchan formed a partnership with Forsyth for the games against Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Buchan captained the side for the Argentina game in the absence of Bruce Rioch. He captained Scotland on only one other occasion, a home Euro Qualifier against Romania in December, 1975 which Scotland drew 1-1.

In his 27th cap Martin would make an important contribution as he was brought on as a sub for Sandy Jardine in October ’77 as Scotland were battling it out with Wales at Anfield for a place in the World Cup in Argentina. It would be a rare sight to see Buchan advance into the opposition half in a Scotland shirt but as the Welsh are pushing Scotland for an equaliser after Don Masson’s penalty, it is Buchan we see running up the right wing and he plays the perfect cross for Dalglish to head majestically into the net and it’s Argentina here we come!

Martin’s next two caps came, fitting in for Willie Donachie at left back, firstly in a Home International against Ireland and then the first game of the World Cup with Donachie suspended for the opening game. He was chosen to play there whilst Kenny Burns took up McQueen’s vacant central position as Gordon had been injured playing Wales at Hampden a month earlier. We all know what happened and for the game against Iran, Buchan is chosen to line up with Kenny Burns in defence. We will skip over that one too and in the final group game it is Buchan and Forsyth that make up the central pairing as the Scots defeat Netherlands 3-2.

Scotland’s first three games after the World Cup sees Buchan and McQueen line up as a pairing. Jock Stein having taken over the reins from Ally MacLeod after the first; a defeat in Vienna against Austria.

However, by the start of the 1979 Home Internationals, Jock began looking elsewhere and we start to see Alan Hansen and Paul Hegarty make their debuts and indeed Stein would go with Kenny Burns for a while too and so Martin’s Scotland career would come to end. However, he would make over 450 league appearances for Manchester United before ending his career at Oldham in 1985. Martin also has the distinction of being the only player to captain winning teams in the Scottish and FA Cup, a record we may never see broken.

Bobby Clark

Born – 26th September, 1945, Glasgow

Caps – 17

Years Active – 1967-1973



Bobby gained 17 caps for Scotland as goalkeeper but never really got to establish himself as the number one choice.

However, in researching Bobby’s career you really get a sense of what a remarkable man he is. Bobby is of course famous as the Aberdeen goalie from the late 60’s through to the 80’s when he relinquished the role to Jim Leighton. He also held the record for not conceding a goal in consecutive minutes at 1,155 minutes which he established in season 1970-71. Edwin Van Der Saar of Manchester United would finally break this British record in 2009. Fraser Forster would break the Scottish record in 2014.

He would also manage to turn out for Aberdeen as a full back for two games when he lost his goalkeeping spot to Ernie McGarr in season ’68-’69.

As for Scotland, Bobby played his first game in 1967. Bobby who played for Queen’s Park previously replaced Ronnie Simpson who also played for Queen’s Park at one time as did the Scotland manager Bobby Brown. His debut was in a 3-2 win over Wales at Hampden in a Home International match in November 1967. Two goals by Alan Gilzean and one by Ronnie McKinnon earned Scotland the win.

Another cap, six months later in a nil nil draw with Netherlands in Amsterdam followed. It would be another 11 games before he was capped again with Ronnie Simpson, Jim Herriot of Birmingham City, Tommy Lawrence of Liverpool and even the aforementioned Ernie McGarr all taking charge between the sticks. However, his return in a one nil win over Northern Ireland in April 1970 was a one off as Bobby Brown went with another former Queen’s Park goalkeeper in Hearts’ Jim Cruickshank’s.

Bobby’s longest run of games came in Bobby Brown’s last six games in charge from April ’71 to June ’71. Unfortunately, Scotland lost five out of the six games and it’s probably indicative of the times that the team sent out to play England was: Bobby in goals, John Greig (Rangers), Jim Brogan (Celtic), Billy Bremner (Leeds), Frank McLintock (Arsenal), Bobby Moncur (Newcastle), Jimmy Johnstone (Celtic), Tony Green (Blackpool), Peter Cormack (Nottingham Forest), Davie Robb (Aberdeen) and Hugh Curran of Wolves. Subs that day were Frank Munro, also of Wolves and Airdrie’s Drew Jarvie. Scotland got beat 3-1 with Hugh Curran scoring Scotland’s goal. Happy Birthday Hugh, who will be 72 on 25th September.

Although, Bobby would be replaced by Bob Wilson of Arsenal in Tommy Docherty’s first game in charge. Bobby would play in 7 of Tommy’s 12 games in charge including the Home International series of 1972 and two games of the Brazilian Independence Cup that summer.

Bobby’s 17th and last cap came in Willie Ormond’s first game in charge as Scotland were pumped 5-0 in a miserable night at Hampden by England. This game was played to celebrate the centenary of the Scottish Football Association. On a snow covered Hampden pitch and with an orange ball, we got Sweet FA and the You Tube video does not make great viewing. Avoid at all costs.

Bobby would of course be named in many Scotland squads in following years, mostly as the experienced third choice goalie and although he was not chosen for the 1974 World Cup Squad, he was picked for the 1978 squad.

Bobby had gained three caps as an Under-23 player, when he was 21. At the age of 31, Bobby gained the first of three Under-21 caps as he was pitched in as the experienced over age player for some of the early Under-21 games.

Bobby’s story does not end as his goalkeeping career finished, Bobby at 70 is still coaching at the famous University of Notre Dame in the US, where he is the head soccer coach.

John Collins

Born – 31st January, 1968, Galashiels

Caps – 58 (4 with Hibernian, 32 with Celtic, 16 with AS Monaco, 6 with Everton), Goals – 12

Years Active – 1988 – 1999


John played for Scotland 58 times and scored a valuable 12 goals including a certain one in Paris, in front of a massive Worldwide TV audience. He also has a unique place in Scotland history as being captain of the team for all of three seconds.

John was first capped as a Hibs player in February 1988 in of all places Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where Andy Roxburgh’s team were playing a friendly. John scored Scotland’s second goal a couple of minutes after Mo Johnston had scored an equaliser, however, the game was to finish 2-2.

He then seemed to have been forgotten about until the 1990 World Cup warm up games and although he was a substitute in two of three games he played; he must have been thought of highly enough by Roxburgh to be given a place in the squad for the World Cup in Italy.

John didn’t play in the World Cup but returned to the side in October 1990 as a late substitute in Euro Qualifier against Switzerland which Scotland won 2-1. This was John’s first cap as a Celtic player.

However, once more John was only used sparingly at this point and yet in March 1991, he came on as a sub against Bulgaria at Hampden in the 82nd minute to score a minute later to give Scotland the lead. A lead that was squandered in the final minute as Bulgaria equalised. However Scotland did qualify for the Euros despite this setback.

Again, it would be appearances in warm up matches, this time prior to Euros ’92 in Sweden that John would return to the side. The squads for the Euros were only of 20 players and John was deemed surplus to requirement this time round and didn’t make the cut for the finals.

The campaign for USA ’94 was always going to be a tough one; Scotland were in the second pot but were unfortunate in that both the Portuguese and the Swiss who were in pots 3 and 4 respectively were beginning to develop some really excellent players and teams. To add to that Italy were the Pot 1 team we ended up with.

The campaign under Roxburgh got off to a bad start with a 3-1 defeat in Berne, this was followed by 0-0 draw with Portugal at home in which John was reinstated to the team. John was soon given a run in the team by the manager and repaid this with a goal against Estonia as the Scot won 3-0 and then another up at Pittodrie against Switzerland in a 1-1.

By the time of the start of the campaign for the 1996 Euros in England, John had won 18 caps and Craig Brown had been in charge for a few months. John would play in all the qualifiers for the Euros scoring goals against Finland, twice against the Faroes (home and away) and finally against San Marino.

He would also finally play at a major tournament, by this time John had become an integral part of the Scotland set up, scoring goals as well as making them. He played in all three games in England and as we all know despite drawing with Netherlands and beating Switzerland Scotland failed to progress by the narrowest of margins.

At the start of the campaign for France ’98, Scotland got off to a good start with 0-0 draw in Vienna; by this time Collins was playing with AS Monaco. In the next game away to Latvia, Collins scored an excellent goal from a well worked free kick in October ’96, but the next game would mark the most bizarre incident in John Collin’s Scotland career.

Scotland were due to play Estonia on October 9th in Tallinn but made a complaint about the inadequacy of the floodlights in the stadium. This complaint was upheld and the game was rescheduled for several hours earlier. The Estonians took umbrage to this decision and refused to turn up for the game. Gary McAllister was suspended for this match and so Captaincy went to Collins. The game was started without the opposition, with Billy Dodds passing to Collins and then the ref blowing his whistle and thus John has become a well-used pub question. Who only ever captained Scotland for three seconds?

Although Scotland would be made to replay this game in John’s then home stadium; the Stade Louis II and eeked out 0-0 draw, Scotland reached the finals as the best placed runners-up with Austria taking first place.

As we all know the first game in France ’98 was a world spectacle with Scotland lined up to play the World Champions; this would also be John’s fiftieth cap for Scotland. Brazil took an early lead but John would equalise from the penalty spot in 38th minute; a moment I imagine a lot of us won’t forget whether you were in France or like me watching it at home. Sadly, we would all rather forget Tom Boyd’s calamitous own goal in the second half. John would also play in the draw with Norway and in that lacklustre performance against Morocco that we would also choose to forget.

In the summer of ’98 John would move to Everton and although he played in Scotland’s opening game in the campaign for the Euro’s 2000, he would only gain 5 more caps. He did score once more for Scotland taking a penalty at Ibrox as Scotland beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0.

His final two games would be in the play-off games against England; the first of which was the 2-0 defeat at Hampden with Paul Scholes wrecking our chances of progress but John did get to sign off in good style with that memorable victory over England with Don Hutchison providing the game’s only goal.

Charlie Cooke

Born – 14th October, 1942

Caps – 16 (2 with Dundee, 14 with Chelsea)

Years Active – 1965-75


Charlie was one of a glut of great Scottish wingers in the 1960’s with the likes of Jimmy Johnstone, Willie Henderson, Willie Johnston and Eddie Gray all playing at the top of the game. Like Eddie McCreadie, Charlie was one of my early heroes as he was part of that flamboyant Chelsea team that flourished in the late 60’s, early 70’s and probably more importantly to me; he was always in the football cards of the time.

Having started at Aberdeen in the early sixties, Charlie moved to Dundee and then Chelsea in 1966. His first cap came in 1965 as a Dundee player in November, 1965 against Wales in a Home International at Hampden. Also making their debuts, were goalkeeper Bobby Ferguson of Kilmarnock and Jim Forrest of Rangers. Remarkably both Willie Henderson and Willie Johnston were also in the line-up, which must’ve ran the Welsh ragged as Scotland ran out 4-1 winners with Bobby Murdoch scoring two and one each for John Greig and Willie Henderson.

Scotland were to be less cavalier in their next game, so only Charlie of our triumvirate of wingers made the selection as Jock Stein tried to shuffle the pack of an injury decimated squad to face Italy in Naples in a World Cup Qualifier. In a masterstroke of Leveinien stature, Jock gave Ron Yeats of Liverpool the number nine shirt to confuse the Italians but really he was just playing an extra centre half. Those clever Italians sussed this and Scotland lost three nil.

Charlie returned to the Scotland team in June 1966 as World Cup Prospects Portugal and Brazil came to Hampden. Scotland lost one nil to Portugal featuring Eusebio and drew one all with Brazil with Pele, Gerson and Jairzinho all playing at Hampden. Stevie Chalmers of Celtic would score the Scotland goal.

After a two year wait, Charlie was back in favour as he played in the Euro Qualifier decider as Scotland faced England at Hampden in February 1968, knowing a win would see them through to the Euro play-offs. Unfortunately, like many a Scotland team, we failed to progress as we drew one each with John Yogi Hughes scoring the Scots equaliser. This was followed by a friendly with Netherlands that ended nil nil.

Charlie played in our first three World Cup 1970 qualifiers; the first in November ’68, a fine 2-1 win over Austria with Law and Bremner doing the damage. Then the game in Cyprus which Scotland won 5-0 with Alan Gilzean and Colin Stein grabbing doubles and Bobby Murdoch the other. As for the game against West Germany at Hampden, Charlie came on as a sub for Bobby Lennox in 63 minutes with the score one nil to Germany. Bobby Murdoch would score in the 88th to equalise.

As for that years’ Home Internationals, Charlie played in an eight goal thriller at the Racecourse, Wrexham against Wales with Scotland winning 5-3. Reports of the time suggest that this was perhaps Charlie’s finest performance for Scotland as the Scots lost an early two goal advantage to have the score sit at three all until Charlie seemed to take the game by the scruff of the neck and saw Scotland score two late goals for the victory.

Charlie also played in the one all draw with Northern Ireland but missed out in the Big One against the Auld Enemy and given we were pumped 4-1, maybe he wasn’t too aggrieved about that.

Cap twelve came in the 8-0 mauling of Cyprus at Hampden, 13 in the final game of the Mexico ’70 campaign as we lost 2-0 in Vienna to Austria. 14 in that muddy 3-0 defeat to Belgium in 1971 in the first of a new Euro qualifier campaign which we posted the video of a few weeks ago.

By the end of 1971 Scotland had a new manager in Tommy Docherty, who as Chelsea manager had splashed out a club record £72,000 for Charlie in 1966 but Charlie didn’t gain any more caps under him and by 1972 had moved to Crystal Palace.

By ’74 Charlie was back at Stamford Bridge and a resurgence in his career saw him picked for his last two caps for Scotland under Willie Ormond; for firstly a Euro Qualifier against Spain in Valencia which ended in a one all draw and then a friendly at Hampden which ended with a Scotland one goal victory over Portugal through a Artur own goal.

Peter Cormack

Born – 17th July, 1946, Edinburgh

Caps – 9 ( 4 with Hibernian and 5 with Nottingham Forest)

Years Active – 1966 – 71



It’s fair to say that Peter’s Scotland career never really reached the heights that was expected of him. Peter had flourished under Jock Stein at Hibernian as a teenager and indeed he would make his Scotland debut at the age of 19.

Peter had played for the Under-23 side a couple of times prior to his first full team game and lining up alongside against Brazil on 25th June 1966 were a couple of familiar faces. Billy Bremner and Charlie Cooke had played with Peter in the Under-23 side but had progressed to first team before him. Also making his debut that day was John Clark of Celtic.

This was a pre-World Cup warm up for Brazil and show were such players as Jairzinho, Gerson and Pele. Stevie Chalmers of Celtic put Scotland ahead in the first minute but Brazil equalised through Servilio in the 16th minute and the game ended 1-1.

Surprisingly it would be a couple of years before Peter would play again for Scotland coming on as a sub with 3 minutes to go in a 1-0 defeat to Denmark. However, a year later things pick up again as Peter plays two games in a row. The first in September 1969, the Republic of Ireland game at Dalymount Park which I mentioned the other day.

He is then picked for the World Cup Qualifier against West Germany. At this point Scotland were still very much in the hunt for a place in Mexico and any kind of result against the Germans would put Scotland in a good position going into their last game against Austria.

Scotland got off to a great start with Jimmy Johnstone scoring in only three minutes, however the Germans equalised just before half time and then went into the lead in 60 minutes. Alan Gilzean would equalise four minutes later but with only nine minutes to go a final German gaol broke Scottish hearts. It was shortly after this that Tommy Gemmell went on the rampage having being hacked down by Helmut Haller; Tommy decided to take full blooded revenge and whacked Haller a cracker. Tommy became only the fourth Scotland players to be sent off and the third Celtic player to do so on National duty with Bertie Auld and Pat Crerand being his predecessors.

Scotland lost the final World Cup Qualifier against Austria in Vienna with Peter missing out but who knows what would have happened had we drawn in Hamburg but isn’t that always the way?

As for Peter, after another period of absence would see him come on as a sub, again against Denmark in November 1970 in a Euro qualifier. This would be his first game as a Nottingham Forest player. Scotland won one nil, thanks to a John O’Hare goal

1971 would Peter’s best year for representing Scotland as he would win his final four caps; mind you it wasn’t a great year for Scotland as their playing record would read P10 W2 D1 L7 F5 A14.

Peter would play in defeats to Portugal, England and Denmark and a nil nil draw against Wales. These results would see the ending of Bobby Brown’s reign as Scottish manager and the beginning of Tommy Docherty’s. In fact, the two Scotland wins would be under Tommy and without Peter. Docherty would bring Peter on as a late sub against the Netherlands in Amsterdam in December ’71 and that would be it for Peter . . . well almost.

Peter would become a Liverpool player in 1972 and would be a pivotal part of their season ’72-’73 Championship and UEFA Cup winning team but there would be no Scotland recall for him that year. However, despite not having played for Scotland since 1971 Peter was chosen as part of the 22 players that travelled to Germany for the 1974 World Cup. It is strange that Scotland played six games prior to the World Cup that year and Willie Ormond chose not to play him but still took him to Germany as part of the squad.

That was it for Peter and Scotland; his international record was pretty poor as Scotland would only win once with Peter involved and even then the goal had been scored long before he came on.

Sammy Cox

Born – 13th April, 1924, Darvel

Died – 2nd August, 2015

Caps – 24 (All with Rangers)

Years Active – 1948 – 54


Former Rangers and Scotland full back Sammy Cox died on August 2nd, aged 91 after a short illness. I can’t tell you a lot about Sammy in terms of what type of player he was; I never saw him play but what I can put in context is his time with the National team. I think it’s important that even although most of us would struggle to know who he was and when he played, we still remember him and his service to Scotland.

Sammy won a total of 24 caps for Scotland from 1949-1954, remarkably Sammy’s record reads W16 D 4 L4. Two of the defeats were to England, one to Austria and Wales apiece. It is also worth noting that fate denied Sammy the chance to play in not one but two World Cups.

I wrote a few weeks ago about 1949 being the Perfect Year as Scotland played four games and won them all that year and Sammy was there right at the start of it. He made his debut on 9th April, 1949 against England at Wembley, a game Scotland won 3-1. A year later, the England game had bigger consequences to it rather than just winning the Home International Championship. Qualification for the 1950 World Cup in Brazil would go to the two top teams in the Championship that season. By the end of 1949, both Scotland and England were assured qualification but in a moment of hubris the SFA declared they would only go as Champions. Defeat at Hampden to England by a solitary goal in April, 1950 put paid to that idea and so World Cup opportunity #1 passed Sammy by. Given Scotland’s other results around this time, it is sad that players of the calibre of Bobby Evans, George Young, Lawrie Reilly, Willie Waddell and Billy Steel were all denied this chance to shine on the World stage too.

Good consistent form followed the Scots and Sammy over the next few years and similarly the 1954 Home Internationals would be the platform for a World Cup place. Sammy played in all three games with Scotland defeating Ireland 3-1 in Belfast with Charlie Fleming of East Fife scoring two goals on his debut. Of course in true East Fife and Scotland fashion; Charlie like Henry Morris who scored a hat-trick against Ireland on his debut 5 years previously was sent packing back to Methil and never pulled on a Scotland strip again. A three all draw against Wales and funny enough there was no declaration of only going as Champions after that.

In the final game of the Championship and in what turned out to be his final Scotland game; Sammy was given captaincy for the game against England at Hampden. Willie Ormond of Hibs would make his debut that day. Despite Alan Brown of Blackpool giving us an early lead in 7 minutes by the time of Ormond’s goal in 89 minutes England had put 4 past George Farm in the Scotland goal.

Just like Ireland had Gary Mackay to thank for their qualification to the Euros in 1988; Scotland had Peter McParland of Ireland who put two past Wales that day to allow Scotland to go through to the World Cup.

So surely Sammy was not dropped because of the defeat to England and that’s why he never got to the World Cup in ‘54, you may ask? Well, no. Rangers went on an overseas tour that summer and the SFA allowed them to take the likes of Sammy, Willie Waddell and George ‘Corky’ Young with them. Sad but true.

After the World Cup Sammy was never picked again, although both Waddell and Young, who also retained his Captaincy, returned to the fold in the first games after it.

