Welcome to Issue 19
You can order it here
By Daniel Gray
Lights, camera, action
A project to photograph the floodlights at every professional football league ground in Scotland illuminates the past and rekindles great memories, nowhere more so than at Dens Park.
Words and photographs by Stephen Dunn
Wee Jim’s huge legacy
As a young player at Dundee United I was privileged to get pep talks from the late, great McLean. Beneath the flinty exterior was a visionary who cared about individuals.
By Craig Easton
Celtic – an era in three legends
Between 1945 and 1965 the Glasgow giant was often sleeping, though occasionally dazzling. A trio of men played key roles in the topsy-turvy years that would change the club’s fortunes.
By Scott Fleming
The mother of all hang-ups
The rough and ready facilities and manners of the old football grounds may be a distant memory, but the embarrassment of going to the football with your mum in those days feels as bright and fresh as ever and can still make a grown man cringe.
By Donald Walker
Haribo and history lessons
My young son’s football initiation has been disrupted like so much else this year but at least he has been able to relish a tour of the three Hampdens.
By James Morgan
Ghosts in the Maryhill mist
Firhill may be empty, but a forebear’s deeds on the pitch bring the place to life as if by magic, and remind us what we are all missing.
By Kenny Pieper
Laid-back but sharp as a tack
Russell Latapy lit up Scottish football for over a decade, bringing joy to fans and delight to his teammates through an irrepressible love of the game and of life.
By Sean Cole
Top of the league across the ages
A member of the elite One Thousand Club and an all-time cult hero, Graeme Armstrong’s remarkable career is studded with stand-out moments and his record may never be beaten.
By Colin McPherson
Wenger’s one-Scot shop
Long before his arrival at Arsenal, the rookie French manager’s first foreign signing had been a youngster from Aberdeen. Strap in for Ray Stephen’s remarkable ride from Deeside to a dressing room with Maradona, and back again.
By Cameron Pope
International man of mystery
David Johnson, born in Jamaica, came so close to being Scotland’s first black player in more than a century. It still pains Craig Brown, then national manager, that it didn’t work out for the striker.
By Kevin McAllion
How Lambert’s Well spring watered Dortmund dream
The former Scotland midfielder recalls the Fir Park side’s UEFA Cup tie against the German giants that would eventually earn him a sensational move.
By Andy Ross
Long distance love that defies the odds
Dad and I missed witnessing Hibs’ 2016 Cup glory in person. Not because we live 400 miles away, we just didn’t want to curse them.
By Jack Taylor
Goals galore in Hibs’ golden (half) season
Hibs were unplayable in the first half of the 1972/73 season as O’Rourke, Cropley, Stanton and the rest strutted their stuff. The shock of their fall is still horribly memorable.
By Stephen Walsh
For the love of an old lady
A Carlisle-born passion for Italy and la dolce vita led to many great experiences, but few as memorable and emotive as that time, in 1974, when Juventus came to Easter Road.
By John Irving
Glory and tragedy of a pint-sized striker supreme
A hundred years ago the legendary Scot made his professional debut. He inspired Newcastle United to their last league title but could not cope with his own drink-fuelled decline.
By Harry Pearson
United we stand, derided we fall
It’s quite something for your football club’s name to have become synonymous with the word for an idiot in Africa’s most populous nation, but how on earth did this laughable state of affairs come about?
By Liam Kirkaldy
From Jim Baxter in Black Watch regalia to a beat poet Jinky Johnstone, two books spring the Old Firm from archive to page in photographs unchanged and seldom seen since the day they were taken.
By Daniel Gray
Romanov and the Riccarton Three
When Steven Pressley, Paul Hartley and Craig Gordon took a stand against the Lithuanian owner of Hearts, they launched not just a player revolt but a long-running battle for the very soul of the club.
By Martin Greig
Elgin’s radical left-half
William Leslie had bigger things than football on his mind when he stowed away to Petrograd – meeting Lenin. A conscientious objector and socialist, he always played by his own rules.
By Daniel Gray
Red and green
John McNamara Snr, who graced both Celtic and Hibs, was unusual among 1970s footballers in voicing his family’s left-wing convictions.
By Craig Stephen
Fogged up windows
The double whammy of Covid and Brexit has wreaked havoc on player recruitment. More Scots will probably get the chance to play in England but beyond the short term, transfer uncertainty reigns both ways.
By Greg Gordon
Dark days, tunnel vision
Rows over restructuring and demotions, against a backdrop of economic crisis, have echoes of 1974/75. Then as now, the good of the wider game was overlooked and players’ voices were mostly ignored.
By Iain Hepburn
The silence of the fans
Football matches without supporters are eerily soulless occasions, but, as the experience at East End Park demonstrates, they also serve to remind us of the crucial bonds that exist between clubs and communities.
By Robert Westcott
The world’s fastest boot left kicking its heels
Endorsed by Pelé, an innovative new football brand looked set to revolutionise the game from the ground up, but in a market dominated by the duopoly of Adidas and Nike, it was never a level playing field.
By Alexis James
Scottish exports at heart of McMillwall’s dockland history
The south-east London club drew many of its early players from north-east Scotland, and the Caledonian bond grew strong – down to team colours. But ‘The Jocks’ have enjoyed mixed fortunes over the years.
By Neil Andrews
Five fabulous years with Georgians on our minds
Dundee, Rangers and the whole of Scottish football were the beneficiaries of a mini-Caucasian influx around the turn of this century. They brought colour and quality.
By Roddy Cairns
Flair and flaws of The Doc’s remedies
Tommy Docherty allowed himself to become an almost cartoonish figure but that should not detract from his exciting revivals of both Chelsea and Manchester United.
By Jon Spurling
When The Doc lost out to The Lawman
Tommy Docherty and Denis Law once enjoyed a fruitful relationship at both Manchester United and Scotland. It unravelled painfully in the courts.
By Gordon McKay
Debut Scots undone by Swiss cheese defence
A 7-0 hammering by Uruguay at the 1954 World Cup set the tone for decades of national humiliation to follow.
By Ross Kilvington
Cruyff’s Scottish turns
The Dutch superstar played four competitive games in Scotland, and I was lucky enough to see one of them. Incredibly, he was even approached by Dumbarton.
By Andy Bollen
East Kilbride keep their eye on the prize
Kilby fans have had some memorable moments in the club’s short life – not least that cup tie with Celtic – but rising into the SPFL is the town’s overarching goal.
By Craig Anderson
Unsung exporters of Scots spirit
Tommy Turpentine in Italy and Ingram Parfitt in Venezuela both deserve to be better known for their overseas feats.
By Duncan McCoshan
Who tops the Letdown League?
Football disappointment comes in many guises, often in the last minute – from missed trophies and promotions to hair’s-breadth relegations. We exclusively reveal Scotland’s most gut-wrenching team.
By Jon Davey
Six of the best: St Mirren
By John Devlin
Shin Guards Clasped in Prayer by Stephen Watt
Fitba’ Frae Ma Livin’ Room by Giancarlo Rinaldi