Welcome to Issue 11
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Ghosts in Umbro
By Daniel Gray

McIlvanney the master
Like few other journalists, Hugh McIlvanney was respected by many in the game. And he wrote better sentences than anyone. By Michael Walker

Jousting with Jim
From Tannadice to the local bowling green, McLean was a formidable, complex character whose fire ignited Dundee United as they rose to giddy heights. By Neil Forsyth

All to pay for
Want to follow your team on screen in every competition? You need three pay-TV services, broadband, a TV licence, a willingness to cough up for Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club – and it’ll cost you an absolute fortune. Got your payment details ready? By Gary Rodger

The robots are coming
Scouts and performance analysts beware: algorithms and machine learning have the capacity to revolutionise the game. By Neil Gibson

America – the bigger picture
With huge teams of coaches and training focussing on each individual position, the NFL is professional sport on an industrial scale. By Robert McCunn

Back to school
Seven Performance Schools throughout Scotland is the SFA’s attempt to address the problem of too few youth players coming through to senior level. How do they work? By Graeme Kilgour

A shouting match
Parents who jump up and down and bawl instructions on the sidelines may be doing more harm than good to their child’s development, both off and on the pitch . By Craig Shields

Engineering Archie: The godfather of stadium design
Football as a business has become unrecognisable since Archibald Leitch set the standard in his ground-breaking work of the early 20th century but his vision of the ‘fan experience’ still holds true. By David F Ross

Murray the miracle worker
When Ian Murray MP became Foundation of Hearts chair, saving the club seemed like mission impossible. Five years on, how does he see its future – and the future for Scottish clubs in general? By Barry Didcock

The Premiership franken-player
What individual attributes from current players would combine to create the ultimate Scottish top-flight footballer? Our very own Dr Frankenstein has the answer. By Craig Fowler

Photo essay: Blaes of glory
They are gradually disappearing, but it is hard to imagine the Central Belt without its red ash theatres of wounds.
Words by Daniel Gray. Photographs by Alan McCredie.

The glue which binds us from cradle to grave
My dad’s views on politics or religion or anything of real importance remained a mystery to the end. But from him I knew every last detail of the night Celtic beat Red Star Belgrade 5-1. By Stephen McGowan

Charlton’s No.1 and Other Scottish Addicks
From maverick goalie Charlie Wright to rugged centre half Stuart “Sweaty” Balmer, Charlton have attracted a host of notable Scots to SE7. By Heather McKinlay

There’s only one Paul McStay? I had seven of the buggers
Growing up in Carluke in the 1990s, Panini stickers were the ultimate entertainment. And for the new generation there are football playing cards . . . By Scott Mullen

Been there, done that, got the shirt
To anyone else, it’s just a black Adidas signed Ayr United shirt in a frame. To me, it represents family, bonds and a lifetime of emotion. By Ally Palmer

Bringing it all back home
How an American from a little town in the mountains of California used Rangers and Hibs to find a sense of identity. By Joel Slagle

It’s not a man’s game, never was
Our deep-set notions about football, and sport, are being cast into the wilderness as the women’s game finds its feet, and acceptance of macho, disgraceful behaviour are challenged. By Ross McIndoe

Battle for Stirling
A fans takeover has done nothing to raise the profile of the Albion, a club weighed down by history who are strangers in their own land. By Graham Ruthven

‘I can’t believe what we’re watching’
There was plenty in the culmination of Accies’ 2013-14 play-off season that defied belief. By Derek Hotchkiss

The last maverick
Mad Dog Gravesen had bags of talent but refused to conform and let his career fizzle out at Celtic. By Chris Sweeney

Marinello – where did it all go wrong?
An outstanding talent at Hibs, he lost his way at Arsenal due to drinking, gambling and personal problems, and hit rock bottom when holed up at Butlins. By Matthew Evans

Into The Valli
So, Christian Dailly, that chant about shagging wives and wanting curly hair too. Do you like the chant and have you ever taken up the offer? By Alastair McKay

King Kris
Deadly Doolan the ultimate Partick Thistle legend – a goalscoring hero who could reduce this Jags fan to a gibbering wreck. By Iain Hepburn

Gordon Lennon – from triumph to tragedy
As the tenth anniversary of the much-loved Dumbarton captain’s death in June 2009 approaches, the pain and sense of injustice are still raw. By Andrew Galloway

His father’s son
For Jim Leighton, the most important figure throughout his career wasn’t Alex Ferguson or Scotland goalkeeping coach Alan Hodgkinson. It was his father Sam, who he describes as “my football crutch”. By Greg Gordon

Jinky all at sea in the dark blue
Jimmy Johnstone was a wee guy with a huge talent but all too often was a troubled figure on the international stage and struggled to reproduce his Celtic form in a Scotland shirt. By Tom Brogan

Class is permanent
Two moments of magic from Kenny Dalglish lit up Brussels in December 1982, as he basked in the glow of his Indian summer By Michael Gibbons

The night the lights went out in Valencia
If it hadn’t been for Raúl, a power cut and severe flooding, it would have been a famous result in Spain for Scotland. By Euan McTear

A modest revolution in Luxembourg
How the perennial European minnows became good at football and flirted with qualification for Euro 2020 through the Nations League. By Simon Meehan

Soccertown, USA: the roots
‘The assumption is that American soccer’s DNA is English but in reality it’s Scottish’ – Kearny, New Jersey was the heartbeat of the game, eventually propelling the US onto the world stage. By Bryan Kay

Skiwi high fliers
Scots who made a name for themselves by travelling halfway across the world. By Craig Stephen

Charlie Dempsey – the silent assassin
The Scot who denied South Africa when he abstained in the vote for the 2006 World Cup did so much for the game in New Zealand. By Craig Stephen

The fútbol pioneer
From Caithness to Andalucia: Scot Dr Alexander Mackay kickstarted the sport in Spain when he founded Recreativo Huelva in 1889. By Jack Davidson

Green machine
Hibs Ladies, with six successive cups under their belt, are geared up for more success as the Scottish women’s game continues to thrive. By Mark Gordon

A Highland fling
Go north young man: adopting the Staggies for a year was an unforgettable experience even if the season ended on a low note. By Robert Wescott

A matter of Fife and death
You’re likely to be less than a mile or two from a club of some description in the Kingdom, where they take their football very seriously, not least in the Taylor Sullivan Funeral Directors Challenge Cup. By John Nicholson

The Social Network
Non-league social clubs and bars offer shelter, cheap beer, free banter, oral history – and most importantly an insight into the ethos of the club. By Adam Lawson Stalker

Mollifiers, revivifiers and embrocations
The murky roots of sports medicine. By Duncan McCoshan

Strips: Airdrieonians
Six of the best. By John Devlin

Strips: Favourite shirts
Many football fans will have a couple of replica shirts in their wardrobe. Malcolm McDougall takes it to a different level. By Mark Gordon

Poetry: Behind The Scenes
By Stephen Watt

Poetry: Marta
By Karyn Dougan Buckland