Pat Crerand

Born 19th February, 1939, Glasgow

Caps – 16 (11 with Celtic, 5 with Manchester United)

Years Active – 1961 – 1965


It would be fair to say that Pat is a rather abrasive character and well known for saying what he thinks, which made him such a great TV pundit in the early 70’s. He was also seen as a man who has been known to throw a punch or two or as Denis Law once said about him, “If he starts, the best thing to do is put out the lights and lie on the floor.”

However, Pat was also a fine footballer and in the 60’s, the saying among Manchester United fans was “If Pat Crerand plays well, United play well.” Given the amount of talent in the United period of the time that is a compliment of the highest order.

Pat started off his career at Celtic and it is rather surprising that of his 16 Scotland caps, only 5 came when he was part of the Old Trafford set up. His first cap came in May 1961, a fortnight after Scotland had been mauled by England 9-3 at Wembley. Pat had come in to start in place of Dave Mackay and would keep Mackay out the team for 11 games in a row. It is perhaps ironic that a man with such deep seated Irish roots as Crerand, that he faced the Republic of Ireland on his debut at Hampden. This was the first of a double header against the Irish in a four day spell which was the start of the World Cup 1962 campaign. Ralph Brand of Rangers and David Herd of Arsenal scored a double each as Scotland won 4-1. Four days later and the Scots ran out 3-0 winners at Dalymount Park in Dublin with Alex Young of Everton scoring two early goals before Brand added a third in the last few minutes.

A week later and things did not go well for Pat and his teammates as they lost 4-0 to group rivals Czechoslovakia in Bratislava. However, as goal difference did not count in those days; a victory over the Czechs in September would see Scotland at the very least go into a play-off with the Czechs for a place in Chile.

Hopes could not have been too high that night as only a then, paltry crowd of 51,590 turned up to cheer Scotland on. Twice Scotland went behind and twice they pulled it back through goals by Ian St. John and Denis Law. It would be Law who was playing for Torino at the time, who would have the last word scoring the winner with seven minutes to go.

Pat then played in the first two games of the Home International Series of 1961-62, against Northern Ireland and Wales, which were traditionally played in the winter. Scotland beat N. Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast 6-1 with the goals being shared by Rangers trio Davie Wilson, Ralph Brand with 2 and a hat-trick from Alex Scott. A month later in November, the Scots beat Wales 2-0 with an Ian St. John double.

With Czechoslovakia having despatched the Republic Ireland 3-1 and 7-1 away and at home respectively, a play-off was scheduled for November 29th, 1961. The Scotland side was somewhat depleted as goalkeeper Eddie Connachan of Dunfermline and Hugh Robertson of Dundee made their international debuts; two more Dundee players Alex Hamilton and Ian Ure were only playing their second Internationals. It started quite well in the Heysel Stadium, Brussels with St. John giving Scotland a first half lead. The Czechs pulled it back in the 70th minute but St. John, a minute later put the Scots ahead again. However, Scotland could not hold out and parity was restored in the 82nd minute with a Czech equaliser. The game headed to extra time and it was the Czechs, no doubt boosted by that late equaliser who went on to score two more as Scotland’s World Cup dream fell apart.

Consolation was on its way as Scotland beat England 2-0 at Hampden to win the British Championships in April ’62 with goals from Davie Wilson and a late penalty from Eric Caldow. A 3-2 home defeat to Uruguay a few weeks ended Scotland’s season.

Next up, was a narrow 3-2 win at Ninian Park, Cardiff in October, with goals from Caldow again, Denis Law and making his debut Willie Henderson. Cap 11 came at Hampden Park in November ’62 as the Scots routed Northern Ireland 5-1. Well, really it was the Denis Law show as he hit four that day with Henderson chipping in another.

By the time, the England game rolled around in April ’63, Pat was missing from the line up and Dave Mackay had been reinstated. Pat had by this point joined Manchester United two months beforehand. Scotland went on to win 2-1 in a famous Wembley win and retain the Championship.

After this, Pat would be capped a further five times; in October ’63 he lined up alongside Dave Mackay against Northern Ireland in Belfast but the Scot were to lose 2-1.

Then came a flurry of caps in 1965 as he firstly lined up against England at Wembley as Scotland narrowly failed to beat England for four games in a row, settling for 2-2 draw with goals from Law and St. John. He was then involved in three of our World Cup Qualifiers for the ’66 World Cup. Scotland began with two credible away results; a 1-1 draw with Poland in Chorzow with Law again being on target in late May ’65. Four days later a good start to the campaign was cemented with a 2-1 in Helsinki v Finland with Davie Wilson and John Greig providing the goals.

Pat’s final appearance in a Scotland shirt ended in disaster as two late, late goals by Poland saw the Scots lose 2-1 at home in a vital World Cup Qualifier, which ultimately scuppered Scotland’s chances of going to England in ’66.

For Scotland’s next game Bobby Murdoch was brought in and Crerand would only be involved as a reserve beyond this point until he eventually called it a day as did many a player in the 60’s frustrated by the lack of playing time given to them.

His career at Manchester United would hit higher heights as he would win the English First Division twice and then went on to lift the European Cup with them in 1968. Pat continues to be involved with all things Man United and is part of MUTV. His book ‘Never Turn the Other Cheek’ is well worth a read as he was and is still a very interesting character.

Jim Craig

Born – 7th May 1943, Glasgow

Caps – 1 (with Celtic)

Year Active – 1967


Jim belongs to that exclusive club of players who have won just one Scotland cap. Jim was an excellent over-lapping full back who served Celtic very well in over 150 games between 1963 and 1972. He had an eventful European Cup Final, giving away a penalty in only six minutes, which was converted by Mazzola for Inter to take the lead. However, it was Jim’s infield pass to his fellow full back Tommy Gemmell who thundered the ball past Sarti for an equaliser in 63 minutes and the rest as they say is history.

Although everyone in the starting eleven in Lisbon would be capped, overall the Lisbon Lions were poorly served by the Scotland team as most would only win a few caps each, and in fact Bertie Auld’s three caps came in 1959 during his first period at Parkhead. As for Jim, his one cap came on November 22nd, 1967 against Wales at Hampden, that doubled up as a Home International and Euro Qualifier. Two goals from Alan Gilzean and a third from Ronnie McKinnon saw Scotland overcome Wales 3-2. Looking at the games proceeding and after this, Scotland had a settled full back partnership in Eddie McCreadie and Tommy Gemmell, with Tommy’s absence perhaps being the reason for Jim’s inclusion on that night. Not only would this be Jim’s last appearance in a Scotland shirt but it was also the last of his 34 for Jim Baxter too.

Alex Cropley

Born – 16th January, 1951, Aldershot, England

Caps – 2

Year Active – 1971


Focus On Alex Cropley

Alex Cropley could on one hand be considered a very unlucky player due to injuries including leg breaks he suffered in his career but had he been playing a decade earlier he would not have played for Scotland at all.

Alex was born in Aldershot; I had always assumed that like Bruce Rioch who was also born there that he was an ‘army brat’ but no his father Jack was playing for Aldershot FC at the time. Alex started his football career at Easter Road and was part of Turnbull’s Tornadoes.

When Tommy Docherty became Manager of Scotland in 1971, he quite quickly took advantage of the rule that allowed players who were born outwith Scotland but of Scottish parentage to play for the National team. In his first game in charge he picked Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson to the chagrin of many a Scotland supporter and in some cases players but Alex Cropley was also given his debut. Doc’s first game was on 13th October, 1971 against Portugal at Hampden in a Euro Qualifier, having already lost to Belgium, Portugal and Denmark away, the Scots were out of the reckoning by this time. However, Docherty rallied the troops and Scotland won 2-1 with John O’Hare and Archie Gemmill supplying the goals.

Cropley held his place in the team for the next game, another qualifier taking place up at Pittodrie against Belgium in November 1971 with John O’Hare scoring the only goal of the game. Although, this was to be Alex’s last game for Scotland, he does hold two claims to fame. One; he was substituted in the second half to let Kenny Dalglish come on for his Scotland debut and two; he was in a Scotland side that beat bloody Belgium!

After leaving Hibs, Cropley went to Arsenal for £150,000 but within a month of his debut he broke a leg and indeed shortly after his return from that injury he broke his leg again. He would only make thirty odd appearances before moving to Aston Villa where incredibly he was to suffer a third leg break. Alex would retire from football aged 31.

As to his answers for the Focus On piece; Favourite player was Denis Law with Sandy Jardine as his most difficult opponent. His most memorable match was his debut for Scotland as well as being capped his Biggest Thrill. I love his Professional Ambition which was to be “ in a Scotland team which beats England at Wembley”. Sadly he never managed this but here’s hoping a few others do come November 2016.

As for some of the other stuff; his favourite food is . . . drumroll please – Steak! TV Shows – Dad’s Army and Morecambe and Wise. Singers are Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra. His Actor / Actress are Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen.

Warren Cummings

Born 15th October, 1980, Aberdeen

Caps – 1 (With Chelsea)

Year Active – 2002


Who? You know . . . Warren Cummings, the last Scot to be capped whilst a Chelsea player? No, not yet? Don’t you remember he replaced Maurice Ross (Oh dear another duff player) for the second half against the mighty Hong Kong Select?

Nah, still don’t remember him. Well, it’s his birthday on October 15th, 2015 and he will be 35. 35? Is he still playing then?

Well, I know you’re expecting me to tell you a tale of injury woes and such like, given he was one of Hans Hubert’s boys. Well, sort of; he did suffer a double leg break while playing for Bournemouth in 2005 and also a broken arm in 2007 but he did play for Bournemouth for nine years playing over 250 games. He never did get a game for Chelsea though but played on loan for West Brom and Dundee United.

However, Warren Cummings is still out there kicking a ball with Havant and Waterlooville in the Conference South.

Although he only played for the full squad the once, Warren played nine times for the Under 21 team. As said his only cap came in the Reunification Cup against Hong Kong Select. The full team for that day was as follows;

Rab Douglas, Lee Wilkie, Robbie Stockdale (remember him?), David Weir, Christian Dailly, Maurice Ross, Scott Severin, Scot Gemmill, Allan Johnston, Kevin Kyle and Steven Thompson.

Cummings, Scott Dobie, Gareth Williams, Goalkeeper Paul Gallacher, Garry O’Connor and Graham Alexander all made second half appearances.

Goals from Kevin Kyle, Steven Thompson, Christian Dailly and Scot Gemmill gave Scotland a “famous” (LOL) win.

Tommy Docherty

Born – 24th April, 1928, Glasgow

Caps – 25 (22 with Preston North End, 3 with Arsenal), Goals – 3

Years Active – 1951-’58


Although, most of us when we think of Tommy and his involvement with Scotland, we think of his days in charge of the Scotland team in the early 70’s, he played for the team 25 times from 1951-’59, travelling to two World Cups in that period.

Tommy was first capped as a Preston North End player in November, 1951 making his debut against Wales at Hampden. Tommy was what we would think of nowadays as a holding midfielder, making the tackles and threading passes forward at this time. Scotland lined up with one or two legends beside Tommy such as Jimmy Cowan of Morton in goals, George Young, Willie Woodburn, Willie Waddell all of Rangers, Lawrie Reilly of Hibs as well as the two Billy’s of the time; Steel of Dundee and Liddell of Liverpool. With all that talent on display Scotland still managed to lose one nil.

Tommy would have to wait 18 months before he got his chance again playing against England at Wembley in April ’53. Scotland drew 2-2 with Lawrie Reilly scoring one of the goals in the 89th minute. A friendly loss at Hampden to Sweden in May that year followed and then a year later two pre-World Cup friendly appearances in May 1954 saw Docherty establish himself more in the team and he would play in the World Cup itself shortly after.

Scotland’s first ever World Cup was a bit of a disaster in many ways. Scotland did pick a squad of 22 players but the great minds at the SFA decided to only take a squad of 13 players and also allowed Rangers to take their players on a Club tour instead. Scotland’s first game was against Austria in Zurich which they narrowly lost 1-0, however in their next game in the heat of Basle they were ran ragged by Uruguay losing 7-0. Tommy played in both games as did another future Scotland manager Willie Ormond.

Sadly, this was not the last time Tommy was in a Scotland side that shipped 7 goals; they would do so again in April, 1955 losing 7-2 to England at Wembley. Aberdeen’s Fred Martin was the unfortunate Scotland goalie on both occasions. Lawrie Reilly scored Scotland’s first goal with Tommy hitting his only Scotland goal late in the second half.

A month later and on a tour of Europe, Tommy took part in an impressive 4-1 win in Vienna in a friendly over Austria. A week or so later and Scotland lost 3-1 to Hungary in Budapest.

Tommy was an integral part of the team that qualified for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. After another defeat to England in April ’57, Scotland went on a three game winning spree in May that year. First up was their opening World Cup qualifying game against Spain at Hampden, which thanks to a Jackie Mudie of Blackpool hat-trick Scotland won 4-2. John Hewie of Charlton scored the other goal from the penalty spot.

Next up was another qualifier this time in Basle against Switzerland. Scotland lost an early goal but thanks to goals from Mudie and Bobby Collins of Celtic Scotland emerged with a 2-1 win. Three days later and a 3-1 friendly win in Stuttgart over West Germany occurred with Bobby Collins hitting a double and Mudie adding also to the tally. Docherty was given the captaincy at this point taking over from George Young, who played his last Scotland game in Basle; no doubt injury must have ruled him out.

However, the merry month of May was to finish with a thud as Scotland were crushed 4-1 by Spain with the wonderful Gordon Smith supplying the only Scotland goal in what was to be his last game for Scotland.

November, 1957 and Scotland faced Switzerland at home in their final World Cup Qualifier. Scotland would win 3-2 and I imagine it got quite nervy towards the end when the Swiss scored their second with only ten minutes remaining. However, goals by Archie Robertson of Clyde, Mudie with another and Alex Scott of Rangers had already put Scotland in the driving seat for the win by this time. The Swiss had already drawn away to Spain and this victory ensured Scotland’s place in the 1958 World Cup but before that there was another game against England at Hampden. Scotland could not find a way to beat England during this era and again were the victims of a 4-0 drubbing at Hampden. This would be Tommy’s last game as a Preston North End player for Scotland but also his last as Captain.

Tommy did travel to the World Cup in ’58 but was not fully fit and took on a more coaching, scouting role for the team. Scotland would open with a draw against Yugoslavia followed by two narrow defeats to Paraguay (3-2) and France (2-1).

Tommy moved to Arsenal in 1958 and returned to the Scotland side for the whole of the 1958-‘59 Home International Series. This first of these games in October ’58 was against Wales at Ninian Park where Denis Law would make his entrance to the International stage. Law would score the second of Scotland’s goals with Graham Leggat of Fulham and Bobby Collins, then with Everton scoring the other. A two each draw with Northern Ireland followed in November at Hampden with David Herd of Arsenal and Collins once more scoring.

Docherty’s last game for Scotland was at Wembley in April, 1959 where a solitary goal by Bobby Charlton would prove to be the winner.

Tommy would of course go on to manage Scotland in 1971 and would manage them for part of their successful 1974 World Cup campaign before moving to become the manager of Manchester United.

Simon Donnelly

Born – 1st December, 1974, Glasgow

Caps – 10 (All with Celtic)

Years Active – 1997-98

Simon Donnelly

Simon Donnelly is 41 on December 1st and had one of those blink and you missed it Scotland careers. Having made thirteen appearances for the Scotland under 21 team Simon graduated to the first team in May 1997. He came on for the last ten minutes replacing Kevin Gallacher in a friendly with Wales down at Rugby Park unfortunately John Hartson scored the only goal of the game for Wales that night. Also making his debut that night was Brian McAllister of Wimbledon who played 3 games for Scotland in total and who incidentally turned 45 on November 30th.

Although Simon and Brian would gain very few caps between them, the other three debutees that night would garner 164 caps between them. David Weir reached 69, Christian Dailly, 67 and Neil Sullivan a mere 28.

Another friendly a month later in the Ta’Qali Stadium in Valetta, Malta saw Simon replace his fellow Celt John Collins for the final 6 minutes of the game. Scotland won 3-0 with Darren Jackson bagging a double with Dailly scoring the opener.

Cap number three came in October ’97 as Simon once again was given scant minutes to prove himself replacing Gordon Durie with again 6 minutes to play. This was in a World Cup Qualifier against Latvia at Celtic Park that Scotland won 2-0 with Gallacher and Durie scoring the goals.

A month later and Simon got to taste the atmosphere of Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne in a friendly against France for all of seven minutes, coming on for Gallacher once more. Scotland lost 2-1 with Durie scoring the Scotland goal. Scotland would return to that stadium seven months later and be pumped by Morocco in our last game of the 1998 World Cup.

In a World Cup year there are always friendlies and 1998 was no exception as Simon would get a whole 26 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Denmark at ibrox in March. 24 minutes against Finland in a 1-1 draw at Easter Road in April and then over to the USA to play Colombia at the Giants Stadium in East Rutherford in May. Scotland drew 2-2 with John Collins and Craig Burley netting for the Scots. Simon got a full 39 minutes for that one. This was followed by a game against the US in the R.F.K. Stadium in Washington which ended in a nil nil draw and Simon getting a lowly eight minutes.

So not the most prestigious start to his Scotland career, however, he had still impressed enough for Craig Brown to give him one of the Squad spots for the World Cup in France, although for Simon there would be no game time in the tournament.

Simon would once more come on as a sub in a Euro Qualifier against Estonia on October 10th at Tynecastle but his fellow sub Billy Dodds would make more of an impact as he equalised in the 70th minute to make it one each. However, a few minutes later Estonia would take the lead once more. Simon would then take on one the full backs and put over a cross from the left wing which the Estonian Centre Half put past his own goalkeeper in the 77th minute. With a few minutes remaining Billy Dodds would grab a vital winner.

Simon in his first nine caps played a total of 129 minutes and finally was given a starting place and a full ninety minutes four days later at Pittodrie against the Faroe Islands. Scotland won 2-1 with Craig Burley and Billy Dodds scoring the goals and Smirnov hitting a penalty late in the game to give us all a nervy final few minutes.

And for Simon that was that. It might not seem much but he did manage to play in ten games against ten different opponents and even more remarkably in ten different stadiums; even more bizarrely six of which were in Scotland without once playing at the National Stadium with games at Rugby Park, Celtic Park, Ibrox, Easter Road, Tynecastle and finally Pittodrie.


Johnny Doyle

Born -11th May, 1951, Uddingston

Died – 19th October, 1981

Caps – 1 (With Ayr United)

Year Active – 1975


Focus On Johnny Doyle

One of the things I love about doing this is coming across pictures of players in their Scotland strip or in this case tracksuit, when they only played for Scotland a couple of times. In Johnny’s case it was only one appearance in December, 1975 in a European Qualifier against Romania at Hampden. Scotland were at this point in transition; the team that did so valiantly at the World Cup in 1974 had started badly in their European campaign losing to Spain at Hampden and although we did manage to draw in both Spain and Romania that home loss had seen us play catch up to Spain all the way.

By the time of the Romania game, Scotland had also lost their inspirational captain, Billy Bremner after a night out in Copenhagen after a qualifier went awry and Billy among others was given a lifetime ban. Of the team that lined up that night only Martin Buchan, Kenny Dalglish and substitute Peter Lorimer had played in the previous years’ World Cup.

Also making his debut that night was Andy Gray, then of Aston Villa. The game ended up one each with Bruce Rioch netting for Scotland in front of a paltry 11,375 crowd. Looking back at Johnny’s one cap it is surprising that at the time he was an Ayr United player. Not the most fashionable of teams and indeed prior to Johnny’s cap that night, the last player to play for Scotland as an ‘Honest Man’ was Bob Hepburn winning is only cap in 1931. No United player has represented Scotland since although both Stevie Nicol and Gary Teale were capped as Under 21 players with Ayr before progressing to full honours playing for Liverpool and Derby County respectively.

The other surprise is that it was Willie Ormond and not Ally Macleod who gave Johnny his one and only cap. Macleod prior to managing Scotland had turned Ayr United in the late 60’s and early 70’s into a formidable force in Scottish football, which ultimately led to his taking over after Ormond resigned in April ’77. Of course, Ayr United were also managed by another future Scotland manager, who shall remain nameless at this point.

