Welcome to Issue 9
The off season
By Daniel Gray
Love and devotion at Cliftonhill
Coatbridge’s old lady of a football ground is knocking on her first century not out. Photographs by Iain McLean. Words by Daniel Gray.
The wind-up merchant
Football administrator Bryan Jackson made his name rescuing clubs facing up winding-up orders from the taxman. The experience provided plenty of material for his clever comedy which ran at the Fringe Festival.
By Maurice Smith
The other side of the taskmaster
Archie Knox is renowned as one of football’s hard men: a training ground sergeant major. But he was also a tactician and analyst who was years ahead of his time.
By Greg Gordon
Russia 2018 was a month-long demonstration of marketing best practice. Meanwhile, back in Scotland …
By Gordon Sheach
Grabbing fans by the Moneyballs
Clubs should see themselves as ’identity companies’ and players should have ‘key identifiers’. Who says US soccer isn’t changing the game?
By Angus Cochrane
What is Doctor McCall doing at the Emirates?
Scot Alan McCall has been a key signing for Arsenal as head of research and development
By Robert McCunn
A game changer
Pro Evolution Soccer’s latest bid to compete with video game frontrunner FIFA involves capturing the ‘passion and prowess’ of the SPFL. Will it work?
By Craig Shields
Knowing the score
Jim Goodwin transformed Alloa after a 5-2 defeat – and high flying Albion crashed and burned.
By Greg Gordon
Farewell to ‘The great man’
That’s how Harry Davis was known by locals in Gairloch where he settled after his exploits with Rangers and with the Black Watch in Korea. Rarely has an epitaph been more deserving.
By Alan Pattullo
Living the Dark Blue dream
Craig Robertson had to pinch himself when he got the chance to play for boyhood heroes Dundee in their hour of need but he rose to the occasion, and even had the chance to crown his brief stint with a glorious winner.
By Grant Hill
The boy with the world at his feet
Ally Dick’s talent took him to Wembley, Spurs and Ajax but a catalogue of injuries and a lack of commitment meant his promise was never fulfilled.
By Mark Godfrey
The real Big Jim Holton
He is a fondly-remembered iconic figure. But he didn’t have blue eyes, he might not even have been 6ft 2in – and he certainly wasn’t Lucky Jim.
By Colin Leslie
Ottershaw found, alive and well
The spirit of The Barnstoneworth United Social Club, as created by Michael Palin and Terry Jones, lives on.
Words by Daniel Gray. Photographs by Alan McCredie.
What if… the other Fergie had scored
How an incorrect offside decision stopped Dundee United winning two cup finals in the space of four days.
By Graeme Webster
And now, before we join Phil and Aly at the Fruitmarket …
Hogmanay wouldn’t be the same without McAvennie, Souness, Chick Young et al joining in the party.
By Iain Hepburn
Pitch and putt
King Kenny is always looking for partners and Shevchenko struck out on the Challenge Tour.
By Ed Hodge
Elgin City and the title that got away
It is time to right the wrongs of 25 years ago when the Highland League was rocked by a ‘fixture-rigging scandal’.
By Alex Schweitzer-Thompson
Oh Bondage, Up Yours!
Bondage trousers, punk, detention and a bluenose pal in the 70s.
By David F Ross
Steve Nicol has never forgotten his first club, who were so near yet so far from promotion and a cup final.
By Bryan Kay
The power and the glory
Jimmy Bone crowned an unforgettable year in Zambia when he led Power Dynamos to the African Cup Winners’ Cup.
By Andrew Jenkin
Why we should give summer football the cold shoulder
Footballer and blogger David Weatherston reckons we can learn from our cousins in Norway but, Scotland should not make the break from the traditional winter season.
Welcome to the plastic revolution
So what’s it like when it’s your club’s turn to abandon their grass surface? A Raith fan’s eye view.
By Graeme Kilgour
There may be trouble ahead…
The development of young players is a delicate balancing act.
By Neil Gibson
22 years of hurt, hope and occasional hysteria
There’s been Gazza at Wembley, Tommy Boyd in Paris, dismal Hampden occasions against Baltic states. And then there’s been McFadden and Griffiths screamers . . .
By Scott Fleming
The 1980 Wembley Wizards
England 4 Scotland 5: A breathtaking encounter from start to finish as the nations’ schoolboy stars went head to head.
By Tom Brogan
The glory of the Kirin Cup
A trophy is a trophy and, in 2006, Scotland lifted one in Japan.
By Euan McTear
The Battle of Celtic Park
The SPFL are still running scared of a repeat of the explosive 1998/99 Old Firm title decider.
By Stephen O’Donnell
How a lifelong love of Celtic – and an affair with Stirling Albion – shaped my life.
By Kevin Graham
Spartans by name spartan by nature
A no-nonsense Saturday afternoon at Ainslie Park is a different world, and all the better for it.
By John Nicholson
Kartoffel and Karotte, or a cold night at Cappielow?
What delivers the better matchday experience: a midweek Renfrewshire derby or a pleasant day out at Mainz v Hamburg?
By Robin Lawson
Relegation? It’s a lot better than obliteration
Despite relegation from the Premiership, Partick Thistle fans still have a spring in their step 20 years after the club almost went out of existence.
By Kenny Pieper
I can’t help it – Hibs are in my blood
A family’s love of the Leith club spans the generations.
By Richard Payne
The Dons and my dad: A shared love
Treasured memories of family, football and Aberdeen’s glory days.
By Derek R Brown
Putting the beauty into the beautiful game
How Tifos and Dolly Digital are brightening up the game.
By Mark Gordon
Rampant Lions, Thistles and Billy the Fish
The history and mystery surrounding club badges.
By Martyn Routledge and Elspeth Wills
Town That Lives And Breathes Football. By Stephen Watt
Arthur Montford said… By Al McClimens
Poetry’s cancelled tonight hurray! By Sam Phipps