Welcome to Issue 22
Programmes are sacred
By Daniel Gray
Walter’s way with decency
The late Rangers legend exuded a rare integrity that endeared him to the game almost as much as his lavish haul of trophies.
By Alasdair McKillop
Miller’s tale of unsung success
The former St Mirren and Hibs manager deserves more credit for his notable roles with Liverpool and Scotland. He was ahead of his time as a coach, and still pays his way into games.
By Greg Gordon
Scotland’s unsung globetrotter
Danny McLennan managed Iran, Iraq, Rhodesia, Mauritius, Libya and the Philippines. The former East Fife player also coached in India, Norway, Tanzania, Malawi, Malta…
By Harry Pearson
Raith’s managerial misery-go-round
It did not take long for Stark’s Park to swap the glory of the Jimmy Nicholl era for onfield decline and boardroom farce, including the six-day fiasco of Tommy McLean’s tenure.
By Andy Ross
Only an independent board, free from the club grievances that bedevil our game, can hope to make the changes that will bring vital new investment.
By Maurice Smith
Not just the ticket
Pushed by the pandemic to go digital first, Scotland’s football clubs can now take advantage of new commercial and community opportunities.
By Duncan McKay
Grounds for excitement
Trawling through press photographs of Scottish matchday stadiums since the 1950s has been a privilege. The most evocative have sparked memories that also feature in my books.
By Steve Finan
When the New Firm lost their shine
The 1990s were an era of decline for Dundee United and Aberdeen, yet sprinkled with unforgettable moments. So, ‘a bloody terrifying experience’ or ‘not a bad laugh’?
By Scott Fleming
Football’s loss, rugby’s gain
Sheila Begbie had an outstanding career as a player – including a San Siro goal for Scotland at 16 – then a leading role at the SFA. But it was the oval ball game that allowed her to flourish.
By Ginny Clark
Right royal European night
Forty years ago United hit five goals away to Monaco. Sturrock ran rampant, and he was not the only one to excel in the principality.
By Mark Poole
A strike among strikes
The 1921 Scottish Cup Final was a low-key affair amid Glasgow’s bitter industrial action. But the one-nil win remains the Jags’ proudest moment.
By Kenny Pieper
Little’s huge contribution
Scotland’s dynamo of a creative midfielder played 140 times for her country and drove the team to new heights, including at Euro and World Cup level, and even beating Brazil.
By Chris Marshall
Christy Grimshaw is relishing life with AC Milan, and that includes seeing the legendary defender around the place.
By Mark Gordon
The Pars’ Captain Fantastic
He’s still the only captain of Dunfermline Athletic who can say ‘we’d have beaten Barcelona in the final’. It’s no wonder European memories still excite Roy Barry.
By Ronnie Kerr
The mighty McIlmoyle
The Port Glasgow marksman began the first full season in his triple career at Carlisle in the lowest division and ended his last in the top one.
By John Irving
Jonatan Johansson grew up fast in Glasgow and won a domestic treble with Rangers, before excelling at Charlton Athletic. Still hungry as a manager, he dreams of working in Scotland again one day.
By Sean Cole
Haunted by a trio of setbacks
Alan Brazil, son of Hibs hero ‘Benny’, grew up with football in his veins and thrived for Arbroath. But a series of crushing disappointments have left him trapped in the past.
By Scott Coull
Class goalie who was scapegoated
Stewart Kennedy excelled for Rangers and Forfar Athletic but too many recall one unlucky game against England.
By Craig Millar
Stunning gifts from Japan
Nakamura did wonders for the bonds between his country and Scotland. Long may the cultural exchange continue to bear fruit.
By George O’Neill
To hell with the Yankee dollar
The idea that the Scottish game can thrive by scaling up into overseas markets is absurd. We need to recognise what we do well and boot out the dead wood.
By Chris Sweeney
Big names and magic boots
Stylo Matchmakers were endorsed by some of the top stars of the 1960s and 1970s, including Best and Pelé. Paul Trevillion, who played a key role, recalls the phenomenon.
By James Morgan
When Raith Rovers were shipwrecked
Almost a century ago the Stark’s Park team were on their way to a summer tour of Spain when their steamer hit rocks off Finisterre. It was not enough to scupper their matches, though.
By Daniel Gray
Tipsters, punters and tricksters
The death last year of Paul Jain, aka Mr Fixit, robbed football of its chief bookie basher. It’s a timely moment to take stock of the game’s betting sub-culture.
By Kevin McAllion
The memorable world of Arthur Montford
The legendary Scotsport presenter lit up the lives of millions of fans with his passion for football and his way with words.
By David Allan
Home truths and snapshots
When Edinburgh City return to the new Meadowbank Stadium early in 2022, it will be a chance to photograph the fans 45 years after I first attended the venue.
Words and photographs by Colin McPherson
’Ton and Thistle’s humdinger of a title race
The Championship duel between West End darlings and dockland underdogs enthralled fans with high drama and stunning football.
By Roddy Cairns
Northern minnows, giant strides
Long before the Faroes Islands played Scotland for the first time, teams from Shetland were making the epic journey, and vice versa. Today one archipelago looks on the other in awe, and a little envy.
By Mark Ryan Smith
Priceless seconds of shared fandom
My father was indifferent to football almost his whole life, including my team, Raith Rovers. But miraculously, his reaction to a winning goal in the Ramsden Cup Final was caught on camera.
By Steven Lawther
San Siro or Stranraer? No-brainer
A quest to see a game in every UEFA nation has thrown up some tricky decisions for two friends but in 2002 they caught a cracker in south-west Scotland.
By Tristan Browning
Rewriting Rangers’ history was an own goal
‘1873’ is erroneously emblazoned on Ibrox and the club’s centenary was wrongly celebrated the year after their 1972 Cup Winners Cup success – all because an author missed his deadline.
By Stephen O’Donnell
“Dixaro” Deans Down Under
The legendary Celtic goal-scorer made a big impression on his Adelaide swan song, winning the Golden Boot in the inaugural season of Australia’s national football competition.
By Jason Goldsmith
Hotshot’s Haifa adventure
When Peter Lorimer answered the call from a leading Israeli club, he was barred from playing, so coached instead. And won lifelong admirers among players and fans.
By Itay Goder
It was the day that changed everything. Not just football. It broke a bond between two lifelong friends, and the way they watched the game together.
A short story by Colin McPherson
A young footballer takes radical action to get her talent noticed.
By Vera Hickey-Fugaccia
The game of passion
Football’s absence made the heart grow fonder. Now we will appreciate going to the match more than ever.
By Moray Bean
An uneasy bargain
A loyal club employee is driven to theft but his choice of object brings no end of trouble.
By Duncan McCoshan
Six of the best: Queen’s Park
In the ever-changing world of fast football fashion where teams progress through an array of colours and styles as the years pass, it’s refreshing to see that the home strips worn by Queen’s Park have never deviated too far from their iconic thin black and white hoops.
By John Devlin
1974: Four Sonnets For Wee Billy and Big Joe by Stephen Walsh
Midweek, winter by Charles Lang