As for Johnny Doyle, let’s face it, after his move to a certain team in the East End of Glasgow; if you didn’t support them you probably hated him, such was his commitment to the Celtic cause. Johnny was a fast, tenacious battler of a player, whom we would all have loved on our team but loathed in the opposition, he was also as one Celtic site refers to him as a ‘one man riot’. Johnny was well known for his, less than amicable relationships with referees.

As to his answers in the article they show his love for Celtic but also his affection for his time at Ayr United and a bit of his humour. His favourite players were Jimmy Johnstone and George ‘Dandy’ McLean. George would have played alongside Johnny at Somerset Park, in his long career as a bustling centre forward, George also played for St. Mirren, Rangers, Dundee and Dunfermline and like Johnny was capped once for Scotland against the Netherlands in 1968.

His most difficult opponent is listed as Tam Cowan’s favourite; Motherwell’s Joe Wark. Biggest Thrill was signing for Celtic but his Biggest Disappointment was leaving my friends at Ayr. Most memorable match was his International debut. His favourite food is of course steak but among his miscellaneous dislikes is one-sided disciplinary hearings and among his biggest drags in football are suspensions and fines! Favourite singers are not 70’s lounge singers at least but Status Quo and Nazareth, he was also a big fan of Benny Hill and the Two Ronnies. His favourite actor is Steve McQueen and actress is Julie Ege and finally his biggest influence on his career was Ally MacLeod and United captain Johnny Graham.

Sadly Johnny died after being electrocuted at home in 1981 at the age of 30, however loved or loathed him Johnny played for Scotland and that’s what we at the Epistles choose to remember

Allan Evans

Born – 12th October, 1956, Dunfermline

Caps – 4 (All with Aston Villa)

Years Active – 1982.


Allan is a member of that possibly extinct breed of Scottish player who has won the European Cup as it was known in old money. He achieved this with Aston Villa in May 1982 beating Bayern Munich 1-0 in Rotterdam. There were three other Scots involved that day too.

Allan’s defensive partner was Ken McNaught, who was never capped despite playing over 200 games for Villa. His father Willie, won five caps for Scotland as a Raith Rovers player in the 1950’s. I have mentioned Des Bremner’s one and only cap before which came in April, 1976 when he played for 36 minutes as a sub for Kenny Dalglish against Switzerland at Hampden. Des was a Hibs player at the time. The final player was a guy called Andy Blair; who was on the subs bench. Andy also played for Coventry, Wolves, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley in his time and won five Under-21 caps. Although, he never got to play in the final he did get to play against Barcelona at Villa Park in the Super Cup the following season. After a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp, Villa beat Barcelona 3-0 in the return leg with all four Scots playing and Ken McNaught scoring the third.

Allan gained four Scotland caps in total; all under Jock Stein and was part of the 1982 World Cup Squad. His first cap came against Netherlands in a friendly at Hampden in March, 1982, Jim Bett then of Rangers also made his debut in this game. Allan played alongside Willie Miller that night. A Frank Gray penalty and a Kenny Dalglish goal was enough to give Scotland a 2-1 victory. Next up a month later was a Home International against Northern Ireland in Belfast, where Allan played in defence with Alex McLeish, who was replaced by Alan Hansen in the 75th minute. The game ended in a one each draw with John Wark scoring for Scotland. This game had been brought forward due to I imagine the aforementioned European Cup match being played on May 26th.

Allan would miss the next Scotland match against Wales at Hampden on 24th May but would find himself back in the line-up for the England game at Wembley on the 29th. Scotland lost one nil with Evans lining up with Hansen in defence.

Allan’s final Scotland game came in our opening match of the 1982 World Cup against New Zealand. Again he lined up beside Hansen but given Scotland lost two goals to the World Cup minnows, Allan was among the players dropped by Jock Stein for the next game v Brazil.

So that was Allan’s final involvement in a Scotland shirt but who knows if some day someone builds a time machine and we can go back to Malaga ’82, maybe with a wee word to Big Jock at half-time he will replace either Miller or Hansen with Evans and the disaster against the USSR doesn’t happen. Then again, given our seemingly endless torturous fate maybe we would still have found a way to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Gary Gillespie

Born – 5th July, 1960, Stirling

Caps – 13 (All with Liverpool)

Years Active – 1987-90


Gary Gillespie will be 55 on July 5th.  Gary’s is one of those players who at an early age seemed to be destined for great things but his Scotland career only amounted to thirteen caps and as a bit part player, generally playing when others were injured or unavailable.

And yet his career started well; at seventeen Gary was given the captaincy of Falkirk, by eighteen he was on the move to Coventry City. His first Under -21 cap came a few months after his eighteenth birthday in a friendly against USA at Pittodrie on October 17th, 1978. Andy Roxburgh was in charge of the team at this point and it would be him that would give Gary all his full caps too. Also in the team that day were future Scotland players Alex McLeish, Murdo MacLeod and Eamonn Bannon. The team won three – nil with goals from Murdo, Neil Orr of Morton and Partick Thistle’s Jim Melrose.

By the time of his first team cap at the age of 27 on October 14th 1987, Alex McLeish was on cap 48, Eamonn Bannon’s 11 cap career was over and Murdo MacLeod had gained 5 of his eventual 20 caps. Gary was paired alongside McLeish on that night against Belgium in a Euro Qualifier at Hampden, which the Scots won 2-0 with goals from McCoist and McStay.

Gary, by this time was a Liverpool player having probably spent too many years at Coventry, that possibly hindered his International progress. Gary would also play in the following game, a Euro qualifying match, as Scotland beat Bulgaria in Sofia with Gary MacKay scoring that famous goal that put ROI through to their first Finals.

Gary played in a goalless friendly against Spain in April the following year but with competition from McLeish, Miller and Gough opportunities were few. Gary played in only three of the qualifying games for Italia ’90. A 2-1 win away to Norway in September, 1988 and then the magnificent win against France at Hampden in March ’89, with Mo Jo supplying a deadly brace, that was followed by a 3-1 defeat away to Yugoslavia in Zagreb in September of ’89.

Gary played in three of the World Cup warm ups in May 1990 but was not chosen to start in any of the games but did get to replace Murdo in the third game against Brazil, after he had the ball blootered off him by Branco and ended up unconscious. Scotland lost a soft goal in 81st minute to Muller which saw us sent home again, too early.

Gary was called up again in November, 1990 for another game in Sofia against Bulgaria in a Euro Qualifier, which Scotland drew one all. Although Scotland had a successful campaign and qualified for the finals in Sweden, Gary was never picked again for his national team.

Arthur Graham

Born: 26th October, 1952, Glasgow

Caps – 11 (All with Leeds United), Goals – 2

Years Active – 1978-81


Arthur gained 11 caps for Scotland, all whilst playing for Leeds United although due to his appearance’s in football cards in the early 70’s I always think of him as a winger for Aberdeen. Arthur also went on to play for Manchester United and Bradford.

His first cap came shortly after his move from Aberdeen to Leeds; coming on as a sub against East Germany for Willie Johnston in a friendly in September, 1977 at the Weltjugend Stadion in East Berlin. Scotland lost one nil with Leeds teammate and goalkeeper David Stewart making his one and only Scotland appearance that night. Like many players, first capped by Ally Macleod, Arthur was never given the chance to establish himself as Ally seemed to prefer players capped by Willie Ormond and his predecessors.

His second cap came after the 1978 debacle, when he replaced Joe Jordan in a Euro Qualifier against Austria in Vienna. Within minutes of him coming on Scotland went three down but a late revival through goals by Gordon McQueen and Andy Gray must have impressed a watching Jock Stein as he was to be in charge in Scotland’s next game.

Arthur started against Norway at Hampden in October, 1978 and would win the penalty in the 87th minute which meant big Jock’s first game in charge would be a win as Scotland won 3-2 with two goals from Kenny Dalglish and the penalty from Gemmill.

Arthur would miss Scotland’s next game a one nil defeat to Portugal but following that he would play in the next seven games, only being on the bench for one of them.

Arthur played in all three games of the May, 1979 Home International series, which saw Scotland get thumped 3-0 by Wales and especially John Toshack as he hit a hat-trick; in the first game. A small crowd of 28,524 saw Scotland beat Northern Ireland with Arthur scoring the only goal of the game to give Scotland victory. The final game of the series saw Scotland go down 3-1 to England at Wembley.

Defeat was also to follow in June ’79 at Hampden as the newly crowned World Champions Argentina turned up in Glasgow with a young Diego Maradona giving the Scots a masterclass in football. The game is not so much remembered for Arthur’s second Scotland goal which came as a consolation in the 85th as the Scots toiled 3-1.

Five days later, Arthur would be part of the team that beat Norway 4-0 in Oslo with Jordan, Dalglish, John Robertson and Gordon McQueen scoring. Although both Robertson and Arthur played in this side together, it would perhaps be Robertson coming more to the fore as an important player for Scotland and taking the left sided berth that would see Arthur’s Scotland career peter out.

Interestingly enough, Arthur would be a sub come the next Scotland game in September of 1979; he would replace Davie Cooper. It would take a few years though for Cooper to install himself as a favourite of Jock’s. Scotland drew one each with Peru at Hampden with Asa Hartford scoring the Scots goal.

A return to Euro Qualifiers in October against Austria at Hampden saw Scotland draw one each with Cooper coming on for Graham this time. Scotland’s goal was scored by Archie Gemmill with Hans Krankl scoring for Austria.

Arthur then dropped off Jock’s radar and returned for his final cap against Wales in May 1981 when the Scots again lost to Wales 2-0 with Ian Walsh hitting a double.

Andy Gray

Born – 30th November, 1955, Glasgow, Scotland

Caps – 20 (6 with Aston Villa, 13 with Wolves and 1 with Everton) Goals – 7

Years Active – 1975 – 1985


It’s fair to say that although Andy played 20 times for Scotland he never really had that period where you could say he was an established first choice striker for Scotland. Of course, anyone who played at the same time as Kenny Dalglish would always be second fiddle as such and there’s was quite a lot of competition for that place such as Joe Jordan, Derek Johnstone, Alan Brazil, Willie Pettigrew and Steve Archibald among others in Andy’s time as an internationalist.

Andy had won three caps at Under-23 level as a Dundee United player but by October, 1975 he had moved to Aston Villa. His final appearance at Under-23 level saw him score three goals against Denmark in a Euro Qualifier and the following month he was to make his first team bow. This time in a first team Qualifier against Romania at Hampden. Scotland were to draw one each with Bruce Rioch scoring the Scots goal. Also, making his one and only appearance in a Scotland shirt was Ayr United’s Johnny Doyle.

In April, ’76 he was in a forward line that included Dalglish, Derek Johnstone, Andy and making his debut Willie Pettigrew against Switzerland at Hampden. Willie opened the scoring after two minutes but despite the threat Scotland had upfront no more goals were to follow for either side. Willie Ormond had put out an almost experimental side with Alan Rough, Frank Gray also making their first starts, however making their first and last appearances for Scotland that night were Tommy Craig of Newcastle, Rangers players’ Alex MacDonald and Bobby McKean as well as Des Bremner of Hibs.

Cap number three in September 1976 saw Andy score his first two goals for Scotland as they routed Finland 6-0 in a friendly at Hampden. Also on the scoresheet were Don Masson, Bruce Rioch, Kenny Dalglish and Eddie Gray. Andy retained his place for Scotland’s first 1978 World Cup Qualifier in October, 1976 against Czechoslovakia in Prague. In an attacking minded team that night Scotland went with a front three of Jordan, Dalglish and Gray. Needless to say Scotland might have done better had Andy not been sent off along with Czech player Anton Ondrus in the 43rd minute. The Czechs obviously adapted quicker to the ten man game as they scored in the 46th and 48th minute to win the game two nil.

Ally MacLeod would come in as Scotland Manager a few months and despite being the top goalscorer in the English First Division for season 1976 – ’77 and in the following year scoring 29 goals and picking up both the English Player and Young Player of the Year, Andy was never picked by MacLeod prior to the ’78 World Cup and as is well known never made into the Squad for Argentina.

However, Andy returned to the fold for the first Post-Argentine Debacle game against Austria in Vienna for a Euro Qualifier. Scotland were three down by the 64th minute but goals by Gordon McQueen and Andy put a more respectable sheen on the game but it was enough for MacLeod to see the writing on the wall as he bowed out as Scotland Manager.

Andy probably thought with Jock Stein coming in he would have the chance to establish himself and indeed Andy started in Jock’s first game in charge in October, 1978 as Scotland squeezed out a 3-2 win in front of an expectant crowd of 65,372 at Hampden. Kenny Dalglish hit a double with an 87th minute penalty from Archie Gemmill claiming victory.

However, Jock seemed to prefer Joe Jordan alongside Dalglish for the next few games and it was not until March, 1980 that Andy was back in the line-up. Andy had joined Wolves in September, 1979 for a then English record of £1.5m. Andy was to score in a rare Scotland win for the time as they beat Portugal 4-1 in the final game of a poor European campaign in front of a paltry crowd of 20,233. Kenny Dalglish, debutant Steve Archibald and another Archie Gemmill penalty provided the other goals.

Andy’s 8th appearance would be a couple of months later a she came on as a late sub at Wembley in the Home International against England, which the Scots were to lose 2-0.

Andy would then get his best run in a Scotland shirt as he appeared for four consecutive World Cup Qualifiers starting in September 1980 as Scotland beat Sweden 1-0 in Stockholm with Gordon Strachan producing a slice of magic to provide the sole goal.  A non-score draw with Portugal at Hampden followed a month later with a trip to Tel Aviv in February ’81 next on the list. Scotland won one nil with Kenny Dalglish scoring in the 54th minute. Gray would come on for Dalglish fifteen minutes later as Scotland ground out an important two points. This was the only defeat the Israeli’s conceded at home and went a long way to secure Scotland‘s qualification. Andy would be recalled to start as Scotland would play out a nervous one each draw with Northern Ireland a month later at Hampden with John Wark scoring in the 75th minute to equalise after Hamilton had put the Irish in front five minutes earlier.

With four games and no goals produced, Jock Stein must have felt it was time for someone else to be given a chance with Joe Jordan once more being reinstated in the Scotland line up. In September ’81, Andy came on as a sub for Dalglish in 70th minute in another qualifier against Sweden at Hampden. Joe Jordan had given Scotland an early lead and Andy gained Scotland a penalty with a most dramatic dive in the 83rd minute, which John Robertson put away with his usual aplomb. Andy again made a subs appearance in another nervy night for Scotland, this time in Belfast when he came on for Gordon Strachan in the 70th minute. The game ended 0-0, which was enough to see Scotland qualify for the World Cup in Spain.

Again, Andy would see a World Cup Finals come and go without his presence and probably felt a bit more aggrieved having played in 6 of the 8 qualifiers with Alan Brazil, Steve Archibald, Joe Jordan and Paul Sturrock all getting the shout ahead of him.

However, Andy was recalled to the squad for the May, 1983 Home Internationals playing the full ninety minutes in all three games with Kenny Dalglish missing out; as Scotland drew nil nil with Northern Ireland at Hampden, then scoring one of the goals as the Scots beat Wales 2-0 at Ninian Park, Cardiff with Alan Brazil producing the other. In the final game once more the Scots went down 2-0 to England at Wembley.

Andy also joined the squad for the team’s tour of Canada that summer with three games against the Canadians. Andy was a sub in the second game in Edmonton, as Scotland won 3-0 with Charlie Nicholas, Richard Gough and Graeme Souness providing the goals. Scotland had already won the first game 2-0 in Vancouver; Andy scored both goals in Toronto’s Varsity Stadium as they won with the same result to end their tour.

Despite those goals, Andy once more found himself in the International wilderness with the emergence of the likes of Mo Johnston and indeed he would be called up for the squad once more for what was to prove to be Jock Stein’s penultimate game in charge.

Andy was by now an Everton player and was picked to play in what would prove to be a vital World Cup game against Iceland in Reykjavik. Scotland won by virtue of a Jim Bett goal that took a long time in coming as the Scots finally broke down the stubborn Icelandic defence in the 86th minute.

Andy would be part of the squad for that fateful night in Cardiff when Jock Stein lost his life.

Andy was never to play for Scotland after this. So here’s to Andy who like a lot of Scotland strikers over the year perhaps should have scored more goals for his country but one thing’s for certain there would be few who would have been more committed or as brave as Andrew Mullen Gray, when it came to playing for Scotland as Andy didn’t really know how to play any other way.


Tony Green

Born : 13th October, 1946

Caps 6 (All with Blackpool)

Years Active 1971-’72


Tony started his career at Albion Rovers but soon moved on to Blackpool in 1967, where he would win all of his six caps, playing alongside Tommy Hutchison for a few seasons, where he was a much loved skilful midfield player who like Hutchison would make it into the Blackpool FC Hall of Fame.

His first cap came at a time when Scotland were struggling. Bobby Brown whose Scotland management career had started with the high of the Wembley ’67 had failed to guide Scotland to the World Cup in Mexico and had been trying to rebuild, but his time in charge was petering out.

Tony would come on as a sub at half time for Pat Stanton in the quagmire of Stade De Sclessin in Liege, Belgium on 3rd February, 1971 in a European Nations Cup Qualifier as it was. Scotland toiled to a 3-0 defeat in the mud filled pitch, a video of which I posted on here a few months back. Also, making his debut that night was Archie Gemmill and making his final appearance was Tommy Gemmell.

Tony would again replace Stanton in the 75th minute of the next qualifier a 2-0 defeat to Portugal in April, the same year. Making their debuts that night and perhaps showing the depths of problems Scotland had at the time were Davie Robb of Aberdeen, Jim Brogan of Celtic and Airdrie’s Drew Jarvie who would come on for Jim McCalliog who perhaps summed up the promise of Brown’s early days in charge with his scoring debut at Wembley only for him never really to make an impact after that; all decent and good club servants but not Internationalists by a long shot. However, with no Leeds players in the team it might suggest that English clubs were failing to release players for the National team, which was something that frustrated Bobby Brown throughout his time in charge. Making their farewell bows along with McCalliog that night were sixties legends Willie Henderson and Alan Gilzean.

Scotland were to have a poor Home International Championship that year; Tony would miss the first game, a nil nil draw with Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff. Tony would start at Hampden, three days after this on May 18th, 1971 against Northern Ireland. Again, a fairly inexperienced team with only one player having more than ten caps starting the game, unfortunately for the winner of his 42nd cap that night, John Greig scored the only goal for the Irish to win one nil.

Onto Wembley and although Billy Bremner and Jimmy Johnstone were to be involved this time, the English won 3-1, all too easily against such lightweights as Green, Robb, Hugh Curran of Wolves (scorer of Scotland’s goal) and Forest’s Peter Cormack. Green would be substituted for Drew Jarvie in the 82nd minute.

Despite chants and calls for him to go, Bobby Brown stumbled on for two more games, both one nil defeats away to Denmark and the USSR, neither of which Tony played in, with the Euro defeat to Denmark being a particularly humbling score at the time.

A new Manager and a new attitude as Tommy Docherty brought some needed enthusiasm back into the Scotland fold. Tony was in the squad for Tommy’s first game in charge against Portugal in October ’71 but didn’t get to make an appearance.

However, Tony was back into the team for the second game of the 1972 Home Internationals; Scotland had beaten Northern Ireland with goals from Denis Law and Peter Lorimer in the first, before facing Wales at Hampden on 24th May. Scotland won one nil with Lorimer again providing the goal.

Green would be on the subs bench for the game against England a few days later with fellow midfield players Asa Hartford and Lou Macari emerging to claim their spot in front of him. Scotland lost one nil to England in a rather tousy affair, which saw 20 fouls committed in the first twenty minutes. Green would come on in the 74th minute for Willie Donachie for his final appearance in the dark blue of Scotland.

Fate would deal Green a cruel blow in the following season, shortly into his Newcastle career following a £150,000 move from Blackpool, he would fall victim to a cartilage injury in September 1972, effectively ending his career at 25.

However, Tony is still active in football as for over thirty years he has been on the Pools Panel alongside Gordon Banks and Roger Hunt, although all too often he has predicted Partick Thistle for a nil nil draw for my liking.


