Welcome to Issue 17
By Daniel Gray.
When Brazil scored an own goal in Glasgow
A bitter row with reporters on their pre-World Cup tour in 1973 came to a head in Scotland. The dazzling champions of 1970 were losing their touch, on and off the field.
By Andrew Downie
Scotland’s Sixties Brazilian fling
In 1965 Celtic, Dunfermline and St Mirren all fell for a clutch of cut-price Brazilians. It was a significant cultural moment.
By Daniel Gray
The brothers who kick-started Argentinian football
The Brown family was lured to South America to be part of a utopian farming community. That didn’t work out, but they planted the seeds of something bigger.
By Jonathan Wilson
My friend Fabian, the South American footballer
This skilful midfielder has played for Gretna and Hibs – and in Italy and Colombia – plus a host of clubs in his native Montevideo. It is always a pleasure to catch up.
By Jim Rendall
Not a bad wee trip
Scotland’s first adventure in South America was six years before the fiasco in Argentina, in a competition now largely forgotten. Strangely, it was something of a success.
By Craig Stephen
Why Gemmill’s goal is still the greatest
So those six touches against Holland in 1978 ultimately counted for nothing? Wrong. They meant the world then and they still do today.
By Kenny Pieper
How a Dundonian built Mexico’s first league winners
To this day Duncan McComish is revered in the town of Orizaba, where his team of “Spinners” were key players in the country’s early footballing history.
By Fergus Dowd
Why the men’s game needs a gay footballer
Homophobia won’t disappear from the Scottish game – and young gay talent will continue to walk away from the sport – until a player is brave enough to come out.
By Ross Hunter
Cut the crap on gay ‘banter’
Men’s football is still in the Dark Ages when it comes to sexuality but the likes of Partick Thistle are letting in glimmers of light.
By Adam Bushby
Hope and despair in the season from hell
Stenhousemuir FC’s chairman relives the months when Scottish football showed its role at the heart of the community – and its destructive self-interest.
By Iain McMenemy
Everyman of Ibrox
He may not have scaled the heights that his youthful promise hinted at, but Brian Gilmour’s varied career has given him valuable insight that he is putting to good use with Rangers.
By Greg Gordon
The blossoming of Joe Tulip
The football-playing route from north-east England to Queen of the South is one that is well-travelled. It all started with a winger from Halfway, Northumberland.
By Harry Pearson
So good they named him thrice
The last player to net four goals in a game for Scotland, Colin Stein also put one past Dino Zoff and won European silverware. No wonder fans thought the world of him.
By Maurice Smith
Wark on the park for tractor boy
Before joining a mighty Liverpool side, Glaswegian John Wark had become a free-scoring midfield legend in a remarkable Ipswich Town team under Bobby Robson.
By Craig Anderson
So glad he went to Goa
Darryl Duffy has played for more than a dozen clubs but the striker’s four years in India are among his travel highlights.
By Ed Hodge
Yogi’s brother and the Roker roar
Billy Hughes is a Sunderland legend but his goals, flair and industry should have earned him wider fame and a place in the Scotland team.
By Andy Bollen
Tadé – born in France, forged in Scotland
From teenage amateur with Forfar to top scorer in Romania via Stranraer, Clyde, Raith Rovers, ICT and St Johnstone, the remarkable striker has had quite a journey.
By Roddy Cairns
Burns of the back park
The early 1990s were all about the Seattle music scene and Michael Jordan. Meanwhile, on the muddy training pitches behind Rugby Park, Tommy Burns was melding grunge anarchy with Chicago Bulls’ sporting excellence and earning himself legendary status among Kilmarnock fans and players.
By Scott Fleming
The joyful Killie blues (revisited)
In 1989 I got sucked into watching one of the most dramatic matches in Kilmarnock’s history with my pals. A six-nil away win later and I was a fan myself. Almost.
By David F. Ross
How Dutch masters sketched Total Football with Celtic scalp
In the 1970 European Cup final Jock Stein’s team woefully underestimated the brilliance of Feyenoord and paid the price.
By Michael Gallagher
“It’s 11 v 11 and on the day, anything can happen”
Rarely has the old adage been more emphatically proven to be true than when Celtic faced Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar.
By Sean Cole
The Family Final … but no Falkirk fairytale
Despite a lifelong fan picking out the ‘wrong’ team during the semi-final draw, a spirited Bairns side produced one of the biggest Scottish Cup shocks before missing out on the trophy in agonising circumstances.
By Kenny Jamieson
Challenge Cup of long-lasting cheer
It was meant to be a one-off but the trophy has endured for 30 years, helped on its way by a cracking first Final between Dundee and Ayr United.
By Andy Harrow
Underrated world of Highland games
A new book exploring the away day experiences of Huntly sheds light on the places and people that make this footballing territory unique.
By Daniel Gray
The golden age of youth football is now
Watching my 11-year-old daughter play for her local club has made me reassess the good old days of my football-daft childhood.
By Colin McPherson
You’re not signing any more
Few clubs offer them any longer, but there was a time when signature sheets were very much a thing. One 12-year-old took the collecting and analysing of them seriously.
By Gordon Cairns
Blue remembered thrills and spills
Forfar Athletic are 500 miles from my childhood home on the south coast. I chose them for the sound of their name and treasured them through matchday programmes sent in the post.
By Mat Guy
Only a handful of Scottish players have been immortalised in bronze – and in contrast to England the majority of the statues are to be found in the home towns of the players they depict rather than at stadiums.
By Ffion Thomas
Discord is the name of our game
A thread of aggression and enmity goes all the way back to the earliest days of the men’s game in Scotland, on and off the field, and including the boardroom.
By Kevin McAllion
Professional, but not too professional
Iceland’s ability to compete at the highest level is down to the way it has stayed true to the spirit of the amateur game: football as a beneficial, enjoyable pastime.
By Matt McGinn
Vikings put hands together for Well gift of thunder
The Thunder Clap became a potent symbol of Iceland’s performance at Euro 2016 and then the World Cup in Russia. Do its origins as a football phenomenon lie much closer to home?
By Andy Ross
Bumps on the road to Anfield
Before the glory years at Liverpool, Bill Shankly had fellow Scot Andy Beattie to thank for accelerating his managerial progress at Huddersfield Town.
By Jon Spurling
Forged with steel, fired with coal
Industrial origins still shape the identity of many Scottish clubs. In these tough times we must bolster the communities whose forebears gave us such riches.
By Victoria McNulty
Thomas Carlyle in goal, RLS up front . . .
It’s the ultimate fantasy Scottish Literary XI. And yes there’s space for Tobias Smollett.
By Duncan McCoshan
Nuts matches: What did you do to us, Van Buyten?
2001, Belgium at home in a World Cup qualifier. We’re two goals up against ten men. And then, in the 92nd minute, Daniel Van Buyten brings about the beginning of the end of Fortress Hampden.
By Paul Macdonald
Six of the best: Dundee United
Given Dundee United’s golden era was in the early-mid 80s it’s no surprise that many of their iconic kits hail from that magical period.
By John Devlin
Steve Brown Must Go by Andrew Blair
Don’t go back to Brockville by Andrew Blair
Keepie-uppie in the time of Covid by Sam Phipps
Distanced by Jim Mackintosh