Welcome to Issue 20
You can order it here
By Daniel Gray
Natural born leader
When Andy Robertson captains Scotland at Hampden Park in their opener against the Czech Republic, he will be tapping into the wisdom of Dalglish and the love of his late auntie Vera.
By Kenny Millar
Scotland’s Swedish caper
Games against Germany, Holland and the former USSR were always going to be tough but Andy Roxburgh’s team were a credit to the nation in Euro ’92.
By Daniel Gray
A Journey to the End of Time
Most Scottish clubs stand to gain from an exciting new era that combines localism, hi-tech and tougher competition. We can finally shake off the old myths, if we dare.
By Stuart Cosgrove
Super League fiasco a spur to our survival?
Questions of structure and governance arising from the ill-fated European project are highly relevant to our own game.
By Stephen Morrow
Bigger dreams, fairer shares
Predictability is stifling our top league and widening wealth disparities all the way down. A larger first tier, with a shake-up of gate receipts, would liven up the game and enable smaller clubs to thrive.
By Mark Poole
On the river to resurrection
It may be less than a decade since Rangers FC were up Schitt’s Creek without a paddle, and there’s been a lot of white water under the bridge since then, but look how clear and blue it is now.
By Alasdair McKillop
Close calls and long shots
Photographing Rangers supporters on their journey from bottom tier to peak of the top has brought its fair share of thrills and risks.
Words and photographs by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.
Blessing and curse of gifted kit
Little do small children know what lies in store in the years ahead when they unwrap that first strip and smile for the camera.
By David Windram
A light that never goes out
You might have wandered off and missed some of your childhood club’s defining moments, but a return to the fold is the perfect way to reconnect with lost loved ones.
By Hannah Westwater
Hotshot Lorimer had the lot
There was far more to the legendary Leeds and Scotland striker’s goals than mere power. But that would have been enough.
By Patrick Barclay
Silent Fir Park echoes with spirit of St John
How poignant to watch Motherwell play in a near-empty stadium days after the death of arguably their greatest ever player. I was lucky to catch him in his Ancell Babes prime.
By Gavin Bell
When Falconer brought Boro within a supersave of first Major cup final
The Aberdonian recalls how Peter Schmeichel thwarted his dead-cert header in a pulsating League Cup semi-final second leg at Old Trafford.
By David Hearn
Gallus entertainer with magic in his boots
Alfie Conn was worshipped at Spurs, sideburns and all, then vilified for crossing the Rangers-Celtic divide. Today he prefers the quiet life but his mystique endures.
By Andy Bollen
John Gorman, the Carlisle years
Beginning at Celtic and ending at Spurs, the left back had many of his finest moments with the Cumbrian club, famously helping them to the summit, however briefly, of the English game.
By John Irving
Qatar can’t be condoned with a clear conscience
Even if we do qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and all fingers are crossed, we really shouldn’t go. The human cost of participation is too high, and what a brave example we could make by staying away.
By Chris Sweeney
How to cut congestion on the pitch
Faster, fitter, stronger but is football really more exciting? The time has come to think about reducing teams to 10 or even nine players. Bear with me.
By Forbes Inglis
Scots wha hae at St James’ Park
A funding drive for a Burns statue in Newcastle nearly a century ago led to a remarkable series of charity matches between Scottish players based on both sides of the Border.
By Harry Pearson
First-class speed and quality of Sporting Post
For decades Dundee’s football-daft Saturday newspaper enthralled fans and players alike – within half an hour of the final whistle. It was a privilege to work for the legendary publication.
By Craig Millar
Happy days in the Pink
Working as a matchday photographer on Edinburgh’s Saturday evening sports paper was frenetic, intoxicating and often deeply satisfying.
By Colin McPherson
Confessions of a fanzine editor
We thought we were changing the world with our inkjet printers, scissors and sticky tape, and maybe we did just a little.
By Giancarlo Rinaldi
It’s been nearly 20 years since DC Thomson’s football picture story comics last hit the news-stands but their spirit and allure live on for fans and collectors.
By Kevin McAllion
Relegation to rebirth: A year in the life of the Jags
Perhaps no other Scottish club has been hit quite so hard by Covid-19 but as the pandemic finally eases, a bright, fan-owned future beckons for the Maryhill Jags.
By Scott Fleming
Lost routines, unheard voices
Clubs have received plenty of attention and support in this brutal year, and rightly so. But the fans who keep them going have had to handle the shock more or less alone.
By Kris Johnston
Meadowbank Thistle grabbed me from afar
For all I knew, their stadium held tens of thousands of swaying fans. The reality only hooked me more. Looking back, I loved the Edinburgh club most when they were being hammered.
By Mike Nevin
How Park covered every blade of grass
In a career spanning almost 50 years, including coaching some of Scotland’s finest players, Donald Park has kept up with change, and helped drive it.
By Greg Gordon
Star players and weak links
Teams are more likely to thrive if they can raise the quality of their lesser players rather than work from the top down.
By Paul Grech
A good man in Africa
Legendary Dons keeper Bobby Clark once held the world record for consecutive match-time minutes without conceding a goal, but many of his fondest memories are saved for the time he spent coaching Highlanders in Zimbabwe.
By Stephen Walsh
Guns, games and get me home!
Ayr United’s flying visit to Nigeria in 1976 was an eye-opener for all concerned. As pre-season warm-ups go, this must have been among the hottest ever experienced by a Scottish club.
By Mike Wilson
Great British kick-off
Can a Home Nations women’s team heal the historical wounds of the troubled joint venture in Tokyo this summer?
By Steve Menary
No direction home for Bully Wee
Clyde have had to shuffle around Glasgow and Lanarkshire for more than three decades. If only their directors had shown more vision and ambition.
By Gordon Cairns
Big mouth strikes again, and again
Kenny Shiels demanded Kilmarnock shake off their Old Firm inferiority complex. They obliged in trophy-winning fashion but ultimately his bluntness would become self-defeating.
By Andy Ross
How Barca’s greatest team was baptised in St Andrews
New boss Pep Guardiola took the Catalans to the east coast town for pre-season training in 2008, Messi and all. It paved the way for the most glorious spell in the club’s history.
By Graham Ruthven
Kit and kaboodle
Even the apparently minor accessories of our national game have a proud and unique history that stretches back almost to pre-history.
By Duncan McCoshan
Too few trophies for comfort
Which clubs vie for Scotland’s underachievement league title? Many factors have to be taken into account but it is possible to arrive at some (almost) scientific results.
By Jon Davey
Six of the best: Motherwell
This edition of Six of the Best has undoubtedly been the most difficult to produce due to the sheer glut of superb strips Motherwell have worn over the years. Still, despite this challenge, here’s our final selection.
By John Devlin
The hand of David by Jim Mackintosh
Football field work by Colin Atkinson