Welcome to Issue 15
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Threads that bind
By Daniel Gray

Football and my friend, the neo-Nazi
Amid the Cold War, we were united by the beautiful game. Then, when the Berlin Wall finally fell, Martin’s chosen path was the antithesis of the values which drove him before East Germany’s liberation.
By Colin McPherson

Working for the Yankee dollar?
US cash is going into some of Scotland’s most famous clubs, bringing the prospect of renewed success after years of mediocrity. Only time will tell if these are good moves.
By Maurice Smith

Fan ownership is the real deal
Supporters are increasingly taking more control of the clubs they love. Far from being out of their depth, they can be a beacon for sustainability.
By Alan Russell

The heart and soul of Street Soccer
David Duke came through a tough upbringing to set up the team that has helped thousands of disadvantaged people across Scotland. This spring it is launching in London.
By Heather McKinlay

Artificial Field of dreamers
Why do weekly five or seven-a-side games mean so much to so many of us? And is scoring a goal at fives at the age of 60 better than sex?
By David F. Ross

Poets F.C
Football poetry is on the increase, as readers of Nutmeg will be only too aware. In 2016, West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic intimated that he would need to “get poetry lessons” to describe the importance of the Hammers’ midfielder Dimitri Payet in his team. Consider the lesson begun.
By Stephen Watt

The Caulker Conundrum
Scotland’s never-ending search for talent creates a peculiar situation where the national team can benefit from players failing to fulfil their potential.
By Gordon Cairns

Vegan diet? I’m lovin’ it
The days of stopping off for a McDonald’s on the way home from training are fast disappearing even in the lower leagues, says the East Fife winger.
By Danny Denholm

How to freshen up the matchday experience
The Scottish game could do a lot worse than look to the United States when it comes to improving the matchday experience.
By Graham Ruthven

When Saturday comes
It means different things to different people, but for everyone involved in football Saturday is The Day.
By Joel Sked

Heart and soul
The former Hibs and Derby winger Kevin Harper is giving everything in his first managerial job at Albion Rovers.
By Andy Ross

Itching to jump back on the merry-go-round
It may be hard keeping your job as one of the SPFL’s 42 managers but it’s even harder for the younger ones to find an opening in the first place.
By Greg Gordon

Mclintock and Ure: Survival of the fittest
Frank McLintock and Ian Ure were signed by Arsenal in the early 1960s in a bid to rescue the club from mid-table mediocrity. It was a tale of contrasting fortunes for the Scottish duo.
By Jon Spurling

The Geordies’ great Scot
Bob Moncur captained Newcastle United to their legendary European win half a century ago, scoring three in the final, but he was perhaps underappreciated at home.
By Jack Davidson

Poles apart
Years before the influx of foreign players into the Scottish game, Dariusz Dziekanowski and Dariusz Wdowczyk joined a Celtic side in dire need of a lift. While the bold move failed to bring silverware to Parkhead, the duo left a lasting impression.
By Matthew Evans

Rudi can’t fail
Hearts fans knew little about Rudi Skacel when he arrived in the summer of 2005, but the Czech’s two spells at the club cemented his place as a bona fide Tynecastle legend.
By Sean Cole

Northern outposts
Photographer Brian Sweeney’s odyssey around grounds north of Speyside, taking in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, tells you much about how people live there and what life is like.
By Daniel Gray

When The Steelmen ruled the world
In the late 1920s and early 1930s the Steelmen did not just outclass the ‘big two’, they beat Real Madrid and Argentina away.
By Andrew McFadyen

The Brummie who found football Heaven in Scotland
Entering the turbulent world of Scottish football at the beginning of the 20th century, Frank Heaven guided Third Lanark to their one and only league title.
By Colin McPherson

Wembley 1949 – Jimmy Cowan’s match
At the age of only 22, the Morton goalkeeper made himself a legend by keeping out countless England efforts from every angle and distance – paving the way for a famous win against the likes of Matthews, Mortensen, Finney and Milburn.
By Jack Davidson

Class double act
Pie and Bovril has been an integral part of matchdays for more than 120 years. Let’s breathe in a rich history.
By Chris Marshall

Cup Final’s Kiwi connection
A small but significant token of New Zealand’s wartime links with Scotland is tossed into the air every year at Hampden.
By Craig Stephen

A family United
Football is a trusty companion throughout life’s ups and downs, and, when your name is forever associated with the club you love, the journey can be even sweeter.
By Billy Briggs

An audience with The King
Even his beloved Ayr United celebrated my grandfather’s greatest scoop – interviewing Elvis at Prestwick Airport, the only time he ever came to the UK.
By Ed Hodge

Wembley Wizard-in-chief
On 15 January, Scotland lost a legend and footballing icon This is a celebration of one of the most active, witty and charismatic men I’ve ever known – my Papa, Bobby Brown.
By Jim Campbell

Europe’s buried gems of 1967
Celtic’s glorious triumph in Lisbon has (understandably) eclipsed some other remarkable matches in that year’s competition.
By Craig Stephen

How Lisbon Lions were seconds from a game too far
Billy McNeil’s last-minute header against the Yugoslav champions saved them a trip to Rotterdam that could easily have scuppered their legendary season.
By Gordon McKay

Brussels who?
You’ve never heard of Brussels Thistle? They were only the first Scottish national team to play in a European Championship since 1996. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of football in Belgium’s capital.
By Simon Meehan

True blue, dinky-di
Could Lyndon Dykes be part of the answer to Scotland’s goal-scoring deficiency, or will Australia strike first?
By Jason Goldsmith

Ups and downs of the pyramid system
Many feel the pyramid is the best thing to have happened to Scottish football for a long time. But is it really?
By Donald Walker

Why Tierney is better than Robertson
No disrespect to the Liverpool left-back but his Arsenal counterpart deserves to hold that position for Scotland. He should be captain too.
By Chris Sweeney

Cesar’s English campaign
In his early years as a manager Billy McNeill won numerous trophies and proved himself a worthy adversary to Alex Ferguson. So why did his own time in England end so badly?
By Scott Fleming

The day Anfield took a Sharp intake of breath
When Everton’s Scottish striker Graeme Sharp scored the goal of the season, it didn’t just settle the Merseyside derby – it sparked a sea change in English football.
By Mike Gibbons

Caley Thistle aim for Celtic, Clach remain precocious
Founded in 1885, Clachnacuddin FC have always stubbornly resisted the allure of mergers to reach more exalted sporting levels, clinging on to their rich Highland League identity, and their fans love them for it.
By Mat Guy

Bad Boy done good
From the terrace at Pittodrie, to England, Singapore and Qatar, with a pop  band thrown in, TV man Ally Begg has been on an amazing football journey.
By Mark Gordon

Kit: Il buono, il brutto e il cattivo
The modern football kit is a thing of beauty: designed with the kind of technical expertise demanded of a Formula 1 pit crew and displaying a range of colourways that would shame a chameleon in a Dulux factory. Here is a short sashay through the false starts, malfunctions and rejectamenta.
By Duncan McCoshan

Nuts matches: Steelmen trigger a meltdown
Just 60 days into the Celtic job, Gordon Strachan was already under intense pressure. A trip to Fir Park – scene of the Hoops’ spectacular title collapse just weeks earlier – was the last thing he needed.
By Paul Macdonald

Strips. Six of the best: Hibs
The green and white half of Edinburgh has had more than its fair share of notable kits. Here are just a few of the more memorable ones. By John Devlin

Poetry
Firhill, Glasgow by Andy Breckenridge
ANNOUNCE FEBRUARY!!! by Brian Welsh