Paul Hartley

Born – 19th October, 1976, Hamilton

Caps – 25 ( 11 with Hearts, 11 with Celtic and 3 with Bristol City), Goals – 1

Years Active – 2005 – 2010


Paul gained his one and only Under-21 cap at the age of 19 in 1996 as a Millwall player having started out at Hamilton. Maybe he was the scapegoat that day as the Under 21s got beat 4-0 and it took a while for Paul to get back onto the International scene. Club stints at Raith, Hibs, St. Johnstone and even a loan spell at Morton would all happen before as a Hearts player, Paul was thrown quite literally into the arena as a Scotland player.

In his first game in charge in March 2005, Walter Smith surprisingly gave Paul his debut against Italy in Milan in a World Cup Qualifier. Paul would be the only uncapped player in Walter’s team that night. Scotland were to be undone by the magic of Andre Pirlo as he scored the only two goals in the game. Still, Paul had done enough to prove his worth and would be a big part of Scotland’s revival under Smith and then Alex McLeish.

Next up for Scotland and Paul was a two nil victory against Moldova at Hampden with Christian Dailly and James McFadden providing the goals in a 2-0 win. Paul would also play in the return game against Italy, which saw Scotland go into a 1-0 lead in the thirteenth minute with a Kenny Miller heading in from a perfectly flighted cross from Hartley. No doubt Italy had their chances to equalise but it was not until the 75th minute that Grosso was able to score.

Four days later Scotland would go to Norway and with Miller on fire would go into a two nil lead with Hartley again supplying a cross that would lead to Miller’s second goal. Kenny was injured in the 40th minute but anyone who saw that game will tell you had he not; he would have surely broken Scotland’s hat trick hoodoo that night, such was his finishing. Scotland held out for a 2-1 win.

A month later in what was to be Smith’s poorest game in charge of Scotland as we lost 1-0 to Belarus, Scotland’s chances of qualifying were gone but the damage had been done long before Smith and Hartley had been involved with the National team. A home draw against Slovenia followed by defeat at Hampden by Norway under Berti Vogts early in the campaign had been our undoing.

With this in mind, perhaps it was the freedom to play without any consequences that saw Scotland beat Slovenia 3-0 in Celje with all three goals being top quality with perhaps Hartley’s only Scotland goal being the best; a wonderful chip with the keeper stranded from the edge of the area was executed perfectly.

Hartley would play in the most important games of the 2008 Euro Qualifiers winning his tenth cap in the 1-0 win at Hampden with Gary Caldwell providing the great moment. Hartley’s 12th cap on 24th March, 2007 came with two major changes; at this point he was now a Celtic player and Alex McLeish was in charge of the national team. A nervy 2-1 win with a Craig Beattie winner in the 89th minute was enough to get McLeish off to a winning start.

It was back to Italy for Hartley and Scotland a few days later but poor defending was our undoing as Luca Toni gave Italy a 2-0 win.

However, happier times awaited Scotland on September 12th, 2007 as James McFadden provided that piece of magic in Paris that has gone down in Scotland folklore; football and otherwise. We all remember where we were that night when Scotland beat France 1-0; as for Paul Hartley I’m sure he remembers too as he was picking up cap 16.

Paul missed the next two games of the Euro campaign; a 3-1 win against Ukraine at Hampden followed by the misery of the 2-0 defeat in Tbilisi to Georgia.

November 17th, 2007 will long live in the memory as Scotland went 2-1 down to Italy at Hampden and there’s not a lot I can add to that except that was never a foul!

Next up a game a friendly against Croatia at Hampden that ended in a one all draw and another change of manager with George Burley now in the revolving chair.

Paul played in the first game of our 2010 World Cup campaign; a toothless one nil defeat to Macedonia in Skopje and was dropped for the game against Iceland in Reykjavik. Scotland would grind out a 2-1 win with goals from Kirk Broadfoot (!!) and James McFadden.

Hartley wouldn’t be involved in the next four games of the campaign but would return as a Bristol City player in September 2009 coming on as a sub against Macedonia for Scott Brown at Hampden. Brown had literally taken the game by the scruff of the neck and  a few Macedonians too if truth be told and had opened the scoring in 56 minutes; 17 minutes later it was a case of replace him or have him sent off choice for Burley. Some of that fire seems to have gone out of Scott Brown if our latest failed campaign is anything to go by. A wonder goal by James McFadden would see out the game.

Paul started in the do or die game against Netherlands four days later where a Scotland win would see us get through to the play offs. Despite hitting the woodwork it was not to be and a David Weir mistake in 82nd minute gifted Netherlands the games’ only goal.

Another campaign and another failure but both Norway and Scotland had been poor in so many games with both ending up with ten points each, a full 14 behind the winners Netherlands.

Paul’s final and 25th cap came with another Manager in charge of his first game; Craig Levein. Paul came on as a sub at half time in a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic with Scott Brown providing the winner.

Paul Hegarty

Born – 25th July, 1954, Edinburgh

Caps – 8

Years Active – 1979 – ’83


Focus On Paul Hegarty

Yep, it’s another of those in depth Shoot interviews where we find out a bit about a players hopes, dreams, ambitions and philosophies of life but mostly some trivia. This time it’s Paul Hegarty of Dundee United. It’s fair to say that Paul didn’t have the greatest of Scotland careers, playing a total of eight games and losing four of those including two defeats to England. However, it would also be fair to say that the start of Jock Stein’s reign as Scotland manager was pretty poor too and perhaps had it been a lesser person he may well have been given the heave – ho.

Paul’s first cap came on May 19th, 1979 against Wales in Cardiff. There were quite a few players making their debut that day too. George Burley and John Wark of Ipswich as well as Liverpool’s Alan Hansen started that day. It be fair to say that only Wark is probably remembered all that fondly by Scotland supporters.

It was an ex- Liverpool player who made the most impact that day though, as John Toshack scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 thumping.

With Hansen dropped Paul, lined up alongside Gordon McQueen for the midweek game against Northern Ireland with Arthur Graham scoring the only goal to give the Scots victory at Hampden. On the following Saturday, this defensive line-up was retained but 100,000 people crammed into Wembley saw the Scots go down 3-1 despite taking an early lead through Wark.

A week later and it’s Argentina with a young Maradona’s turn to put three past Scotland, Hegarty is paired with Hansen and Dundee United teammate David Narey was also given a starting berth. Arthur Graham scores a late consolation but the day is all about Maradona.

Hegarty makes a sub appearance at half time in our next game five days later a Euro Qualifier against Norway in Oslo, which the Scots coasted 4 nil.

It’s not ‘til the following years’ Home Internationals that Hegarty is chosen again, lining up versus Wales at Hampden. Aberdeen’s Willie Miller and Alex McLeish are also in the line-up with Miller given a more forward role that enabled him to score the only goal and indeed his only goal for Scotland as we all know. Come the Saturday and things don’t work out so well for Hegarty and Scotland as they go down 2-0 to England at Hampden.

Fast forward three years to Paul’s final cap in which three other Dundee United players are playing. It’s against Northern Ireland on May 24th, 1983 and Scotland play out a dull nil nil draw. Incidentally the only Aberdeen player on show at the start of the game, is Neil Simpson making his debut; it’s not surprising as they have won the Scottish Cup three days prior and the European Cup Winners Cup only a fortnight before. On this last occasion Paul was made captain of the team.

So for Paul, that was it on the International front.

Now to focus on his focus on. His favourite player is Ruud Krol of Holland, most difficult opponent was not Maradona but teammate Leopoldo Luque. Most memorable match is the game at Wembley to England, Biggest Disappointment – getting beat the aforementioned match.

Quelle Surprise his favourite food is Steak! Among his singers Andy Williams and eh . . . Barry Manilow (my God man what were you thinking). Favourite Actors / Actress – Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Clint Eastwood and (Whoo-hoo Photo time) Britt Ekland. At first I thought a strange choice but she was in some cult films; Get Carter, Wicker Man and of course the Man with the Golden Gun.

Finally, it was good to see someone whose professional ambition has been realised as Paul wanted to stay in Football for as long as possible and given that he has recently signed a two year contract as manager of Montrose I would say he is doing pretty well by my reckoning. Well done Paul.

David Herd

Born – 15th April, 1934, Hamilton

Caps – 5 (All with Arsenal), Goals – 3

Years Active – 1958-1961

David Herd with Denis Law

David Herd is perhaps is one of the forgotten men of Scottish football. David came from a footballing family as his father played for Manchester City and his Uncle Sandy was capped once for Scotland as Hearts player in the thirties. David gained five caps for Scotland from 1958 to 1961, whilst playing for Arsenal. His debut cap came in Scotland’s first game after the 1958 World Cup against Wales at Ninian Park. Scotland fielded four new caps that day in November, ’58 with John Grant of Hibs and Willie Toner of Kilmarnock making the first of both their two caps. The lad chosen to play upfront with Herd was none other than 18 year old Denis Law. Scotland won 3-0 with Denis bagging his first International goal with Graham Leggat and Bobby Collins supplying the other.
However, David would open his goals account in the next game as he scored the first v Northern Ireland in a 2-2 draw at Hampden in November with Bobby Collins supplying the other goal. He would play in the final game of the Home Internationals as Scotland lost 1-0 to England at Wembley in April, 1959.
David was left out of the Scotland set-up for two years and returned to the line-up after the disastrous 9-3 defeat at Wembley. David lined up alongside Ralph Brand of Rangers upfront against the Republic of Ireland at Hampden on World Cup duty in May 1961. Scotland won 4-1 with Brand hitting a first half double and Herd a second half one.
David would miss the second of a double header against the Irish 4 days later as the Scots won 3-0 with Brand scoring one and Everton’s Alex Young hitting a double. However, a week later he was back in the line-up as Scotland lost 4-0 to Czechoslovakia in their third World Cup tie in Bratislava. This would prove to be David’s last game for Scotland.
He would leave Arsenal in July 1961 having scored 107 goals for them in a seven year period and currently lies 15th in their all-time goal scorer list. So did David’s career take a nose-dive after leaving the Gunners; thus why he never gained another cap? It certainly did not.
Arsenal were not a particularly successful team in this period and David moved to Old Trafford. This is where David could be seen as the forgotten man of Scottish football. Scotland teams were generally built around Denis Law at this time and often the question would be who would play up front alongside of him. It does seem surprising that his Man. Utd, teammate was never chosen again.
David continued to score a lot of goals during his time at United. He scored two goals in the 1962-63 FA Cup final with Denis scoring the other as United won 3-1 over Leicester City. He would also be a big part of the Championship winning teams of 1964-65 and 1966-67. David would break a leg in March ’67 and like a lot of players from this era did not really recover from this. He would not feature in United’s European success and soon moved on to Stoke City. David scored a remarkable 145 goals in 265 games for Manchester United and is currently 13th on their all-time goal scoring list.

George Herd

Born – 6th May 1936, Lanark

Caps – 5 (All with Clyde), Goals – 1

Years Active – 1958-60


George played for Scotland 5 times from 1958-1960 and was the last Clyde player to represent Scotland. Clyde won the Scottish Cup twice in the fifties in ’55 and ’58. Around this time three other players were capped including ‘Off the Ball’ favourite Tommy Ring, Harry Haddock and Archie Robertson.
George was first capped against England in April 1958, fellow team mate Harry Haddock also played. Making their debut that day was also James Forrest from Motherwell in his only appearance and Jimmy Murray of Hearts. Jimmy belongs to that select bunch of players that have scored for Scotland at a World Cup. Jimmy achieved this in a one all draw with Yugoslavia in Sweden 1958.
Sadly for George, Scotland got pumped 4 nil and it would be two years later before he would make another appearance. George returned to the fold in a three each draw with Hungary in Budapest on June 5th 1960, George scored one of the goals with Alex Young of Hearts and debutant Willie Hunter of Motherwell also scoring. Three days later, George was in the team that was beaten 4-2 by Turkey in Ankara. This makes George one of only 11 Scotland players ever to play against Turkey.
His next game for Scotland came in October 22nd 1960 and was in a 2 nil defeat to Wales, it would be Hunter’s third and last for Scotland. George however, was picked for one more game a 5-2 win against Northern Ireland on 9th November 1960. Ralph Brand of Rangers scored a double that night on his debut. Brand’s record for Scotland is an incredible 8 games and 8 goals.
George would move to Sunderland from Clyde in 1961 where he played over 270 League games scoring a very respectable 111 goals. In an interview in 2003 George said this about his time with Scotland “when I moved to Sunderland and Ian McColl took over as Scotland’s manager my international career came to an end. We just did not see eye to eye. I would have loved to have won more caps for my country”.
So here’s to George who may not have had the greatest of Scotland careers but like his club Clyde, who have provided 11 players for the National side, his efforts should be celebrated.

John Hewie

Born – 13th December, 1927, Pretoria, South Africa

Died – 11th May, 2015

Caps – 19 (All with Charlton Athletic), Goals – 2

Years Active – 1956 – 60


John Hewie of Charlton Athletic made his Scotland debut in a one all draw with England in April 14th 1956. John generally appeared as left back with Scotland with Alex Parker of Falkirk his right sided full back partner initially, but he would also play a lot with Eric Caldow of Rangers. Graham Leggat of Aberdeen scored for Scotland in a team with three of the Hibs ‘Famous Five’; Bobby Johnstone, then of Man. City along with Lawrie Reilly and Gordon Smith as well as Bobby Evans of Celtic and George Young of Rangers. The English team included Tom Finney, Nat Lofthouse, Johnny Haynes and one of the tragic victims of the Munich Air Disaster, Duncan Edwards.
The photo is of the team for John’s third game which was against Wales on 20th October, 1956, which ended in a 2 all draw with Willie Fernie of Celtic and Lawrie Reilly of Hibs grabbing the other. I love the optical illusion of all of 5’ 3” Bobby Collins looking almost the same size of the man mountain at 6’ 2” that George Young was.
Qualification for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden began with a 4-2 win over Spain at Hampden with Jackie Mudie of Blackpool hitting a hat trick and John scoring his first goal for Scotland from the penalty spot. (His other goal would come in a 4 nil thrashing of Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, also from a penalty, in October 1959.) A 2-1 win against Switzerland in Basle in May 1957 with goals from Mudie and Bobby Collins followed. However, a 4-1 defeat with Gordon Smith of Hibs scoring, to Spain in Madrid left Scotland having to beat Switzerland to qualify, by virtue of Spain’s draw with Switzerland in the group opener.
This was achieved, on November 6th, 1957 with Alex Parker taking John’s place. The Scots stood at 3 -1 with ten minutes to go, when the Swiss made it 3-2, which must have led to a very nervy final ten minutes. The three goals came from Archie Robertson (Clyde), Mudie again and Alex Scott of Rangers for the third. Sweden here we come!
John played in two of our three games in Sweden. The first being a one all draw with Yugoslavia in Vasteras with Sammy Murray of Hearts scoring a second half equaliser. He then missed the 3-2 defeat to Paraguay with Parker again deputising. Mudie and Collins were the scorers for Scotland.
John returned for the final game against France which ended in a 2-1 defeat, Sammy Baird of Rangers scored our lone reply after two goals from French legends Raymond Kopa and World Cup record scorer Juste Fontaine. John only played a few times after this with Duncan Mackay of Celtic becoming the preferred choice of left back. His final game came in May 1960 in a 3-2 defeat at Hampden to Poland in a friendly, with Denis Law and Ian St. John bagging the goals for the Scots. In total, John won 19 caps for Scotland. As far as I can tell John is still the only Scot ever to be capped whilst playing for Charlton Athletic, although Tony Watt might have something to say about that in the near future.
So here’s to John Hewie, one of the select few players ever to grace the World Cup playing field for Scotland, may he rest in peace.

David Hopkin

Born – 21st August 1970, Greenock

Caps 7 (2 with Crystal Palace, 5 with Leeds United), Goals – 2

Years Active – 1997 -99


If you’ve read Scotland Epistles #3 you will know that being included in a World Cup card or sticker set does not mean you are going to the World Cup, such a fate befell Mr. Hopkin too. Of course given the photo they used, perhaps David who has been known to make the list of ugliest Premiership players ever, would have preferred to have been omitted.

And yet it looked good at one point, David had gotten himself into the Scotland team just at the right time. He was due to play for Scotland against Wales in late May 1997 but having scored the play off winner for Crystal Palace against Sheffield United at Wembley a couple of days before he called off for the game. However, Craig Brown did not hold it against him and a few days later on June 1st he made his debut in a friendly against Malta in Valetta. Scotland won 3-2 with two goals from Darren Jackson after an early goal for Christian Dailly. David would be substituted early in the second half with Scot Gemmill replacing him, this scenario would be repeated a week later in Minsk, Belarus, as Scotland scraped a one nil win with a Gary McAllister penalty to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

In the summer of 1997, David moved to Leeds United for £3.25million. He would also be named as team Captain under George Graham at Elland Road.  David would win his third cap up at Pittodrie against as Scotland cruised to a 4-1 win with Hopkin coming on as a substitute in the 50th minute and making an instant impact with a goal four minutes later. His second and Scotland’s fourth was a great individual effort, which made it seem as though David was going to be an important player for Scotland in years to come.

Alas, it was not to be as David had an indifferent start to his Leeds career, with injuries, suspension and regularly being substituted, all hindering his impact at Elland Road. He would only play one more game prior to the ’98 World Cup, making a one minute appearance against France in November, 1997. The 2-1 defeat would be the start of Scotland going on their longest run without a win, in a run of 9 games that unfortunately included the whole of the World Cup in France.

David would return 18 months later in March 1999, starting the infamous game against the Czech Republic at Parkhead, where Gary McAllister was booed by some sections of the Scotland support. Scotland would lose this Euro Championship qualifier 2-1 and McAllister announced his retirement shortly after.

Cap number six would come against Bosnia in Sarajevo in September ‘99 as a makeshift left back. Scotland won 2-1 with goals from Don Hutchison and Billy Dodds.  His seventh and final cap came a month later, also against Bosnia at Ibrox, in his more recognised position in midfield as Scotland won one nil with a John Collins penalty.

And that was it for David, if only his Scotland career had progressed the way we hoped it would that night at Pittodrie, but it was not to be.

Colin Jackson

Born – 8th October, 1946, London, England

Died – 6th June, 2015

Caps – 8 (All with Rangers), Goals 1

Years Active – 1975 – 76


Colin Jackson Rangers legend has passed away following a long fight with Leukaemia. ‘Bomber’ was one of the mainstays of the Rangers team in the seventies along with Peter McCloy, John Greig and Tom Forsyth although Colin was to miss out on the European Cup Winner Cup triumph in 1972.

He will never be classed as a Scotland legend as he only ever played in eight games, all of which he was unbeaten in. A record that Gordon Greer equalled on Friday night against Qatar.

Colin made his debut in a friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg on April 16th, 1975. Also making their debut that night was fellow Ranger Stewart Kennedy and Ted MacDougall of Norwich City. Billy Hughes of Sunderland would also come on for his only appearance in the second half. Colin played alongside of Frank Munro of Wolves in defence. Sweden opened the scoring through Sjoberg in 44 minutes and MacDougall scored the equaliser with 4 minutes to go, perhaps the closest Colin came to defeat in a Scotland shirt.

A month later, Colin made way for Martin Buchan and Gordon McQueen coming back into the side but replaced Buchan after 27 minutes in a one nil friendly win over Portugal. In his third game, Colin started alongside McQueen against Wales at Ninian Park. Scotland would go two down within 35 minutes with Toshack and Flynn scoring. However, in the second half Colin provided the springboard for the comeback with his only goal for Scotland in 54 minutes. Bruce Rioch completed the scoring eight minutes later.

Jackson would miss a few games after this but would return in October ’75 for a Euro Qualifier game against Denmark at Hampden.  John Greig, fellow Rangers legend returned to the side after a four year break for a final cap to play alongside Jackson in defence. Goals from Dalglish, Rioch and MacDougall saw Scotland win 3 – 1. Colin kept his place in the side for another qualifier against Romania at home, which saw Scotland slip to a one all draw with Rioch scoring again.

