Welcome to Issue 14
You can order it here
A Great Uncle
By Daniel Gray
A Brazilian born to Bellshill
To fans of Morton, Andy Ritchie was Jesus Christ, Robin Hood and Superman rolled into one entrancing bundle. They are right to cherish him as they do. Now back in his home town, the revered striker reflects on the highs and lows of his career.
By Daniel Gray
Fergus the Celtic saviour
It has been 25 years since Scots-born Canadian tycoon McCann swept into Parkhead to remove family dynasties at the club and usher in the modern era.
By Stephen O’Donnell
That could have been us
Three decades on, there is still debate among Ayr United followers about David Murray’s attempt to buy the club before his takeover at Rangers. Did they miss the boat or dodge a bullet?
By Mike Wilson
When the Steelmen went into meltdown
Motherwell’s dreams of the big time crashed in spectacular style 17 years ago, before a painful rebirth. Key figures look back.
By Andy Ross
Science or snake oil?
The ‘football hackers’ expose football’s intellectual insecurity. But no-one is reinventing the game.
By Greg Gordon
How Manchester United Jane Ross is leading Scotland on and off the pitch in the movement that aims to make a difference by ending poverty, fighting inequality and stopping climate change.
By Simon Meehan
The bigger they come, the harder you fall
The physical challenge usually proves too much, but part-time players will always cherish taking on Scotland’s top sides.
By Danny Denholm
Meanwhile, back in the real world
To millions of Championship Manager players, Mark Kerr has a legendary status as one of the world’s most valuable footballers. Things might be different in reality, but after a respectable playing career he is now, appropriately enough, embarking on life as a Championship manager in the SPFL.
By Sean Cole
The other side of the coin
Who would be a referee? Luckily, quite a few folk. Beyond the brickbats they get huge satisfaction from the game. By Sam Phipps
The Sunday morning alarm crew
Park football is football at the coalface. It is a messy community, but a wonderful one.
Words by Daniel Gray. Photographs by Alan McCredie.
Ernie McGarr: A glove affair
Best remembered for saving three penalties in one game against Jock Stein’s Celtic, the former East Fife goalkeeper remains a key figure at the Methil club to this day.
By Donald Walker
The Shankly redemption
A firebrand, a comedian, an inspired man-manager and the terror of some of Europe’s biggest clubs in the Sixties, there was a lot more to Bob than simply being Bill’s big brother.
By Scott Fleming
Memories of Bubbles will never fade
Former St Mirren player Brian Hetherston brought joy to fans, team-mates, his family and friends before his untimely death at the age of 29.
By Graeme Macpherson
From sublime to shameful
Paolo Di Canio was my teenage idol. But his far-right loyalties should strip him of the right to any more adulation.
By Chris Sweeney
Banishing blues… and joining Red revolution
Snapped up by a canny Bill Shankly, Willie Stevenson emerged from Jim Baxter’s shadow at Ibrox to become a legend at Liverpool, yet Scotland all but ignored him.
By Tom Brogan
The great uncapped
John McGovern tops the list of outstanding players who never got the international call-up.
By Craig Stephen
Bury and beyond
What happened to Bury FC could easily happen in Scotland. And what is at stake is far more than supporters being at a loss come Saturday afternoon.
By Kenny Pieper
The inauthentic fan
Growing up in Dundee with English parents, my two big football homes are Tannadice and Elland Road. Yet I was at university before I actually went to either, and something still feels amiss.
By Jon Davey
The year eight teams were relegated
League reconstruction in 1975, ushering in a 10-14-14 system, meant a tense end to the season as a ruthless culling of the top flight beckoned.
By Richard Winton
Quite early in Jim McLean’s epic reign at Tannadice, United just beat relegation at the expense of Dundee. A dazzling era could easily have been snuffed out.
By Mark Poole
Vicious, cruel, greedy, immoral
Despite what it tries to make us believe, the Premier League didn’t invent the game. It has stolen it, corrupted it and taken The People’s Game away from The People. And the football’s not even all that good.
By John Nicholson
Tail wagging the dog
Compared to the English game, Scottish football is a throwback to the way things used to be, but the hierarchy needs a revamp to ensure we move forward with a sense of perspective.
By Graham Ruthven
We’ll be watching The Bill while they’re with Jimmy Hill
For too many years, weird stuff used to come up on Scottish televisions in place of live football action from England. It still pains me to think of what we missed.
By Gary Rodger
Big story on a small screen
Perhaps the greatest chronicle of Scottish football, ironically a TV series, Only a Game caught the last riptide of national success.
By Scott Fleming
Smells like team spirit
It’s a Team Game is so much more than a collection of 150 squad photos: it documents society, fashion, human interactions, and is an oracle spinning poignant yarns.
By Daniel Gray
Chic Charnley’s brief spell in Sweden was memorable for all the right reasons, but the Scottish “Iron Stove” wasn’t held captive for long.
By Henrik Manninen
The Italian job
Graeme Souness’s arrival at Sampdoria ushered in a golden era for the Genoa club. His captain in the side Alessandro Scanziani assesses the Scot’s contribution to their success.
By Alasdair Mackenzie
The Spanish connection
Scots played a key role in the foundation and early years of Sevilla football club, a link that the Andalusian giants are proud to celebrate.
By Colin Millar
The forgotten Scot who managed Juve
William Aitken left an indelible imprint on Italian and French football, but his achievements have gone largely unnoticed in his homeland.
By Paul Grech
Distant lands, closer ties
The Scottish Football Supporters Association is getting involved in building the grassroots game in Malawi. By Ed Hodge
The green, green grass of Lochee
Those bonnie, bonnie banks which are often a feature of junior grounds are to be cherished in all their shapes and sizes.
By Mark Nixon
The tangerine dream team
Dundee United have enjoyed 50 years in their vivid tangerine and black strip, winning all their major trophies in it, but it didn’t get off to the best of starts.
By Graeme Webster
Lothian Thistle’s 50 years of resilience
A merger with Hutchison Vale may be the most dramatic event in the Edinburgh club’s history but there have been plenty of others too.
By Colin Leslie
The man who stared At GOATs
One goal and one goal only is the greatest of all time, definitively and absolutely. In my opinion. And I’m right.
By David F. Ross
Mavericks and Mainwarings
Scottish football is an endless gift of chaos, artistry, delusion and absurdity.
By Andy Bollen
A whistlestop tour of officials
Referees, linesmen, fourth officials, and now VAR operatives. The referee is the law incarnate. And without enforcers of the law there would be lawlessness. Dame Anarchy would stalk the touchlines and Master Mayhem would be her groom. And who wants to go to that wedding?
By Duncan McCoshan
The agony and the ecstasy
Going 4-2 up in the 91st minute should mean victory … but the Edinburgh derby is no ordinary game.
By Paul Macdonald
Hearts: six of the best
Resplendent in their distinctive maroon, Heart of Midlothian’s kits over the years have often had a touch of class with so many of them warmly remembered by fans. Here are some favourites… By John Devlin
Short story: The Last of the Diehards
By Neil Williamson
Scottish Fitba’ by Stephen Watt
Before the Tide Turns by Jane Picton Smith