Welcome to Issue 8
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A bounce game
By Daniel Gray

A class act
Three decades after his appointment as national team coach was greeted by many with bemusement, former school headmaster Andy Roxburgh is still doing what he does best: educating. By Joel Sked

McIlvanney’s World Cup
William McIlvanney, who died in 2015, left us one of the most illuminating pieces of writing on the experience of being part of the Tartan Army in Argentina for the 1978 World Cup, in Surviving The Shipwreck, a collection of essays by the noted novelist, short story writer and poet. This extract from the chapter Journeys of the Magi was written before Scotland’s final game against The Netherlands.

How 1978 changed me
Following Scotland’s fortunes in Argentina as a nine-year-old taught me a lot, both about football and about life. By Bernard Thompson

“So Willie, Argentina…”
He was hung out to dry by the SFA, but ‘Bud’ was one of the finest players of his era, not just the man sent home in disgrace from the World Cup in 1978. By Maurice Smith

Don’t shoot the messenger. The first football analyst was a pioneer 50 years ahead of his time
Charles Reep’s findings brought success but have been discredited by critics working to their own agendas. By Alan Campbell

Scouts’ honour
The years when every top English side had a nucleus of world-class Scottish players is due in no small part to two ‘super scouts’. John Barr and Jimmy Dickie were rivals competing for talent north of the border but their friendship and integrity was paramount. By Greg Gordon

The God squad player
If you think that religion has only ever been a negative force in Scottish football you’ve never met Mark Fleming. By Heather McKinlay

Weise words
Markus Weise is the man with the plan at the Deutscher Fußball-Bund. Who is he, what impact will his DFB Academy have, and what can Scotland learn from him? Nutmeg went to Frankfurt to find out. By Robert McCunn

Forget 4-4-2. 60-30-10 will win you the World Cup
Does J Richard Hackman, professor of social and organizational psychology, hold the key to creating a wining team? By Paul Grech

My Love Street affair with tom Hendrie’s Super Saints
How the 1999/2000 Buddies upset the odds to win the First Division. By David Christie

The rebirth of the buddies
How a shift towards fan ownership, Jack Ross and a four-inch drum saved St Mirren from an existential crisis. By Daniel Morrow

We’ll always have Oswestry
Dumbarton are still waiting for cup success after their first final in 121 years, but the journey was emotional and memorable. By Andrew Galloway

The diddy dream of a diddy team lifting a diddy cup
Recalling Dumbarton’s journey to the Irn Bru Cup Final and the club’s first chance to win silverware in more than a century. By Stephen Watt, Dumbarton FC Poet-In-Residence

Photo essay: First time I saw you.
Seeing a football ground for the first time is bliss. Words by Daniel Gray. Photographs by Alan McCredie.

From the shadows
England, Germany and Spain all have a former under-21 coach in charge of the senior side. With a hugely-impressive record in management, will Scot Gemmill’s turn come soon? By Richard Winton

How Blatter paused the video
VAR will be making its debut at the World Cup in Russia. Had it not been for Sepp Blatter, it might have been in operation a lot earlier. By Archie Macpherson

‘Get the Eck out of here’
Scotland manager Alex McLeish has come full circle but his troubled times in charge of Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest dealt a severe blow to his reputation. By Sean Cole

Football’s ‘It’s A Knockout’
The Home Championships were as quintessentially Seventies as Porridge, Are You Being Served and The Sex Pistols. By Gordon Cairns

What if… Alex Smith had played 4-3-3 at Ibrox?
It was almost the most remarkable title chase in decades, and it could have changed the course of Scottish football. 1990-91: Aberdeen’s ‘what-if’ season. By Thom Watt

Ode to Paddy, the Derry Pele
McCourt’s moment of magic lights up an ugly, low-key League of Ireland clash and reminds us of a rare, mercurial, unpredictable talent. By Ross McIndoe

God Bless Marvin Andrews
‘Super Marv’ is regarded as a cult hero in just about every club he played for. And there have been plenty, in a remarkable playing career sustained by his religious beliefs. By Graeme Kilgour

Nevin rolls back the Chelsea years
My peak years as a Chelsea fan overlapped with Pat Nevin’s stay at Stamford Bridge. The player now says ‘it was a brilliant time for me’. It was for me too. By Sam Phipps

Tackling betting corruption is no easy fix
Bent games are rare and difficult to detect, but tennis is trying to address problems from the bottom up, and football should take heed. By Greg Gordon

The referee is forever a w*nker… and that stinks
From Under-8s school games right up to Champions League, football both creates and sustains an omnipresent culture of rudeness at best, abusive bullying at worst. By John Nicholson

The Fans Fought the Law… and the Fans Won
The scrapping of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act was celebrated by fans as enthusiastically as a cup final victory. By Andrew McFadyen

Now what? Doing nothing is not an option
Survey findings suggest strict liability – making clubs accountable for their fans’ actions – might be the answer after the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. By Steven Lawther

First Tango in Paris
One useful leveller on the day was the warm-up; due to the lengthy World Cup opening ceremony, both sets of players had to warm-up in the changing rooms and there wasn’t time for any ground staff in Paris to water the pitch. By Mike Gibbons

The mother of all Battles of Britain?
The meeting of Celtic and Liverpool in the Uefa Cup semi-final 15 years ago is unlikely to be forgotten by anybody who witnessed it. By Ronnie McCluskey

Seduction of a prince
How Hibs signed Gordon Smith – the Prince of Wingers – from under Hearts’ noses. Written by Mark Poole. Illustrated by David Manion

Big Welshie’s vision for U.S. soccer
Brian Welsh has come a long way from the school of hard knocks at Dundee United under Jim McLean. But his football philosophy remains firmly rooted in Scottish working-class values. By Bryan Kay

Eastern promise
Not many Scottish players have braved the move to the Thai League, but the few who have tell of a fascinating experience. By Paul Murphy

Uppin heaven
The season is heading towards its climax. And with it the race is on to discover the truth behind the mysterious goings-on which have engulfed the team from a small village near Falkirk. Who will emerge as heroes or villains as Uppin FC hurtle towards their day of destiny? Manager Paul Deacon concludes the story. By Colin McPherson

Stadium architects: The “Wizard of the Blueprint”
The visionary work of Robertson McVitie dazzled boardmembers from Arbroath to Avignon. By Duncan McCoshan

Scotland’s World Cup history in eight strips
From a heavy-duty look in 1954 to a retina-challenging amber in 1998. By John Devlin

Poetry
Silver fox  By Stuart Paterson
So what’s it called? By Jim Mackintosh