Colin would play in all three 1976 Home International games alongside Rangers teammate Tom Forsyth. Scotland won the Championship in a whitewash that year with firstly a 3 -1 win over Wales with Willie Pettigrew, Bruce Rioch (again) and Eddie Gray scoring. Next up was Northern Ireland and a resounding 3 nil win with this time with Archie Gemmill, Don Masson and Kenny Dalglish scoring.

The final match of the three saw Scotland triumph 2-1 over England with Don Masson equalising Mike Channon’s early goal and Kenny Dalglish’s lethal finish through Clemence’s legs giving Scotland the win.

And there it ended, Jackson would never play again for Scotland despite the triumph of 1976 Home Internationals, come September he was replaced by Martin Buchan but it would be the defensive partnership of Tom Forsyth and Gordon McQueen that would keep Colin out of the national side.

Eoin Jess

Born – 13th December, 1970, Portsoy

Caps – 18 (15 with Aberdeen in two spells, 3 with Coventry City), Goals – 2

Years Active – 1992 – 98


Eoin Jess – The Future Star That Never Made It.

Here’s the third and for the time being the last in the series of away strips for now. This strip was used from 1991-93. This is a football card from US Upper Deck cards printed before the 1994 World Cup. The initial set was World Cup Contenders and there were a few Scots in the set including this one of Eoin Jess listed as a future star. Of course by the time of World Cup 1994 we weren’t in the set released then but then again neither were England, Netherlands, France and Denmark.

As for Eoin Jess, his Scotland career never really got off the ground. By the time of his full Scotland debut in November 1992, he had made 15 Under 21 appearances. The qualifying for USA 1994 had already begun in a strong group. We had already lost 3-1 to Switzerland in Berne, drawn 0-0 with Portugal at Hampden before Jess was called up for the home game against Italy. Malta and Estonia were the minnows in the group.

Only 33,029 turned up to see Scotland play Italy at Ibrox and typically with Italian involvement the game ended nil nil, Eoin had come on for Gordon Durie in the 71st minute. Jess would start our next game against Malta at Ibrox, which for some reason the Scottish public decided to turn out in higher numbers with 35,490 turning up. Scotland coasted to a three nil win with two goals from Ally McCoist and one from Pat Nevin. Due to a leg break Jess missed Scotland’s next few games which included a five nil humping in Portugal, he would return against Switzerland in September 1993 at Pittodrie, although this would only be a sub to fellow Dons player Scott Booth. The final score was one all with John Collins providing the Scotland goal. He would start the next game in Rome against Italy which saw Scotland defeated three – one.

Caps 5, 6, 7, saw Jess start one match in friendlies against Austria and come on as sub against Netherlands home and away.

Jess made another substitute appearance in opening game of Scotland’s successful Euro campaign towards England ’96, this was against Finland in September ’94 in Helsinki, a game we won 2 nil with Duncan Shearer and John Collins scoring.

Another substitute appearance a year later in a friendly in Sweden was next, followed by a starting position against Malta in a Euro qualifier. Jess would open the scoring at Hampden in a game against the mighty San Marino, which saw Scotland score five goals to no reply. Again the pattern of missing games continued with Jess coming back in for a game against the USA and then a substitute appearance versus Colombia in Scotland’s warm up US tour prior to the Euro’s ’96. These were his first two games as a Coventry City player.

Eoin only played 6 minutes in the tournament, coming on for Gordon Durie at Wembley as Scotland were 2 nil down to England.

By the time of cap 14, Jess had returned to Aberdeen and appeared as a substitute in a 1998 World Cup warm up against Denmark which saw Scotland get beat one nil at Ibrox. The World Cup would come and go before Jess returned to the Scotland line up in 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic at Celtic Park. Jess would score Scotland’s goal in a game which is probably remembered more for the booing of Gary McAllister.

Benched again for the following fixture, a surprising one nil victory of Germany in April 1999 with Don Hutchison scoring the only goal. His final two caps also saw him as a sub again in a despairing one all draw with the Faroes, when he came on in the 89th minute and saw Scotland lose a goal in the 90th.

His final appearance was in the Czech Republic, coming on, in the 70th minute for Iain Durrant as Scotland were two one up, with goals from Paul Ritchie and Allan Johnston putting us in the lead. Unfortunately, for Jess and Scotland we lost a further two goals to see us go down 3-2.

So there you go, all that potential that never saw fruition but in fairness to Eoin he was never really given a run in the team with only 6 starts in 18 games and none of them consecutively.

Mo Johnston

Born – 13th April, 1963, Glasgow

Caps – 38 (3 with Watford, 10 with Celtic, 15 with FC Nantes, 10 with Rangers)

Years Active – 1984-1992


Mo Johnston may forever be remembered for signing for Rangers after apparently signing for Celtic but as a Scotland player Mo played some great games for the team and provided quite a number of goals. With 14 goals in 38 appearances, Mo sits 9th in our all-time goalscoring list. His goals per game average is better than Dalglish, McCoist, Kenny Miller and James McFadden. He scored six goals on our way to Italia ’90 and scored doubles against both Spain and France at Hampden in World Cup Qualifiers.
Having moved from Partick Thistle to Watford in 1983, Mo scored 23 goals in 29 games in his first season with the Hornets and indeed was part of the team that played in the FA Cup Final losing to Everton in 1984.
Jock Stein gave Mo his first cap in 28th February, 1984 against Wales. Mo was given the second half replacing Frank McGarvey of Celtic at half time. Scotland had been leading 1-0 with a Davie Cooper penalty but the Welsh equalised within two minutes of the start. However, Mo had a dream start to his Scotland career and popped up with the winner in the 78th minute.
Mo was then given the final 28 minutes of the game against England at Wembley, the following May but could not provide that winning touch as the Scots drew 1-1 with Mark McGhee scoring early for Scotland.
Jock Stein would start Johnston in the next six Scotland games on the trot. Mo scored one of the six goals against Yugoslavia at Hampden in September, 1985 in a friendly that only had a measly crowd of 18,512 attend. By this time Mo was a Celtic player.
November 14th, 1984 will be well remembered by the crowd of just over 74,000 as Mo scored two first half headed goals against Spain at Hampden in a World Cup qualifier. A second half goal by Goicoechea threatened to ruin the party until Kenny Dalglish put us two clear again in the 75th minute and it was party time.
For Mo that was as good as it got in the qualification for Mexico 1986 as he would not feature too often in the latter half of the campaign. Following the death of Jock Stein and the emergence of Alex Ferguson as Scotland manager his opportunities became slimmer as Fergie gave him the boot for indiscretions in an Australian hotel following the play-off against the Aussies in 1985.
Mo had often courted problems off field and this was to prove his undoing now as he would miss the 1986 World Cup altogether. It’s a pity if you look at the strikers who played in Mexico ’86; by this stage Mo had a better goalscoring record than them all including Nicholas, Archibald, Sharp, McAvennie and Sturrock and a solitary goal against Uruguay would have seen us progress past the group stages.
Andy Roxburgh reinstated Johnston to the Scotland side after the World Cup but the 1988 Euro campaign was a relatively poor one for Scotland and Mo would only contribute one goal; a third against the mighty Luxembourg at home after David Cooper had hit a first half double.
By the start of season 1987-88, Mo had become a Nantes player and this would prove to be his best spell in a Scotland jersey as he lit up the qualification campaign for Italia ’90 in a way that few Scotland players ever have.
Before all that though Johnston scored Scotland’s second goal against Saudi Arabia in a friendly in Riyadh in February, 1988.
Cap number 21 and the World Cup campaign began in Oslo, Norway. Paul McStay had given Scotland an early first half lead but Jan-Aage Fjortoft had equalised just before half time and that’s how it stayed until the 63rd when Mo scored after a bit of a scramble in the penalty area and we gave those Norway boys one hell of a beating.
Next up was a 1-1 draw with Yugoslavia when once more Mo scrambles the ball home for the opening goal.
Cyprus, February 1989 and Mo picks up an early through ball and slots it past the Cypriot goalkeeper in Limassol to give Scotland the lead but we would need to second half goals from Richard Gough to win the game 3-2 in the dying moments.
Next up France with Platini in charge at Hampden and more glory for Mo and Scotland as his two goals either side of half time puts the French to the sword. Again these are not the greatest goals but they signified a striker at the top of his game. As would the next game, as Mo scores an opening goal with a wonderful overhead kick to give Scotland the lead against Cyprus at Hampden in April ’89. Although, the Cypriots equalised in the second half, Ally McCoist scored what proved to be the winner in the 63rd minute.
And that was the end of Mo’s golden period for Scotland having scored six goals in five consecutive World Cup ties; each contributing to Scotland’s points tally, so much so they could afford to lose to both Yugoslavia and France away from home and only need a draw with Norway at home to qualify. It would be Ally McCoist who would provide that; scoring just before half time at a nervy Hampden which became even more so when Norway equalised with a minute to go. By this time of course, Mo was a Rangers player and incurring the wrath of the green and white half of Glasgow.
Prior to Italia ’90, Mo would score at Hampden in a friendly v Poland, where Gary Gillespie flighted a perfect ball past Andy Goram to give the Poles an equaliser, his second Scotland own goal, which is more goals than some of our strikers have hit.
It would be fair to say Mo didn’t have a great Italia ’90 and perhaps he and Scotland had peaked too soon, once more. Mo would play in all three games and would take the responsibility of the penalty against Sweden in the second game to ensure Scotland’s 2-0 win but once more Scotland failed to progress.
Mo did more or less retire from the International scene after the World Cup playing two halves in a couple of games and that was it for him.

Derek Johnstone

Born – 4th November 1953, Dundee

Caps – 14 (All with Rangers), Goals – 2

Years Active – 1973 – 1979


Derek played 14 times for the Scotland and perhaps was hindered in being available as both a striker and centre half in his career and maybe if he had stuck at one or the other, may have accumulated more caps. Ultimately though, Derek will be known more for the games he didn’t play in, rather than the ones he did.

Derek’s first burst of games for Scotland came in May / June 1973 where he was picked by Willie Ormond as a centre half. With the Scots having been roundly beaten by England 5-0 the previous February, Ormond decided to go with a new central pairing for the Home Internationals.

Derek would start his first game against Wales at the Racecourse, Wrexham in May 1973 lining up alongside Manchester United’s Jim Holton. Holton is a Scottish legend but he would only win one more cap than Johnstone. He would play in seven games in 1973 and eight in ’74 with only one being after the 1974 World Cup; admittedly some of those games, goals and memories are among our collective greatest. Injuries would really put pay to Holton’s Scotland career though.

Also, making their debuts that day were fellow Rangers players Peter McCloy, Derek Parlane and one Daniel Fergus McGrain of Celtic. Scotland won 2-0 that day with George Graham, then of Manchester United scoring both goals.

Unfortunately for Johnstone and Scotland that was as good as it got that summer. Defeats followed at home to Northern Ireland (2-1) and then a 1-0 loss to England at Wembley. Two friendlies followed; the first a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in Berne and then the big one. Scotland v Brazil; the World Champions at Hampden on June 30th. 78,181 people turned out for this game including a little rapscallion from Sunny Milton seeing his first Scotland game. Although, there was no Pele; there was still Rivelino, Jairzinho and Clodoaldo from the 1970 World Cup winning team. As for Derek, he scored the only goal of the game unfortunately it was in his own net!

Next up for Scotland was that famous night at Hampden where we qualified for 1974 World Cup with Holton providing one of the goals, as for Derek he was dropped and replaced by Celtic’s George Connelly making his debut that night.

World Cup ’74 would come and go before Derek got another chance to prove himself, however it was only a four minute appearance as he came on as a sub for Kenny Dalglish as the Scots beat East Germany 3-0 in a friendly at Hampden in October, 1974. Another sub appearance six months later, April ’75, in a friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg saw him in a more midfield position after coming on for Lou Macari inn 54 mins. Scotland would equalise though Ted MacDougall of Norwich City in the 86th minute.

Again, Johnstone would disappear from the national scene returning a year later in a starting line-up that included Johnstone Andy Gray, Kenny Dalglish and making his debut Willie Pettigrew all in attack. Pettigrew would score in only two minutes and this was to be the game’s only goal.

Derek would also make two subs appearance in that years’ Home Internationals coming on in both the 3-0 win against Northern Ireland at Hampden in May ‘76 and also the 2-1 victory at Wembley a week later.

1978 and things had changed; Willie Ormond had stepped down and the ebullient Ally MacLeod had taken charge, the previous year. Scotland had already qualified for Argentina without Johnstone being involved, however he was racking up the goals for Rangers that season and merited his chance for a place on the plane to Argentina.

Derek came on as a sub against Bulgaria in the February as Scotland won 2-1 at Hampden with goals from Archie Gemmill and Coventry’s Ian Wallace.

May, 1978, Rangers had won the treble with Johnstone contributing 38 goals and Derek had won both the Writers and Players Player of the Year award. He was given a starting place against Northern Ireland and lightened up a dull affair of a game with an equalising flying header in the 36th minute. Another lacklustre performance against Wales a few days later from the team saw Derek being one of the few who would come off the pitch with some credit due to a 12th minute goal, in a game that is perhaps best remembered for Willie Donachie’s own goal from a pass back to goalie Jim Blyth of Coventry.

However, two goals in two games, a great season and the mandatory perm was not enough for Ally as Derek was dropped for the game against England at Hampden, which Scotland lost 1-0.

MacLeod’s preference to start with Joe Jordan is often seen as flawed, both in the England game and all three or our World Cup games but to be fair Joe did make contributions in both the Peru and Dutch games. However, it was Ally’s choice of utilising Joe Harper as a sub instead of Johnstone in the poor one all draw with Iran that is perhaps the hardest to fathom.

Scotland had both the Scotland and England Players of the year that season and neither Johnstone nor Andy Gray would see a minute of play in the Argentine; Gray wouldn’t even make it into the squad.

MacLeod out and Jock Stein in; the winter of ’78 would herald a new era for Scotland, sadly for Derek he was not to be part of it and would only make one more appearance in a Euro Qualifier in December 1979, when he started up front alongside Kenny Dalglish. Belgium would blitz Scotland with three goals in a thirteen minute period in the first half, which we never recovered with John Robertson managing our only counter in the second half.

So that was it for Derek, with the younger Stevie Archibald starting the next game and Andy Gray getting a consistent place in the team he was never to pull on the Dark Blue of Scotland again and ultimately we are left with another of Scotland’s If Only conjectures.

Tommy Lawrence

Born – 14th May, 1940, Dailly, Ayrshire

Caps – 3

Years Active – 1963 – 69


Tommy Lawrence, Liverpool’s chunky but well beloved goalkeeper by scores of fans from down Anfield way, played in over 300 League games for Liverpool, winning two League Championships as well as being part of the team that lifted their first ever F.A Cup, in season 1964-65 in a final against Leeds with Ian St. John netting an extra time winner.
Tommy was give the nickname the Flying Pig due to carrying a wee bit too much weight at over 14 stone. Tommy only missed a handful of games for Liverpool in a six season spell.
As for Scotland, Tommy would only play three times for the National team, starting off in June 1963 in a one nil defeat to the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. It would be another six years before Tommy would return between the sticks for Scotland.
Tommy returned for the World Cup Qualifier against West Germany at Hampden in front of a crowd of 95,000 in April 1969. Gerd Muller would put the Germans in front after 39 minutes before Bobby Murdoch equalised with two minutes remaining to give the Scots a fighting chance of qualifying for the 1970 World Cup. Sadly it was not to be.
As for Tommy, a month later he was to feature in a 5-3 defeat of Wales at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham. Ironically for a man who rarely got injured, Tommy would only last 45 minutes after his photo was taken, as he clashed with the crossbar. Tommy was taken off and replaced by Jim Herriot of Birmingham. Scots scorers that day were Billy McNeill, Colin Stein, Alan Gilzean, Billy Bremner and Tommy McLean.
After leaving Liverpool, Tommy would cross the Mersey to play for Tranmere. As a footnote to Tommy’s life at Anfield, in February of this year as a BBC reporter was doing a piece on the streets of Liverpool, asking people about their memories of a famous FA Cup derby game between Liverpool and Everton from the late sixties, he unknowingly happened upon Tommy and asked him if he could remember the game. You can imagine his surprise as Tommy said he played in the game!

Graham Leggat

Born – 20th June, 1934, Aberdeen

Died – 29th August, 2015

Caps – 18 (7 with Aberdeen, 11 with Fulham)

Years Active – 1956 – 60


Graham Leggat Remembered

Ex-Aberdeen and Fulham, Scottish Internationalist Graham Leggat passed away on August 29th, 2015 at the age of 81. Graham generally played at outside right for the national team and in eighteen games was to score 8 times for Scotland including representing the side in the 1958 World Cup.

Graham was first capped as an Aberdeen player on 14th April, 1956 facing England at Hampden, playing alongside three of the Hibs Famous Five; Gordon Smith, Lawrie Reilly and Bobby Johnstone of Manchester City. Making his debut that day also, was John Hewie of Charlton Athletic, who passed away earlier this year. Graham put Scotland into the lead in the 60th minute but Johnny Haynes ruined a dream of a debut with an 89th minute equaliser.

Graham’s next game was against Wales at Ninian Park in October of ’56 where Scotland gained a two all draw with Lawrie Reilly and Willie Fernie of Celtic scoring. This was followed by Graham scoring the equaliser in a one each draw with Northern Ireland at Hampden a year later.

Timing is everything in football and although Graham never appeared in any of the qualifying games against Switzerland and Spain for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, he returned in time for the two warm up games against Hungary and Poland with Scotland drawing with the Hungarians 1-1 in Glasgow and beating the Poles 2-1 in Warsaw. Eddie Turnbull of Hibs would also play in these games.

Although, Graham never scored in either game, he was picked to play in the first two games of the tournament in Sweden. Scotland drew one all with Yugoslavia with the late Jimmy Murray of Hearts becoming the first Scottish player ever to score at the World Cup. This was followed by a 3-2 defeat to Paraguay with Jackie Mudie and Bobby Collins of Celtic scoring the goals.

Sammy Baird of Rangers took Graham’s place in the last game of the tournament with the Scots going down to a narrow defeat to France 2-1 with Baird scoring the goal.

As usual changes were made in the first game, following the World Cup and Graham, by then a Fulham player, was brought back in to face Wales in Cardiff again in October ’58. Making their debuts that day were John Grant of Hibs, Willie Toner of Kilmarnock, David Herd of Arsenal and Denis Law, then of Huddersfield making his debut aged 18.

Scotland won three nil with Leggat netting the first, followed by Law and Bobby Collins, then of Everton completing the scoring. Further games in the 1958-59 Home International series followed with a 2 all draw against Northern Ireland at Hampden with David Herd and once more the Mighty Atom Bobby Collins scoring. And then came a one nil defeat to England in April 1959 in which Graham played alongside the final player of the Famous Five; future Scotland Manager Willie Ormond.

Graham then hit a purple patch and would score in five consecutive appearances for Scotland. First up a 3-2 friendly win over West Germany in May 1959 with debutants John White of Falkirk and Motherwell’s Andy Weir both scoring in the first six minutes. Graham Leggat is instrumental in both these goals with White’s coming in eighteen seconds. (There is Pathe video of it and it is well worth watching and if we’re lucky the admin guy will post it).

After beating the Germans you may as well go to Amsterdam three weeks later and put the Dutch to the sword, which Scotland did with that man Collins scoring as well as Leggat in 2-1 victory.

Graham missed the next Scotland match; a one nil defeat to Portugal in Lisbon but returned for the Home Internationals in October. Beginning with a four nil defeat of NI in Belfast with Leggat hitting the opener and followed by goals from John Hewie, John White and George Mulhall of Aberdeen completing the rout.

This was followed by two one each draws with Wales (November ‘59) and England (April 1960) respectively with no lesser players than first John Charles and then Bobby Charlton scoring for the opposition.

Graham would only play in the first four games of the new decade but had completed his scoring for the national side. After the England game, three friendlies followed including a 3-2 defeat to Poland at Hampden, a 4-1 defeat in Vienna and finally in June 1960 a three all draw in Budapest with Hungary.

