Welcome to Issue 21
You can order it here
By Daniel Gray
Reasons to be (slightly) cheerful
Okay so we didn’t exactly cover ourselves in glory at the Euros and, at the time of writing, who knows about Qatar. But with Steve Clarke at the helm there are plenty of positives to be taken from the summer’s exploits.
By Hugh MacDonald
French lessons helped turn Gilmour into a star
Scotland’s midfield maestro excelled against England at Wembley but that was no surprise to those who had seen him in action at the Toulon tournament aged 16. By Kenny Millar
Sad sweet ghosts
Robert Perry’s photographs of goalposts on blaes pitches are a portal into the vanished world of his childhood.
By Peter Ross
Searching for a gateway to the past
Glasgow’s fabled 50 Pitches playing fields may have been consumed by a motorway and business park, but their outline and legacy can still be traced.
By Ginny Clark
Square posts, holy relics
A lifelong obsession with the evolving design and structure of the football goal culminates in a poignant encounter with the old Hampden woodwork in the heart of France.
By David Forrest
Studies suggest there is no difference between injury incidence rates on grass and synthetic surfaces, rather it is their quality and not the type that counts. By Neil Gibson
Ayr United fan Stevie Maguire’s dream job was put on hold after a brain haemorrhage. Now he’s back on the club’s medical team, monitoring the players’ fitness and beating them in volley competitions.
By Heather McKinlay
Playing the pyramid
The development of young talent is being affected by part-time lower league clubs splashing the cash to climb the pyramid. But is an increase in the number of loan deals helping to redress the balance?
By Greg Gordon
Star players out of left field
Tierney and Robertson are among the Scots left-footed players on the rise. Is it genes, environment or just luck?
By Colin Moran
Fans with microphones
Starting a match-day TV service up from scratch was no easy task, but volunteer streaming operations have been a ratings hit with supporters.
By Tom Brogan
The short last act of Johnny Cochrane
The Scot hailed as “one of the most famous men in football management in the world” gave Sunderland their glory days, but his managerial career ended in peculiar circumstances at Elm Park.
By Harry Pearson
Cook’s recipe for Dens disaster
Dundee fans welcomed the local entrepreneur with open arms when he took over the club in the 1980s. But his big-spending promises came to nothing and an attempt to take over United sealed his fate.
By Grant Hill
Raiders of the lost ball
Former Hibs striker Colin Grant’s career was the perfect preparation for an Indiana Jones-style showdown on the Old Course at St Andrews.
By Tom Grant
Old Firm détente
When a combined Celtic and Rangers team prepared to take on Dynamo Moscow in 1965, it seemed the Cold War itself might thaw. And then Hampden froze over.
By Michael Gallagher
Saint counts his treble cup blessings
David Wotherspoon’s route to St Johnstone mainstay was anything but easy. It has made the midfielder appreciate his hometown club’s historic Scottish and League Cup successes even more.
By Ed Hodge
Survivor of an unlucky treble
Three cruciate ligament operations might have put an end to Lewis Vaughan’s playing days, but the Raith striker is made of sterner stuff.
By Martin Domin
A striking contribution
Paul McKnight may only have played a cameo in St Mirren’s league-winning season at the start of the century, but there’s no doubting he stole the show.
By Craig Ritchie
When Rino met Walter
Gattuso only spent a year with Rangers, but having arrived in Glasgow as a 19-year-old lad, he left the city as a man, and his course was set.
By Franco Ficetola
How Hibs’ Bermudan import was scotched
In 1981 the Easter Road club were intent on signing their first black player. Ricky Hill, who arrived in the UK on trial, looks back at how he had to contend with the coldest December for 100 years.
By Colin Leslie
Fairer game, richer pickings
Scottish football must harness the post-Covid spirit of unison and share revenue more evenly. That will create a virtuous circle that could once again make us the envy of the world.
By Alan Russell
Defeat impossible back in Theatre of Dreams
Returning to Palmerston Park after almost 18 months away felt special. For once, the result felt almost irrelevant amid the sense of community revival.
By Giancarlo Rinaldi
How Gable Enders rocked Rangers
Few gave Montrose much chance against Rangers in the League Cup semi-final of 1975. But the men from Angus led the eventual treble winners at half-time. They almost edged Hearts in a marathon Scottish Cup tie that year to boot.
By Craig Stephen
Elgin’s far out north-south fusion
The Moray club have always relied on a good dose of Central Belters to add savvy to the mix, including the likes of Jimmy Johnstone. They, like the more local players, have to get used to marathon journeys on a regular basis.
By Alex Schweitzer-Thompson
Many happy returns
After months of online feeds, radio commentaries and television highlights, the turnstiles were clacking again. It was good to be back.
Words by Daniel Gray. Photographs by Alan McCredie
You only win when you’re singing
Pop music and football have a tempestuous relationship: sometimes inspired (World in Motion), sometimes dire (World Cup Willie). What do football-loving musicians feel about the links between the two cultures?
By Stephen Watt
Tiny Changes, huge impact
Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit is still mourned. But a charity founded by his family has teamed up with Bands FC to raise big sums, and awareness, in support of young people’s mental health.
By Andy Ross
A north wind of change
League restructure gives geographically remote clubs the opportunity and the incentive to climb the Scottish pyramid.
By Mark Poole
Pull of Kintyre
The logistics of playing football for (and against) Campbeltown are daunting to say the least, but for this proud and well-loved community club, the only way is up.
By John McCallum
Dons’ draw with Bayern the stuff of P5 dreams
When the German giants came to Pittodrie in the UEFA Cup in 2008, I was a young schoolboy and lapped up every minute with my brother and Dad.
By Euan Lownie
Subtle game of picking sides
Who to back after your favourite team? That’s a question of personal history, aesthetic judgment and fluctuating context. Yes, even England can get my vote. By Jon Davey
Sharp shooter’s American dream
From coalminer to owner of Fort Lauderdale Sun, Ronnie Sharp’s career was laced with goals, scandal and non-stop gambling.
By David Allan
How Hogan’s way helped breed Lisbon Lions
Celtic owe a widely travelled Irishman more than is commonly realised for the mark he left on Jock Stein, via the pioneering coaching culture that created the legendary Hungarian team of the 1950s.
By Andrew McFadyen
A Winters tale
Leaving Pittodrie for Norway might have seemed an odd move for the Dons striker, but it proved a great success.
By Roddy Cairns
The Stark supremacy
He scored four goals on his debut and 67 in a single season. Was Archie Stark, who played for Pennsylvania team Bethlehem Steel, the ultimate Scottish export?
By Cameron Pope
The best managers we never had
“Gaffers” – can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Here’s a trio of less well-known coaches who have “graced” the Scottish game.
By Duncan McCoshan
A global quest to collect an international football shirt for every country in the world became a seven-year-long journey with many heart-warming stories along the way.
By Sean Cole
Six of the best: St Johnstone
2020–21 has been a superb season for Perth’s finest and the kit they wore during the campaign alongside five others from their past come under the microscope here.
By John Devlin
Two-footed tackle by Stephen Watt
Wha wha jeezo by Jim Mackintosh
A Hebridean catch by Sam Phipps
Equaling the score by Janet Crawford