Welcome to Issue 16
You can order it here
Farewell for now
During a deadly pandemic, all of us have perspective on football’s place in the world. That does not stop us pining for the game. Over the following pages, Nutmeg looks at the impact of COVID-19 on our sport. First, some words of reflection from Daniel Gray.
Pause for thought
Lovers of the Scottish game tell Nutmeg what they are missing most and dream up the changes they would like to see when football returns.
The lab test
The chances are you won’t have heard of the Pride Labs. But if the national team and our clubs go on to achieve success at international level in the future, much of the credit may be due to them.
By James Morgan
Our cloth doesn’t quite cut it
Global kit culture has taken big strides in recent years. Scottish clubs need to do more to keep up – without fleecing fans.
By Graham Ruthven
In a fit state for the latest science
Proper preparation and recovery are vital at all levels of the game – and can save clubs a fortune. But there are still some sceptics out there, says Junior Mendes at St Mirren.
By Graeme Macpherson
Built to last
According to some, the secret of long-term success lies in squad building. And it’s not just a theory – there are real-life examples of how it can work.
By Paul Grech
Creative supporters gain clout
Fans are increasingly making their voices heard with their own media content. The savviest clubs are listening. By Craig Shields
A monument to how it was
Somerset Park is the Sistine Chapel of the art, design and function of Auld Fitba.
By Hugh MacDonald
First-class time travel
Cappielow is a gem of a ground – spectacular, historic, ramshackle. Please let it stay that way forever.
By Daniel Gray
Doonhamer’s undying love for Regina del Sud
It is almost the rarity of magic that keeps drawing me back to Queen of the South. And when it does happen, I get to share sublime moments with my nearest and dearest.
By Giancarlo Rinaldi
Patience young groundhopper
As a football-loving child in The Netherlands 35 years ago, Joris van de Wier was enchanted by a Scottish fixture list. It was almost another 20 years before he was able to visit a Scottish ground – but he hasn’t looked back since.
By Daniel Gray
Don’t blame Bill for Honest Men’s home flaws
Bill Barr was an incredibly generous and loyal chairman of Ayr United. No one was more frustrated at the failure to build a fitting stadium.
By Mike Wilson
You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
Many beloved Scottish football stands and stadiums have been demolished over the last quarter century. The Groundtastic photo archive helps preserve their memory.
By Paul Claydon
Everyday heroes on my doorstep
The Kirkcaldy estate where I grew up in the 1970s was awash with professional footballers. Many of them were happy to oblige with autographs and match programmes, which I treasure to this day.
By Donald Walker
Aye, Ich bin ein Werkself-fan
Paul Wilson become hooked on Bayer Leverkusen after watching the 2002 Champions League final in his native Glasgow. He even bought a season ticket and now the love is mutual.
By Euan McTear
Conversion at St Pauli
The Hamburg club are a revelation in terms of social activism and matchday atmosphere. Now Scottish-based fan clubs are even emulating their good deeds.
By Billy Briggs
The tyranny of the fixture list
A recurring blockbuster is released each summer. It is compulsive viewing and triggers a cocktail of emotions as the imaginary season is mapped out in all its pain and glory.
By Colin McPherson
Old mates and new larks
There is something about the ritual of going to games with the same core of fellow fans that is impossible to beat.
By Chris Marshall
A man for all seasons
As a forward with Dundee and Aberdeen, Jocky Scott was ahead of his time. As a coach, he has been even more influential over the decades.
By Greg Gordon
The Anelka experiment
With an influx of poor players and a bizarre approach to management, the Frenchman’s reign at Raith Rovers was a disaster from start to finish.
By Martin Domin
For the good of the game
A holistic approach is required to cure Scottish football’s ills – but getting clubs to see past their own self-interest remains the biggest hurdle.
By Kenny Jamieson
Which trophy did McNeill’s Celtic win against an English side?
Quizball may pale beside the European Cup but for a spell in the late 1960s and early 1970s it was quite entertaining. By Jon Spurling
The glories and growing pains of the postal gaffers
As a boy I was one of tens of thousands of play-by-mail managers hooked on the drama and the phone calls. It’s not the same on WhatsApp.
By Kevin McAllion
Peerless wit and authority
Bob Crampsey lit up the world of Scottish football for six decades. As a broadcaster and journalist, he is still missed. By Andy Bollen
Junior jitters over pyramid scheme
The new West of Scotland league will bring exciting possibilities for dozens of clubs. But the likes of Auchinleck Talbot hope it will not also affect the status of their beloved Scottish Junior Cup.
By Alan Robertson
The red and yellow comet
Nine years ago they didn’t exist. Now they’re the best thing to come out of Bishopbriggs since Peter Capaldi. Where next for Rossvale Juniors?
By Scott Fleming
A few points down your local
Immersing yourself in Scotland’s non-league scene can be a rewarding experience – as long as you can handle the cold.
By Paul Dimeo
Ringing the changes
Little did we know that the sound of full-time whistles echoing across the country on 7th March would signal a new dawn for Junior football clubs across the West of Scotland.
By Andrew Fitzsimmons
Celtic’s bona fide Czech legend
Lubomir Moravcik silenced the doubters in his first game. By the time he left Glasgow four years later, the goal-scoring creative midfielder was a genuine club great.
By Sean Cole
Gentleman amateur’s trove of memories
Peter Buchanan scored 155 goals for Queen’s Park and a joint record 11 for Scotland’s national non-professionals. But he knows his beloved club had to change.
By Ginny Clark
How Killie played their part in 2002 World Cup
In 1995 the Rugby Park side flew to South Korea for a key tournament that is now almost forgotten – but not by their former captain Ray Montgomerie.
By Chris Sweeney
Vanishing act in east Edinburgh
Opinion is still divided over whether the Edinburgh club morphed into Livingston or properly died. But its 21-year history at least deserves to receive a bit more recognition.
By Craig Cairns
How The Troubles kept Scotland away from Belfast
Only the risk of expulsion from the World Cup brought the national team to Northern Ireland in 1980 after a 10-year boycott.
By Tom Brogan
Pandemics: Pestilence, plague and “muckle pleuks”
We live in strange and disconcerting times. Nothing is as it was. Going for a pint. Going to the game. These may become things of fable. But perhaps we can take some solace from the fact we are not alone in this. The past may be another country but some parts of it are oddly familiar…
By Duncan McCoshan
Nuts matches 1: Hampden tinted glasses
Scotland were undone in a must-win Euro qualifier by a woeful Spanish ref, right? Wrong. If anything, he gave us more than he took away.
By Paul Macdonald
Nuts matches 2: Sucker punch
Scotland have let in a fair few last-minute goals but England’s equaliser at Hampden in 2017 hurt more than most.
By Gordon Cairns
6 of the best strips: Rangers
It’s fair to say Rangers have been through more ups and downs than most teams. Along the way, though, they’ve always been dressed well. Here are just a few of some of their best kits.
By John Devlin
The Possibility Of Transcendence As I Walk Up To Oakwell.
By Ian McMillan
By Stephen Watt