Although, his time with national team had come to an end, Graham did create a little piece of history on Boxing Day 1963, when during a 10-1 humping of Ipswich Town he scored a hat-trick for Fulham in three minutes which was a English top flight record until Sadio Mane of Southampton scored a quicker one in the EPL last May.

Like many of us I never saw Graham Leggat play but it doesn’t mean we can’t all appreciate his service to the Scotland side. May he rest in peace and our thoughts go to his family at this time.

Bobby Lennox

Born – 30th August, 1943, Saltcoats, Ayrshire.

Caps – 10 (All with Celtic), Goals – 3

Years Active – 1966-70


Like many of his contemporaries whether Lisbon Lions or not, Bobby deserved more caps but the competition for places was so fierce at the time and with generally no subs for most of the sixties, opportunities were not as readily available.

In total, Bobby played ten times for Scotland only suffering one defeat and playing a major part in the triumphant defeat of England at Wembley in 1967.

His first cap came in a Home International game against Northern Ireland at Hampden in November 1966. This game doubled up as a qualifier towards the 1968 Euros. Bobby started alongside club mates; Tommy Gemmell, John Clark, Bobby Murdoch, Joe McBride and Stevie Chalmers. Rangers trio John Greig, Ronnie McKinnon, Willie Henderson and goalkeeper Bobby Ferguson of Killie along with lone Anglo Billy Bremner made up the rest of the side. Scotland won 2-1 with the two Bobby’s, Murdoch and Lennox scoring the goals.

Bobby’s next game was the 3-2 win at Wembley in 1967. Bobby would score the second Scotland goal with Denis Law and Jim McCalliog supplying the other two. 53,497 turned up at Hampden a month later to watch Scotland play the USSR in a friendly, which was the only time Bobby suffered defeat in a Scotland shirt. A delightful own goal lob from Tommy Gemmell gave USSR the lead which was followed by goal from Medved late in the first half to complete a 2-0 defeat. Gemmell’s goal seems to have grown in stature over the years but if you look at the video on You Tube; it was not the rocket shot from 40 yards that has oft been described.

Bobby missed the 1-0 defeat to Northern Ireland in October 1967 at Windsor Park, where George Best ripped us apart and ultimately saw us fail to reach the Euros. Bobby played in the game against Wales a month later that Scotland won 3-2 with an Alan Gilzean double and a Ronnie McKinnon goal giving us the victory. The final game of that seasons’ Home Internationals came against England in February 1968, with Scotland needing a win to progress through to the Euros last eight; alas it was not to be with a one all draw being played out with John Hughes supplying the Scotland goal and England going through.

Cap number six and goal number three came in a one nil win against Denmark in a friendly in Copenhagen.

Bobby’s next three games were at the start of our World Cup Qualifiers for Mexico ’70. The campaign got off to a good start with a 2-1 win v Austria at Hampden in November with Denis Law and Billy Bremner supplying the goals. Bobby came on as a late sub for Chelsea’s Charlie Cooke in the 5-0 win against Cyprus a month later. All the goals had come in the first half with doubles from Alan Gilzean and Colin Stein and a solitary Bobby Murdoch goal.

Next up, was in front of a crowd of 95,951 at Hampden against West Germany with Vogts, Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller all playing. Muller had given the Germans the lead in 39 minutes but once again Bobby Murdoch was to provide the goal to equalise in the 88th minute. Murdoch only played 12 games for Scotland but managed to score six goals, which is the type of record any Scotland forward would be proud of.

Bobby’s Scotland career petered out with only one more appearance as a sub in a nil nil draw with Wales in April 1970.

Don Masson

Born – 26th August, 1946, Banchory

Caps – 17 (14 with Queens Park Rangers), 5 goals

Years Active – 1976 – 78


Focus On Don Masson

It’s funny how we can look at players from the same era and categorise them as Hero and Villain. Gordon McQueen is a hero, I mean look at that leap to score against in the photo in his birthday article.

As for Don Masson, well he’s the villain of the piece for missing that penalty in 1978 against Peru, which I fully get and even I find it hard to let that one go. However, I think it’s unfair on Don Masson, if you look at his record prior to 1978, it’s as good as anybody’s.

Willie Ormond first picked Don for the start of the 1976 Home Internationals. His debut came against Wales at Hampden in a 3-1 win, followed by a 3-0 win v Northern Ireland at home as well. Don scored his first goal for Scotland in this match which was quickly followed by another against England in a 2-1 win at Hampden. A six nil win against Finland at home in September saw Don score his first goal from the penalty spot.

Don would first taste defeat in Prague in a World Cup Qualifier against Czechoslovakia, which saw the Scots go down 2-0

The following season saw wins against Northern Ireland and England at Wembley and a draw against Wales allowing us to regain the British Championship under Ally MacLeod. This was followed by a summer tour of South America which saw us beat Chile 4-2, draw one each with Argentina with Don scoring from the penalty spot again and then a 2-0 defeat to Brazil.

Don played in two more World Cup Qualifiers at home to Czechoslovakia winning 3-1 and the supposedly away to Wales at Anfield, where Don scored that famous penalty under immense pressure.

The interesting thing is that this was Don’s last appearance as a QPR player. He then moved on to Derby County under Tommy Docherty. Tommy’s a great manager if he likes you, if he doesn’t then he can be quite ruthless and make your life a misery. Don would only play 23 times for Derby before being punted to Notts County in the summer of ’78.

It makes you wonder if he turned up for 1978 Home Internationals lacking confidence and zip, which seemed to effect the whole team for that Championship, which saw Scotland draw with the Irish and Welsh and then get beat by England in a lacklustre performance.

. . . and then came Peru.

So Don played 17 games for Scotland which we won 9, scoring 5 goals. Gordon McQueen played 30 in which we won 12, scoring 5 goals. In fairness to Gordon, Don never played in any Euro Qualifiers but then again Don didn’t play at Wembley in 1975.

Anyway, now to Don’s Focus on. Favourite player is Johnny Giles, other team is Aberdeen and most difficult opponent is Gerry Gow of Bristol City (go figure!).  His favourite food is Scampi and of course steak. TV Shows are Kojak and Man Alive, sadly his actress is Glenda Jackson.

The biggest influence on his career is Nots County manager Jimmy Sirrel and if you have read the excellent David McVay’s ‘Steak Diana Ross’ you will not be surprised by this answer.

Frank McAvennie

Born – 22nd November 1959, Glasgow

Caps – 5 (4 with West Ham United, 1 with Celtic). Goals – 1

Years Active – 1985-1988


It’s hard to think about Frank and not conjure images of Jonathan Watson doing a parody of him on Only An Excuse. Even though it stopped being remotely funny about five years ago, it and the other issues in his life i.e. addiction, drug busts and bankruptcy have all overshadowed his ability as a football player.

Like some of the best people Frank grew up in the Milton area of Glasgow and started out his football career at St. Mirren in 1980. Frank played for the Scotland Under 21 team three times during this period and indeed scored the only goal in a European Championship match away to Italy in Catania, playing alongside the likes of Jim Bett, Jim Leighton, Steve Nicol and Gary Gillespie among others.

Frank moved to West Ham in the summer of 1985 and season 1985-86 was to be a golden one for him and the Hammers with one important moment for Scotland. Frank would end that season scoring 26 goals in the top English division, only being bettered by Gary Lineker.

With Frank scoring goals for fun; Alex Ferguson chose him to start, partnering Kenny Dalglish in Scotland’s vital play off against Australia in November, 1982. On a rather nervy night Davie Cooper finally put Scotland one up in the 57th minute with Frank adding a second, a few minutes later. Frank’s goal gave Scotland the breathing space for the return leg in Melbourne a fortnight later.

Frank started up front with Chelsea’s David Speedie in Australia but neither side were to score which meant Scotland were on their way to Mexico for the 1986 World Cup.

Frank would probably been frustrated by the following months, although his goalscoring from continued Alex Ferguson chose others in front of him for warm up friendlies and the 1986 Home Internationals with Graeme Sharp, Charlie Nicholas, Paul Sturrock and Ally McCoist all given their chance.

Ferguson’s time in charge of Scotland was not a happy one as he struggled with being the manager of Aberdeen on one hand and the manager of the National side. There would be quite a few players aggrieved at not being picked for the Finals like Alan Hansen, Mo Johnston; some like McAvennie would be angered at not getting to start a game in Mexico.

Ferguson chose Charlie Nicholas and Paul Sturrock as the front pairing for the opening game against Denmark, which Scotland lost one nil. McAvennie would come on, in the 61st minute for Sturrock as Scotland began to chase the game, having conceded a few minutes before. Seeking goals in our next game Ferguson brought in Stevie Archibald to start his first Scotland game in 16 months and again ignored McAvennie’s claims to start the game. Frank would again be brought on, bizarrely in the 61st minute again, to try and help Scotland retrieve a result after going 2-1 down to West Germany. This would also be Archibald’s last game for Scotland.

For the final and crucial group match against Uruguay, McAvennie was dropped completely by Fergie. Looking back, Frank suspects it more was to do with off field incidents, particularly in criticizing Fergie for failing to pick him that led to this sad state of affairs. Graeme Sharp and Paul Sturrock would start the final game with Charlie Nicholas making a subs appearance; all failing to make any impact with Scotland not being able to find the net against Uruguay who were reduced to ten men in the first few minutes of the game.

As for Frank, his golden season ended in disappointment and although he would continue to score goals for the Hammers with diminishing returns, he headed up to Celtic in October, 1987. One more Scotland outing awaited him as he would picked to start for a friendly In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Andy Roxburgh. Scotland drew two each with Mo Johnston and John Collins scoring the goals but for McAvennie that was it, the emergence of Ally McCoist and Mo Johnston once more getting a regular game, meant there was no place for Frank in Roxburgh’s plans.


Peter McCloy

Born – 16th November, 1946, Girvan

Caps – 4 (All with Rangers)

Years Active – 1973

Focus on Peter McCloy Focus

On was regular item of Shoot magazine in the 70’s and 80’s; where players were asked a set list of questions. Some were football related i.e. Favourite Player, Most Difficult Opponent, Biggest Thrill and then there personal questions such as Favourite T.V. Show (T.V. was given the proper two full stops every time), Favourite Singers etc.
Most of the answers by players were generally banal, in fact former Notts County player David McVay called his hilarious autobiography “Steak Diana Ross – Diary of a Football Nobody” after the most likely answers for favourite food and singers. Former Scotland player, Don Masson comes in for a bit of a slagging in the book and David’s description of Notts County boss Jimmy Sirrel’s unique management style is well worth a peek.
Peter McCloy or the Girvan Lighthouse as he was affectionately known had played for Scotland 4 times although by the time of this article (July ’74) he had played his last game for Scotland the year before. In Willie Ormond’s first game in charge Bobby Clark of Aberdeen who had been a regular for Scotland at the time retained his place. However, Bobby was one of the scapegoats following the 5 nil drubbing by England on a wet miserable night at Hampden in February 1973.
So three months later, Peter was given his chance in a Home International game against Wales in Wrexham. Scotland won two nil that day thanks to goals by George Graham of Manchester United. Also making their Scotland debut that day were Danny McGrain, Jim Holton (who if asked his height on Focus On would have to answer 6ft 1in, which doesn’t rhyme as well), Derek Johnstone and also Derek Parlane of Rangers.
Alas, this was Peter’s only win in a Scotland jersey as narrow defeats to Northern Ireland, Switzerland and Brazil followed. In the latter game it was team mate Derek Johnstone who scored an own goal to give Brazil the win at Hampden. As to Focus On; Peter’s Favourite Player was Gordon Banks, most difficult opponent Johan Cryuff whom he had faced a couple of times as a Rangers player. His biggest disappointment was not playing at Wembley. Ally Hunter had been given the go ahead against England in between Peter’s Scotland appearances.
As for T.V. show, it was the Big Match and Alias Smith and Jones, singers included Glen Campbell and Lulu (Lulu for f**k’s sake Peter!), his Favourite Food was of course T-bone Steak. At least his Miscellaneous Dislike was not shaving but three putting at Golf. (No surprise there).

Eddie McCreadie

Born – 15th April, 1940, Glasgow

Caps – 23 (All with Chelsea)

Years Active – 1965-1969


I suppose as a card collector it’s no surprise Eddie was one of my early heroes, as he was one of the Anglo cards in all the early cards series I collected. Although in saying that, so was Tommy Craig and he was never a hero for me.
Chelsea were one of the cool clubs at the tail end of the swingin’ sixties and Eddie along with Charlie Cooke made them one of my favourite teams at the time. The thing was Eddie always looked so mean in his pictures, never one to smile, he was more of a scowler.
Eddie played over 350 games for Chelsea and was signed by Tommy Docherty in 1962 for £5000 from East Stirling.
Eddie was first capped by Ian McColl in April 1965 against England at Wembley. The game was played in front of a crowd of 98,199 (Couldn’t possibly have been 98,200 then for God’s sake!). Scotland went two down in the first half but Denis Law scored just before half time and Ian St. John equalised just before the hour mark and that was how it remained. Having beaten England three times on the trot I imagine some in the Scotland camp were quite disappointed at this result.
Eddie would play in the next five games with Jock Stein taking over the reins a month later after McColl quit to manage Sunderland. The first three World Cup qualifiers came in this period; the first two away with a one each draw with Poland being followed with a 2-1 victory in Helsinki over Finland. Then came two defeats a 3-2 loss to Northern Ireland in the Home Internationals in Belfast followed by the disastrous 2-1 defeat to Poland at Hampden. Billy McNeill had given Scotland an early lead but two goals in the 84th and 86th minute saw Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for England 1966 crumble.
Eddie would miss the last gasp victory over Italy at Hampden but played in the 3-0 loss away to Italy in Naples. Stein would quit his caretaker role and Scotland had two managers in quick succession; John Prentice and Malcolm MacDonald. Prentice would bring in Tommy Gemmell for the left back spot and games became more limited for him until on Eddie’s 27th birthday new Manager Bobby Brown moved Gemmell to the right side and played them both. Eddie was 27 on 15th April, 1967 and Scotland beat England 3-2 in that match that will forever be embedded in Scottish football folklore.
McCreadie would play at Hampden the following year in the game against England that was the decider for Euro Nations Cup qualification, which Scotland drew 1-1 and thus failed to progress to the quarter finals.
McCreadie started in Scotland’s first four games for Qualification for Mexico 1970. They started well with a 2-1 victory over Austria at Hampden with Denis Law and Billy Bremner scoring for Scotland. This was followed by the 5-0 crushing of Cyprus in Nicosia with Alan Gilzean and Colin Stein grabbing doubles and Bobby Murdoch getting the other.
If Scotland had any real chance to progress they had to overcome World Cup Finalists West Germany and faced them at Hampden in April 1969. However, it was too big an ask and a Gerd Muller goal in 39th minute made it near impossible. Bobby Murdoch would pull one back in the final two minutes but it was not to be.
Scotland and Eddie had mixed fortunes for the Home International Series of 1969 with a 5-3 win over Wales in Cardiff, followed by a 1-1 draw with the Irish at Hampden and finally a crashing 4-1 defeat to England at Wembley.
Colin Stein the scorer of Scotland’s solitary goal that day was in the middle of a 5 game consecutive scoring run which is still a record for Scotland. Mo Johnston would do similar for Scotland in consecutive World Cup qualifiers in 1988 – ’89 but his failure to score in a friendly against Italy in late ’88 counts against him in terms of the record.
Of course, Colin would score four in the one game against Cyprus as Scotland cruised to an 8-0 victory at Hampden but for Eddie this would be his last Scotland game. He would continue to play for Chelsea for another four years before going into management at Stamford Bridge and then in America.

Johnny McKenzie

Born – 4th Spetember, 1925, Glasgow

Caps – 9 ( All with Partick Thistle)

Years Active – 1953 – 56


Johnny played on the wing for Partick Thistle in the 1950’s and was known as the ‘Firhill Flyer’. Johnny was capped nine times for Scotland and is the only known Gaelic speaking player to represent Scotland at football. Although born in Denistoun, Glasgow, Johnny’s mother came from Tiree where Johnny now lives, his father was originally from Skye.

Johnny gained his first cap on November 4th, 1953 in a game at Hampden against Wales that doubled up as a Home International and World Cup Qualifier.  Also, making his debut and only Scotland appearance was Willie Telfer of St. Mirren. The Scots drew 3-3 with goals from Allan Brown and Hibs Famous Five players Bobby Johnstone and Lawrie Reilly.

Five months later in April, 1954 Johnny faced England at Hampden in front of a crowd of 143,544. Scotland would lose 4-2 with the Scots goals coming from Allan Brown and debutant Hibs legend and future Scotland manager Willie Ormond. However, with Wales losing 2-1 to Northern Ireland a few days before Scotland qualified as runner up in the 1953-54 Home International series.

Johnny’s only goal for Scotland came in a World Cup warm up against Norway in Oslo as the Scots drew one all. A few days later in Helsinki against Finland and Scotland won 2-1 with goals from Hibs duo Bobby Johnstone and Willie Ormond. This was to be the only time Johnny would taste victory in a Scotland shirt.

It’s safe to say that Scotland’s World Cup campaign in Switzerland was a bit of a disaster and some of it was self-inflicted. The SFA had decided that they would only bring thirteen players despite being allotted the usual twenty two. There was also the issue of Rangers being allowed to tour America at the same time and taking their Scotland regulars with them.

Scotland narrowly lost their first game in Zurich one nil to Austria and the full line-up for our first ever World Cup game was; Fred Martin (Aberdeen), Willie Cunningham (Preston – Captain), John Aird (Burnley), Tommy Docherty (Preston), Jimmy Davidson (Partick Thistle), Doug Cowie (Dundee), Johnny MacKenzie (Thistle), Willie Fernie, Neil Mochan (both Celtic), Allan Brown (Blackpool) and Willie Ormond of Hibs.

Their final game was against Uruguay in a very hot Basle with the Scots playing in heavy winter football strips. Johnny is quoted as saying “Did I play in that game. I certainly didn’t touch the ball that often. It was so hot and our kit was unbearable. I lost about half a stone in weight.” The Scots lost 7-0.

Cap number seven came in December 1954 when the mercurial Hungarians came to town beating Scotland 4-2 in front of a crowd of 113,146. Scotland’s gaols came from Bobby Johnstone and Off the Ball legend Tommy Ring. Ferenc Puskas said of Johnny’s performance that he had “never seen wing play of such a high standard”. Praise indeed.

Five months later and Johnny and his Scotland teammates were shell-shocked by a blistering start by England at Wembley that saw the Scots 4-1 down with only 27 minutes played. The game would finish 7-2 with the Scots goals coming from Lawrie Reilly and Tommy Docherty.

Johnny’s last appearance came in May, 1956 in a one each draw with Austria. Hearts’ Alfie Conn (Senior, of course) scored the Scots goal in his only appearance for the national side.

Tommy McLean

Born – 2nd June, 1947, Larkhall

Caps – 6 (All with Kilmarnock), Goals – 1

Years Active – 1968 – 71


Tommy was quite in unusual that all his caps came when he was a Kilmarnock player and not when he played for Rangers. In total, Tommy gained six caps and when you consider the calibre of player in his position at the time, he did well to earn them. As Bobby Brown had Charlie Cooke, Jimmy Johnstone, Willie Morgan and even Tony Green of Blackpool among others to choose from

His first cap came in October, 1968 when Scotland beat Denmark one nil in a friendly in Copenhagen. Also making their debut that night was Colin Stein, who Tommy would play alongside for Rangers and Jim Herriot of Birmingham City. Bobby Lennox scored the only goal that night.

Although, McLean, Herriot and Stein were all dropped for the next game; a vital World Cup Qualifier against Austria that Scotland won 2-1 they were reinstated to face Cyprus in December ’68 in Nicosia. Scotland won 5-0 nil with Stein and Alan Gilzean scoring two each and Bobby Murdoch hitting the other. Stein would hit 6 of his 10 Scotland goals against Cyprus.

I have tried to locate on the net, some photos from this game as I have a vague memory of seeing some at the time which showed the pitch to be mainly sand and with those crazy striped black and white goalposts. Any photos anyone?

Again all three were dropped for the next World Cup game against West Germany at Hampden in April ’69, but once more they were put back into the team for the first of that year’s Home Internationals against Wales at the Racecourse, Wrexham in May. This game was covered in the article ‘The M men March On’ a few weeks back in which we first saw Tommy in the background. Scotland won 5-3 with goals from McLean, Stein, Billy McNeill, Alan Gilzean and Billy Bremner. Jim Herriot only played in the second 45 when goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence of Liverpool was injured.

Although, Herriot and Stein would retain their places in the Scotland team over the next few games, Tommy would not return until a Home International game against Northern Ireland in April 1970. Making their debut that day would be Davie Hay, clubmate Billy Dickson, Willie Carr of Coventry and John O’Hare of Derby.

The only goal of the game came from a pinpoint, deep cross from McLean to O’Hare who headed past Pat Jennings to give Scotland victory. Tommy would keep his place for the Wales game at Hampden a few days later which ended in a nil nil draw. However, Tommy was to be dropped in favour of Jimmy Johnstone in the final game of the Home Internationals that year against England which would also end up 0-0.

Tommy’s final game would see him return to where it all began, as Scotland played the third game of their Euro Qualifiers in Copenhagen. Unfortunately, Finn Laudrup (Brian and Michael’s father; no, not them that sang ‘Matchstick Men and Matchstick Cats and Dogs’  in the 70’s but the football players) would score the only goal of the game that more or less saw the end to Scotland’s Euro chances and indeed Bobby Brown’s management of Scotland. Interestingly Tom Forsyth, also a future teammate made his debut that night as a Motherwell player.

Alex McLeish

Born : 21st January, 1959

Caps – 77 (All with Aberdeen)

Years Active – 1980 – 1983


Focus On Alex McLeish

I tend to stay away from doing pieces on players that gained a lot of caps. It’s so much easier to tell someone’s story when there’s only 15 caps or even 30 but 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. I have to be honest and haven’t been able to confirm if he was injured or not; or if his club boss simply left him out in favour of David Narey.

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.

As to his Focus on, it’s a bit boring but the reason for that becomes clear at the end when asked “ If not a player, what job would you do?”, “Hopefully, an accountant” came his reply and sadly this was actually true as Alex was studying accountancy at the time (Summer ’80).

Other than that his favourite food is . . . Steak! Sorry folks there’s no Scandinavian beauty to post here as he goes for Meryl Streep as his actress. His favourite player is Ruud Krol of Holland and childhood hero was Gerd Muller of West Germany. Favourite singers are Joni Mitchell and Phil Collins of Genesis.

And that was all she wrote as they say.


Jimmy Murray

Born : 4th February, 1933, Edinburgh

Died : 10th July, 2015

Caps – 5 (All with Hearts), Goals – 1

Year Active – 1958


Jimmy Murray R.I.P.

Former Scotland and Hearts midfielder or inside right in old money, Jimmy Murray passed away on July 10th at the age of 82. Jimmy’s claim to fame is that he was the scorer of Scotland’s first ever World Cup Finals goal.

Overall, Jimmy only played five times for the National team, all five of his games took place between April and June 1958 as would Stewart Imlach who played four games over this period and never again played for Scotland too.

His first Scotland cap came against England on April 19th, 1958 in front of a staggering crowd of 127,874. I had mentioned this game the other day in the Jamie Forrest article as Jim Forrest of Motherwell also made his debut that day. England won 4-0 with Bobby Charlton among the goalscorers.

Unlike Jim Forrest, Jimmy Murray’s Scotland career did not finish with that game. Jimmy also played in two World Cup warm up games; against Hungary at home in a 1-1 draw where Imlach made his debut and then a 2-1 victory against Poland in Warsaw with Bobby Collins scoring both goals.

Then onto Vasteras in Sweden for the World Cup opener against Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia went into an early lead before Jimmy scored his record book entry goal in the 51st minute for the game to finish one all.

Both Murray and Imlach missed the next game, a 3-2 defeat to Paraguay but returned for the final group match against France. Hearts team mate Dave Mackay would also feature in the line up that day gaining his second cap, a year after his first. The Scots were narrowly defeated 2-1 by a French team that ended up third in the competition.

For Murray that was it, with no recall to the National side although Murray had already won a League Championship with Hearts and would indeed repeat that feat the following season. It is again an indication of the West of Scotland bias that was prevalent at that time, that saw very few Hearts players of this period gain more than a handful of caps.

Of the 1958 squad with the passing of Jimmy, Dave Mackay and also John Hewie this year, there are only a few of them still alive. Tommy Docherty who travelled but was not chosen to play; apparently due to a fall out with a SFA official and Doug Cowie are both still alive and were also members of the 1954 squad too. Also surviving from ‘58 are Eric Caldow, Graham Leggat and John Coyle. Also surviving from 1954 travelling squad are Johnny MacKenzie and Jock Aird. Jock also went on to play for New Zealand as well.

As to World Cup goalscorers, they’re a rare breed too with only nineteen in total and even one of them is Iranian Andranik Eskandarian who scored for us in 1978. For the record top of the list is Joe Jordan with 4 in three World Cups (’74, ’78 and ’82), then comes Kenny Dalglish with 2 in ’78 and ’82, also on two are Archie Gemmill (’78) and John Wark (’82). The others in chronological order are; Jimmy Murray, Jackie Mudie, Bobby Collins and Sammy Baird all 1958. Peter Lorimer in 1974 and in 1982 a veritable feast with John Robertson, Stevie Archibald, David Narey and Graeme Souness adding to the list. Gordon Strachan was the solitary scorer in Mexico ’86.

1990 brought goals from Stuart McCall and Mo Johnston and in our final Finals appearance a John Collins penalty and a Craig Burley complete the list.

So here’s to Jimmy Murray, the first of a few and may we remember him for years to come.


David Narey

Born – June 12th 1956, Dundee

Caps – 35 (All with Dundee United), Goals – 1

Years Active – 1977 – ‘89


So much more than a Toepoke

David Narey’s Scotland career started in 1977 and finished in 1989, however in between that, were some years he was never picked (1984 and ’85) and in five of those years he only featured in one game (1977,’78,’87’88 and ’89).

David made his first appearance for Scotland in April 1977, coming on as a sub in a friendly match at Hampden against Sweden. David was the first Dundee United player ever to gain an International cap for Scotland. Unfortunately for Narey, this was Willie Ormond’s last game in charge of Scotland.

Ally MacLeod’s whirlwind eighteen months as Scotland manager would come and go without Narey gaining another cap.

Jock Stein picked Narey to start in his second game in charge against Portugal in Lisbon, the Scots lost one nIl. Narey would play in a team with two other recognised Centre Half’s in Martin Buchan and Gordon McQueen. Narey would often be played as a holding midfield player for Scotland as well as playing at full back. This would be Buchan’s last game for Scotland.

It would be fellow Dundee United player Paul Hegarty that would keep him out of the starting line up in the next few games, although he did make another subs appearance.

Cap number 4 would see him return to the starting line up and play alongside Hegarty in that iconic game where Diego Maradona would blow the Scotland team and the Hampden crowd away with his youthful skill. This was in June 2nd 1979 with Argentina beating Scotland 3-1.

He lined up with Alan Hansen and Alec McLeish for a Euro Qualifier against Portugal in March 1980 which the Scots won 4-1. It’s a bit typical of Scotland that almost same side would draw a blank against Portugal six months at home again in a World Cup Qualifier. Narey would make four Scotland appearances in total in 1980 but three would be in friendlies with Willie Miller playing alongside Alex McLeish in two of those.

’81 would see him play in a Home International game against Wales with Paul Sturrock making his debut. Scotland would go down 2 nil at the Vetch Field, Swansea that day. However, a few days later would see both United players taste victory against England as subs at Wembley with a John Robertson penalty making the difference.

Although he played in three of the four Scotland games prior to the World Cup in Spain, he was not picked to start in the New Zealand game that begun our tournament. Narey came on in the last seven minutes.

We all know what happens next, Narey, who was a surprise starter for the game against Brazil replacing Danny McGrain at full back, was even more of a surprise scorer with that rocket shot from outside the box famously described by Jimmy Hill as a ‘toepoke’.

Of course Scotland lost the game 4-1 but Narey’s goal will never be forgotten. Narey retained his place in the line-up for the calamitous game against the USSR in Malaga.

Narey would make three more appearances in 1982 and then six in 1983 including a tour of Canada, which saw Scotland take on and beat the home nation three times. However, Narey was then discarded by the national team as Miller and McLeish became the regular pairing.

After the untimely death of Jock Stein, it was the short reign of Alex Ferguson that saw Narey re-established in the Scotland team. Cap number 26 came in a friendly against Israel in Tel Aviv with David playing alongside Willie Miller and four other Dundee United players; Richard Gough, Maurice Malpas, Eamonn Bannon and Paul Sturrock. The Scots won one nil with Paul McStay scoring the only goal.

Narey would play two games in Mexico ’86, starting in the 2-1 defeat to West Germany and in that woeful nil nil draw against Uruguay.

David would play in two non-score draws against Bulgaria and the Republic of Ireland in our opening Qualifiers for Euro ’88 in a rather inauspicious start to Andy Roxburgh’s Scotland career.

A recall in 1987 for a 4-1 pumping by Belgium in another Euro Qualifier that we would rather forget, followed by a 1988 defeat to Italy in Perugia and finally in 1989, Narey played in that tense 3-2 win over Cyprus in Limassol with Gough scoring in about the ninety fifth minute saw David’s Scotland career come to a close.

Garry O’Connor

Born – 7th May, 1983, Edinburgh

Caps – 16 (7 with Hibernian, 4 with Lokomotiv Moscow and 5 with Birmingham City), Goals – 4

Years Active – 2002 – 2009


Garry O’ Connor – The Boy’s A Bit Special

Four Four Two magazine pinched the Shoot’s Focus On idea and called it ‘The Boy’s A Bit Special’ sadly in Garry’s case it was more like ‘The Boy Was A Bit Special’. In terms of talent Garry had a bundle, it’s just a waste how things have ended up for him, and of course the same could be said for that other Hibee wayward boy Derek Riordan.

Garry’s first cap came under Berti Vogts against Nigeria on 17th April, 2002 up at Pittodrie. Garry would come on as a sub late in the game for Steven Thompson. Also making their debuts that night were Rab Douglas, Robbie Stockdale (remember him?), Kevin McNaughton and Gareth Williams, who would be substituted by another débutée Michael Stewart. Other than Garry only Douglas would make double figures in appearances.

Christian Dailly would score early on for Scotland but this was in an era where we never won friendlies at home and once again we were found wanting as Nigeria scored twice to make it 2-1.

Garry would play twice more under Berti in the Far East tour of 2002, starting against South Korea in a 4-1 defeat and then coming on as a sub for Kevin Kyle in the last ten minutes of that thrilling game against the Hong Kong X1, which we won 4-0. Of course, this was when James McFadden decided to go AWOL and missed the flight home, Garry would pull a similar stunt a few years later.

Walter Smith recalled Garry to the Scotland squad and brought him on as a substitute in his first game in charge a 2-0 defeat to Italy in Milan in a World Cup Qualifier in March 2005. Garry would be given a starting berth in a friendly against Austria in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium in Graz in August 2005. The Scots got off to a great start with a goal in three minutes from Kenny Miller followed by a second from Garry in 38 minutes. Sadly we would lose two goals in the second half to draw the game. This was followed up by a sub appearance against Slovenia in that classic 3-0 away win and then a start in a one all draw with USA at Hampden.

By the time of his 8th appearance Garry had left Hibs and joined Russian club FK Lokomotiv Moscow, with hindsight perhaps not the best choice for Garry and indeed would be a challenge to many a young player from the UK, I imagine.

Garry came on as a second half sub against the Faroe Islands in September 2006, scoring the last goal in the 6 nil drubbing at Parkhead. Garry also came on in the France game at Hampden in October that year a few minutes after Gary Caldwell had scored that memorable goal.

From here it went a wee bit downhill; Garry failed to turn up a few days later to meet with the squad as they were due to fly out to Ukraine, later claiming it was for family reasons. Walter Smith would not pick Garry again.

However, the installation of Alex McLeish as Scotland manager gave Garry a way back in. Alex had been manager of Hibs previously and had actually given Garry his debut there. Garry was recalled to the squad in May 2007 and would once more play in Austria in a friendly. This time Garry would score the only goal to give Scotland victory. He would follow this up a week later in a 2-0 win in the Faroes scoring the second goal, shortly after Shaun Maloney had put Scotland in front.

Shortly after this Garry joined Birmingham City and like a lot of us I hoped this would be the making of Garry and his full potential would be realised. Sadly, it was not to be, Garry would suffer niggling injuries throughout his time with Birmingham; it would also see his issues with drugs and alcohol become prevalent.

However, he was still able to gain the last five of his sixteen caps in his time at St. Andrews. Alex McLeish gave him a starting place in a rare friendly 1-0 win with South Africa, Kris Boyd would score the only goal at Pittodrie in August 2007.

Garry would start in the first of a September Euro double header against Lithuania with Scotland winning 3-1 at Hampden. He was to be sub again, a few days later in that great night in Paris coming on for goalscorer James McFadden late the second half. A month later at Hampden he would come on for Faddy again with ten minutes remaining in the 3-1 win against Ukraine.

It would be almost two years later in September 2009, Garry would make his last Scotland appearance coming on for the last ten minutes against Holland in a World Cup Qualifier. Craig Burley would be in charge for this one nil defeat.

It is well documented the issues Garry would have over the next few years and the demise of his once promising career, however back in June 2003 when this article was published he had high hopes.

Asked where he would be in five years’ time; Garry suggested he would be playing in La Liga with Real or Barcelona as that was his ambition. Among his biggest influences, Alex McLeish was listed. Alex would manage Garry three times with Hibs, Scotland and Birmingham City. His hero was Pierre Van Hooijdonk, a player of similar build to Garry. His dream celebrity wife was “definitely not Posh Spice” and although he did say her bum was too big; he went for Jennifer Lopez aka “Jenny from the Block”, which of course in Scottish vernacular translates as “scheme bird”.

Paul Ritchie

Born – 21st August, 1975, Kirkcaldy

Caps – 7 (With Hearts -4, Bolton Wanderers -2 and Walsall – 1)

Years Active – 1999-2004


If you have read Scott Cockburn’s excellent ‘Club and Country’ article in the first Scotland Epistles, Paul Ritchie is one of the players mentioned in it. The gist of the article is about Scott’s ambivalence in supporting Scotland because as a Hearts fan over the last twenty years or so, he’s had to endure many a Jam Tart making the grade as an Internationalist for Scotland and then leaving Hearts, primarily for Rangers. If you think about it there’s Ritchie, Dave McPherson, Alan McLaren, Andy Webster, David Weir, Neil McCann, Allan Johnston and even Lee Wallace who all ended up at Ibrox even if via other clubs.

As for Ritchie, although he only played seven times; he managed to play in games against Germany, England, France and the Netherlands, which not too many have on their résumé. Paul’s first appearance was in a friendly with Germany in Bremen, which rather surprisingly the Scots won 1-0 (what we would give for that score next month?) with a goal from Don Hutchison. Paul had come on as a sub for Colin Hendry in the 66th minute just after Don scored. Also making his debut that night was club teammate Colin Cameron who won 11 of his 28 caps as a Hearts player.

Paul’s next game saw him line up alongside Colin Calderwood in defence for Scotland against the Czech Republic in Prague in June 1999. This was to be a night of ecstasy and agony for the Scots and Ritchie. It all started well with Paul heading a goal in the 30th minute, which was then added to by former Hearts player Allan Johnston who was with Sunderland at the time, 62 minutes into the game. Unfortunately, for Scotland the Czechs got one back almost immediately and followed this up with an equaliser ten minutes later. More misery was added on, as that carthorse of a player Jan Koller, scored with a header with three minutes to go.

Cap number three came in the final game of our Euro 2000 group in October 1999 with Paul lining up alongside Brian O’Neill, then of Wolfsburg at the centre of defence. Scotland beat Lithuania 3 nil at Hampden with goals from Hutchison and Gary McSwegan and Colin Cameron both of Hearts. Their place as runners up was well assured prior to this and so it was off to the play-offs against . . . England.

Paul played in the first leg, a month later at Hampden which as most of us know Scotland lost 2-0 with a Paul Scholes double doing the damage. Paul missed out on the return leg with Mr. Hutchison once again finding the net for the solitary goal on a night we pummelled England but failed to get that second goal to take it into extra time.

Although we never made it to the finals we were in demand as opposition for those going to the finals as games against France at Hampden and Netherlands at Arnhem in March and April 2000 respectively were arranged. Paul was to play in both these games but was no longer a Hearts player having fallen out with the club over the refusal to sign a new contract and so was shipped to Bolton on loan. Scotland lost to France 2-0 and drew nil nil with the Netherlands. Although, Paul finally got the move to Rangers, he apparently desired in the summer of 2000, he never kicked a ball for them and was shipped off to Man City for £500,000 a few months later.

As for Scotland caps, Paul was to receive another in 2004 during Berti Vogts’ tenure as the Scotland manager whilst playing for Walsall. Sadly for Paul, this came on the night Robbie Earnshaw ran riot for Wales scoring a hat trick in a four nil mauling.

John Spencer

Born – 11th September 1970, Glasgow

Caps – 14

Years Active – 1994-97


John mainly had a bit part to play in our successful Qualifier campaign for Euro ’96 but did start a in our first two games of the tournament the itself. This was a period where like today,  we didn’t have a great goalscorer available to us with the exception of Ally McCoist who at this point was used sparingly but quite effectively if you look at wins against Greece in qualifying and Switzerland in the finals. Generally though, it was players like Gordon Durie, Darren Jackson, Scott Booth, Duncan Shearer who were all hard working earnest players who gave their all but lacked that International class.

John’s first game was as a sub against Russia coming on for Bolton’s John McGinlay in the second half at Hampden in November 1994. Scott Booth had opened the scoring in the 19th minute but Dmitri Radchenko had equalised shortly after and that’s how the game finished.

The following month and it was another qualifier against Greece in Athens coming on for Billy McKinlay; the Greeks had already scored from IIRC a dubious penalty and again there was to be no further scoring.

John would feature again as a sub in an away qualifier in April, 1995 against the mighty San Marino in Serraville with John Collins and Colin Calderwood scoring the goals that gave the Scots a 2-0 win. John came on for Duncan Shearer.

His first start came in the Kirin Cup as Scotland drew nil nil with hosts Japan in Hiroshima in May ’95. At this point you may have noticed that John’s hasn’t got on the scoresheet as yet. I wouldn’t bother skipping ahead to see when that happens as John never did hit the back of the pokey in his fourteen games.

Cap number five saw John line up beside Scott Booth in another qualifier against Finland in September ’95 at Hampden. John Collins took a short corner and passed to Spencer who passed it back, Collin’s crosses and Booth scores with a header. Whoo-hoo one nil in ten minutes and that’s how it stayed.

Then came the pre-tournament friendlies; John started or came on as a sub against Australia at Hampden (1-0, McCoist), Denmark in Copenhagen (pumped 2-0), USA in New Britain (beat 2-1, Durie our only goal), Colombia in Miami (beat 1-0).

With that confidence boosting run of games we entered the 1996 Euro Finals. First up John started against Netherlands at Villa Park. Scotland had their chances but failed to find the net as did the Dutch, as we ground out a nil nil draw. John was replaced by Scott Booth at the start of the second half.

John once again started against England at Wembley but was replaced by McCoist in the second half, like the Dutch game Scotland had chances, notably Gary McAllister’s missed penalty but lost out two nil in the end.

In what was to be our final game of the championships against Switzerland at Villa Park, Ally McCoist started instead of John and scored a wonderful goal which turned out to be the winner. John came on for Ally with six minutes or so to play.

John would play twice more for Scotland in a World Cup qualifier against Latvia in Riga, which the Scots won 2-0 with John Collins and Darren Jackson scoring and coming on as a sub in a one nil friendly defeat to Wales at Hampden in May 1997. This was his only game as a QPR player, but the emergence of Kevin Gallagher and Darren Jackson partnership up front that saw us qualify for France 1998 and John’s own club career dwindling, combined to ensure he never played again for the national team.

So John Spencer 14 games and no goals is it worth remembering? Well it is in a boring statto way to me, as sometimes, it’s when you’re not looking for something you come across it. John played against Russia, Greece, San Marino, Japan, Finland, Australia, Denmark, USA, Colombia, Netherlands, England, Switzerland, Latvia and Wales. Yep, fourteen games and fourteen different nations. Which surely must be a record although James Forrest is catching up on him with 12 different nations in 12 games.

Ian St. John

Born – 7th June, 1938, Motherwell

Caps – 21 – (7 with Motherwell and 14 with Liverpool), Goals – 9

Years Active – 1959 – 65


Ian was first picked for Scotland in May 6th, 1959 for a friendly against West Germany which saw Scotland victorious by 3 goals to 2 in front of a crowd of 103,415. Ian was playing for Motherwell at the time and made his debut alongside two other Fir Park players, Bert McCann and Andy Weir.

Also making his debut that day was John White of Falkirk.  John would score within a minute to open the scoring for Scotland. Is this the fastest debut goal for Scotland player? John was of course to go on to become part of the famous Tottenham double winning team of 1960-61, as was Dave Mackay who was making his second appearance for Scotland that day too. Sadly John White was killed by lightning in July 1964.

Andy Weir would also score six minutes into his debut but would play a further 534 minutes for Scotland without scoring. As for Ian he would have to wait ‘til 4th May 1960 to score his first goal for Scotland in his 4th International in a 2-3 friendly defeat to Poland at Hampden.

Overall, Ian would score nine goals in 21 Internationals. He would face England five times and only suffer defeat once but since that was at Wembley in 1961 maybe we should gloss over that. He did manage to score against England in a 2 all draw at Wembley in 1965 which would be his final cap.

Ian’s first seven caps came as a Motherwell player, whom he had scored a remarkable 80 goals in 113 League games. He would make his debut as a Liverpool player against Czechoslovakia in September 1961. Ian scored and along with a Denis Law brace that saw us beat the Czechs in a World Cup Qualifier. This would set Scotland up for a play-off match against the Czechs in Brussels that we lost 4-2 in extra time. Ian had scored both the goals that night but it was not enough to see us through to Chile ’62.

The Scotland team of that time was full of great players who as a team never really reached their potential but all too often were erratic in the results they produced. Friendlies in 1963 probably sum it up best. Having won the Home Internationals in a whitewash that season, we went on a small tour of Europe which saw us get beat 4-3 in Norway with Law getting a hat-trick, then over to Dublin for a one nil defeat to the Republic of Ireland and finally a 6-2 drubbing of Spain in the Bernabeu, in which St. John was one of six scorers.

In November of that year Scotland would get their revenge on Norway with a six one win at Hampden with Law scoring 4, however significantly for St. John, Alan Gilzean made his debut alongside Denis that night.

Ian would be recalled for that draw against England in ’65 and that was it for him although he would continue to be a pivotal part of Liverpool’s rise to greatness under Bill Shankly until the start of the 70’s. He tried his hand at management returning to his native Motherwell in 1973 for a year before moving to Portsmouth for a few seasons. However, the Saint was not done, as he became quite successful as a football pundit and eventually co-hosting the Saint and Greavsie show in the late 80’s ‘til 1992.

Pat Stanton

Born – 13th September,1944, Edinburgh

Caps – 16 (All with Hibernian)

Years Active – 1966 – 1974


Pat played over 400 games for Hibs from 1963 to 1976 and was the captain of the famous Turnbull Tornadoes. The Hibs team under manager Eddie Turnbull flourished in the early 70’s with players like John Brownlie, John Blackley, Alan Gordon and Jimmy O’Rourke, although major trophies eluded them they were League runners – up twice as well as losing out in the Scottish Cup final in 1971-72 but they did win the League Cup in the 72-73 season.
Pat played for Scotland 16 times, his Scotland career began in a 3 nil defeat to the Netherlands at Hampden. I have no idea what the circumstances were but for this game there was no Anglos included at all, nor Celtic players. The team was; Bobby Ferguson (Kilmarnock), John Greig (Rangers) capt., David Provan (Rangers), Pat Stanton (Hibs), Ronnie McKinnon (Rangers), David Smith (Aberdeen), Willie Henderson (Rangers), Andy Penman( Dundee), Jim Scott (Hibs), Willie Wallace (Hearts) and Willie Johnston (Rangers).
David Smith, Andy Penman and Jim Scott were the other debutants that night. Smith would win one more cap but Penman and Scott never made it to two although Pat would have to wait ’til 1969 for his next cap.
Pat would play in all six qualifying games for the 1972 European Championships against Belgium, Portugal and Denmark although we won all our home games, we also slumped to three away game defeats including an embarrassing 1 nil defeat to Denmark, where Finn Laudrup, father of Michael and Brian scored the only goal.
Pat captained Scotland on three occasions; in 1971 in a one nil defeat to the USSR in Moscow after Bobby Moncur who had captained the side the previous seven games dropped out. Similarly, he captained the side again when Billy Bremner was unavailable in May ’73 for the Home Internationals against Wales and Northern Ireland, dropping out for the England game with Bremner returning.
His final game was a World Cup ’74 warm up against host nation West Germany, which ended 2-1 for Germany with Dalgish scoring. Fellow Hibs player Erich Scahedler played his only Scotland game that night too, but unlike Pat, he was selected for the World Cup squad.

John Wark

Born – 4th August, 1947, Glasgow

Caps – 29 (26 with Ipswich Town, 3 with Liverpool)

Years Active – 1979 – 84


John Wark was one of those players I loved as an Ipswich Town player, not so much as a Scotland player. Sometimes though it’s all about timing; who is it you’re playing alongside, which positional changes are made to fit you in the team, where does the Manager want me to play etc.

For John, all of this is true. Ally MacLeod brought him into the squad apparently for the East Germany friendly in June 1977 but a hamstring injury forced him to withdraw. It is quite intriguing to think of John making his way into the team and contention for Argentina and how much of a difference it could have made.

However, it was not to be and John would have to wait until 19th May, 1979 for his Scotland debut. It was not the most auspicious of starts as we were thumped 3 nil by Wales with John Toshack scoring all three. Also making their debuts that day were Alan Hansen, Paul Hegarty and George Burley.

The first few years of Jock Stein’s reign weren’t that spectacular, as I have said before; a lot of the time he would play with three centre halves almost. It was not uncommon to see Miller, McLeish and Narey in his line ups, alternating with Hansen and even Wark making up the trio. So for the most of his early games John seemed to be a holding midfielder whereas his Wikipedia page describes him as an offensive midfielder. With that moustache and long unkempt hair I can understand what they mean. Seriously though John’s look was one of the things I liked about him; that whole couldn’t give a monkeys if facial hair was unfashionable thing.

In some ways you couldn’t argue that John didn’t get a good initial run in the team for he played in all nine Scotland games that year. It’s a pity we only won 2 games, drew 2 but lost the other five including a 3-1 defeat to England with John scoring his first Scotland goal. Of course, we did suffer the double curse of playing in Euro Championships and also playing Belgium, who thumped us both home and away.

John doesn’t play at all in 1980 for Scotland, his club stats suggest he was an almost ever present for Ipswich at this time; he does however return for a World Cup Qualifier against Israel in Tel Aviv in early 1981 where Scotland scrape by 1-0 with Dalglish scoring the only goal. As Scotland slouched towards qualification his goal against Northern Ireland in a one all draw at Hampden was quite important but ultimately it would be wins against Sweden that would see us though to Spain ’82 along with Northern Ireland.

John would also score against the Irish in 1981-82 Home Internationals just before the World Cup. He would go on to play in all our World Cup games scoring two against New Zealand in our 5-2 win.

Another disappointing Euro campaign followed, although Scotland did start with a win against East Germany at Hampden with John scoring the opening goal but with Belgium and Switzerland in our group defeats soon followed. John would score against the Swiss at Hampden in the two all draw that saw Charlie Nicholas burst onto the International scene with that brilliant goal.

Caps 27, 28 and 29 came as a Liverpool player, the final one being John’s last. John played the first half against Yugoslavia in that famous 6-1 win, which was only attended by 18,512 but which 30,000 claim to have been at. Although, John’s first full season at Liverpool was quite successful as he scored 27 goals in total; injury and the signing of John Barnes would see him play less and less for the Reds and with that his Scotland career finished. John played 29 times for Scotland scoring 7 goals, which would be quite good for a Scotland striker never mind a midfielder.

Peter Weir

Born – 18th January, 1958, Johnstone

Caps – 6 ( 4 with St. Mirren, 2 with Aberdeen)

Years Active – 1980 – 1983


Peter was a typical winger in that some days everything he touched was gold as he would easily glide past players and put in the perfect cross and on others nothing would go right for him. Peter gained six caps in total for Scotland and surprisingly 4 of them were in his time with St. Mirren rather than the majority being with Aberdeen.

His first cap came under Jock Stein in the 1980 Home Internationals against Northern Ireland in Belfast, Scotland’s first game there in ten years. Also making his debut that day was fellow St. Mirren player Billy Thomson. This team also contained three future Scotland managers in Burley, McLeish and Gordon Strachan. However, with all that talent on display Scotland were beaten 1-0 to a Gerry Hamilton goal.

Peter retained his place for the game against Wales at Hampden five days later as the Scots won 1-0 thanks to a Willie Miller goal. Yes, that Willie Miller, who with McLeish and Paul Hegarty playing was in a more forward role.

Peter wasn’t picked for the England game a few days later with Roy Aitken of Celtic being brought in to bolster the midfield for the England game. This plan went awry as the English won 2-0 at Hampden. Roy incidentally is the last player to be capped for St. Mirren as he won his final cap as a Buddie in 1991.

Scotland played a couple of friendlies after the Home International series, Peter played in both; coming on as a sub in a 1-0 defeat to Poland in Poznan and playing the whole game in a 3-1 defeat to Hungary in Budapest.

It would be three years before Peter got his chance again with John Robertson returning to international action and it would be as an Aberdeen player. Peter played in the game against Switzerland in a Euro Qualifier at Hampden in March 1983 which is famous for Charlie Nicholas’s goal on his Scotland debut.

Peter’s last game would be in December, 1983 and it was a case of back to where it all started as Scotland played Northern Ireland in Belfast. Once more the Scots were defeated, this time two goals to nil. Playing in his one Scotland game that night was Doug Rougvie of Aberdeen.

And so that was that, for Peter as Davie Cooper began to feature more and more in Jock’s plans. Peter would continue to play for Aberdeen up until 1988 and after a short time at Leicester City, return to St. Mirren and finally end his career down at Somerset Park with Ayr United.

Derek Whyte

Born – 31st August 1968, Glasgow

Caps – 12 (2 with Celtic, 6 with Middlesbrough and 2 with Aberdeen)

Years Active – 1987-99


Derek had a fairly unique Scotland career. He gained 12 caps in total, all in a twelve year period between 1987 and 1999; he made the squads for both the Euros of 1992 and ’96 and also the World Cup 1998 without making an appearance at either Finals.

Derek was first capped as a Celtic player in October 1987 coming on as a sub for Maurice Malpas in the second half as Scotland managed to beat our Belgian hoodoo with two goals from Ally McCoist and Paul McStay. (Perhaps when we play Belgium again we should arrange for Hamish Husband to be on holiday for that one too.) Also making his debut that night was Gary Gillespie of Liverpool whilst Stevie Clarke of Chelsea and Ian Wilson of Everton were also in the line-up.

Derek’s next game was away against Luxembourg in December of that year in the last of our Euro qualifiers, as a makeshift right back. Derek could be happy that Scotland kept a clean sheet. Not so much, that Luxembourg did too.

Fast forward two years and Derek was on Rous Cup duty coming on as a sub for Gillespie as Scotland beat Chile 2-0 at Hampden with goals from Alan McInally and Murdo Macleod. Jump another three years for Derek’s next appearance; again as a sub for Dave McPherson v USA in Denver as the Scots won one nil with Pat Nevin scoring the only goal. As stated Derek made the cut for the Euro Finals that year despite not featuring in any more of the warm-up games.

World Cup Qualifiers in October and November ’92 saw Derek, then a Middlesbrough player play the full ninety minutes against Portugal and then Italy with both games being played at Ibrox. Again Derek could be happy with clean sheets in both, unfortunately so could the Portuguese and Italian defences.

A pattern begins to emerge as Derek waits almost another three years and a Kirin Cup appearance against Japan in Hiroshima in May 1995. Derek came on as a sub late in the game for Colin Calderwood as we Scotland drew nil nil.

Derek started the following Kirin Cup game against Ecuador as the Scots won 2-1 with goals from John Robertson and Stevie Crawford. Cap number eight and this is the first time Derek has played in a team that conceded a goal, which came from a penalty.

Derek finally taste defeat in a Scotland shirt as the Scots go down 2-1 to the US in another Euro warm up. Incidentally, why have we gone to the US to warm up for a tournament in the Europe for two finals in a row? Gordon Durie scored Scotland’s goal that day.

The Euros ’96, another tournament, another squad and again no game time.

Cap ten and Derek played against Latvia in a World Cup qualifier in October ’96. Again another clean sheet but fortunately goals from John Collins and Darren Jackson saw Scotland win.

Derek returns to the Scotland team almost eighteen months later in April ’98 as an Aberdeen player with an appearance in a friendly against Finland in front of a sparse crowd of 14,315 at Tynecastle. The game ended up one each with Darren Jackson scoring Scotland’s goal.

World Cup 1998, another tournament, another squad and again no game time.

Derek’s final Scotland game was as one of six subs in the shock 1-0 win against Germany when Don Hutchison supplied the goal in April 1999 in Bremen.

So here’s to Derek Whyte not only for all those Finals squads but one defeat in twelve and nine clean sheets for a defender must be quite pleasing too.

Lee Wilkie

Born – 20th April, 1980, Dundee

Caps – 11 (All with Dundee), Goals – 1

Years Active – 2002- 2003


Lee Wilkie may not have been the greatest Centre Half that ever played for Scotland but during those dark days of insipidity that Berti reigned over Scotland, you always got the feeling that here was a fan that got lucky, someone who gave his all for the dark blue of Scotland.
Lee would gain eleven Scotland caps and all would come under Berti Vogts and as a Dundee player. He was first capped during a tour of the Far East, no not Leith or even Prestonpans but the actual Far East i.e. Hong Kong. Lee came on as a sub in a game against World Cup bound South Africa in May 2002 in the Happy Valley district of Hong Kong in the Reunification Cup. Scotland lost 2-0. However, Lee played the full game against a Hong Kong League Select a few days later as the Scots romped home 4-0. Yep, Jackie Chan, Hong Kong Phooey and several other people we gave your boys a hell of a beating.
He would then go on to play against Iceland in the second of our 2004 Euro Qualifiers in October, 2002 with fellow defenders Christian Dailly and Gary Naysmith scoring the goals in a 2-0 win for Scotland.
A couple of friendlies ensued including one in Portugal in an absolute downpour which perhaps should’ve been abandoned and saw a drenched Scotland lose 2-0 in Lisbon.
Lee scored his only Scotland goal when winning his sixth cap against Iceland in March, 2003 and a winning goal it proved to be as he popped up in the Icelandic penalty to header a Christian Dailly cross in to give Scotland a 2-1 lead.
A Euro Qualifier defeat followed to Lithuania in Kaunas and a home friendly defeat to Austria followed a month or so later. Lee would also play on the home victory over the Faroes at the start of season 2003-’04.
Lee’s final two Scotland games are the epitome of the greatest highs of supporting Scotland and the lowest of lows. To be honest we had struggled through our qualifying group for Euro 2004 but we were seeded second and that’s where we ended up. What we wouldn’t have given to have Iceland, Lithuania and the Faroes in our group last year alongside Germany.
And so we made the play-offs and only the Netherlands stood in our way. The excitement that first game gave to the nation and the injection of hope as Darren Fletcher and James McFadden engineered that goal that gave us a one nil lead in the tie almost bordered on euphoric.
The come down from the humiliating defeat a few days still permeates the air every time we play a ‘big team’ it seems. The 6-0 defeat was to be Lee’s last game for Scotland as he and a whole bunch of others were found wanting to say the least.
Lee would suffer from injuries over the next few years which would hamper any return to Scotland duty, even though it looked at one point as a Dundee United player he might be given the chance.

Gareth Williams

Born – 16th December, 1981, Glasgow

Caps – 5 (All with Nottingham Forest)

Years Active – 2002


The Boy’s A Bit Special . . . Gareth Williams

Yep, it’s one of Hans-Hubert’s boys; Gareth Williams future star of the Scotland team was how he was portrayed at the time by Berti. Sadly, once again I must point out to you Ladies and Gentlemen to the curse of Berti. Yep, Gareth Williams, another one who’s career ended prematurely or went up the spout for a couple of years. Don’t believe in such a thing. Well, look who was among the debutees in the five games Gareth played for the national side; Robbie Stockdale (retired aged 29), Michael Stewart (retired aged 30), Maurice Ross (retired aged 30), Kevin Kyle (retired aged 33), Lee Wilkie . . . do I really need to go on?

Anyway back to the luckless Gareth, who started his Scotland career whilst a Nottingham Forest player. Gareth was lucky in one respect he wasn’t chosen for Berti’s first game in charge that mighty mauling in Paris by France but was given a starting berth for the next game against Nigeria up at Pittodrie on 17th April 2002. Despite Christian Dailly scoring in seven minutes the Scots were to lose the game 2-1. Gareth would make way for Michael Stewart of Manchester United in the 64th minute when the scores were still level.

Next up was the Far East tour of 2002, whilst everyone else was getting ready for the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, we had to make do with this travesty.

The first came in a future World Cup stadium against South Korea in Busan; the Scots would lose 4-1 with West Brom’s Scott Dobie scoring his only Scotland goal on his debut. Gareth came on at half time in place of Garry O’Connor probably to shore up the midfield unfortunately it was only one nil at half time.  To be fair, South Korea performed very well in the World Cup beating Poland and Portugal in the group stages then beating Italy and Spain (on penalties) in the knock out phase before going out to a narrow defeat to Germany in the Semi-Finals.

South Africa also did themselves proud in the World Cup, just missing out in the knock out stages after beating Slovenia, drawing with Paraguay and losing 3-2 to Spain. On their way to the World Cup they met Scotland in Hong Kong as part of the Reunification Cup tournament. The Scots were beaten two-nil in front of a crowd of 3007. Gareth would start in this game being replaced by Scott Severin of Hearts in the 77th minute. This game would also mark the debut of James McFadden, another whose career is on the scrapyard prematurely.

Finally a win for Bert’s boys against the might of the Hong Kong League XI. “Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan (not to be confused with Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan), Yun-Fat Chow, Sally Phillips and a host of others. We gave your boys a hell of a beating, a hell of a beating”.

Yep, we did with goals from Kevin Kyle, Steven Thompson, Christian Dailly (ah who can forget Christian shouting “ F**kin Diving Bastards in the background, with Berti on mike saying “Christian, Christian” trying to calm him down in his Germanic tones after the 2-1 defeat to Germany in September 2003.) and a final goal from Scot Gemmill. Gareth had come on in 60th minute for Allan Johnston.

Gareth’s final game came in a friendly in November 2002, in the torrential rain of Braga as Portugal in beat Scotland 2-0 coming on as a sub for Paul Lambert in the 60th minute.

Although he would go on to win caps for the Under 21’s and would make moves from Forest for Leicester and then Watford; making his debut in EPL for them in February 2007. Gareth only played twice more for Watford before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury which despite six operations never healed fully and he retired in 2009.

His profile for Four Four Two makes quite sad reading when you think of how things ended for him. In Five Years’ Time I’ll be in . . . The Premiership . . . established in the Scotland team. If all goes to plan I’d love to be part of the next World Cup.”

Still it’s not all doom and gloom as his celebrity wife would be Natalie Portman. Ok, she’s not quite Hattie Jacques but if she’s good enough for Thor she’ll do for me too.