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Q John Heeger asks: “Which former Man Utd defender took over from Alex Ferguson as East Stirling coach in November 1974?"

A Ah, the old Firs Park/Old Trafford connection obviously runs deep. The man you’re looking for is Ian Ure. The former Scotland centre-half had a distinguished career as a player. He was an ever-present in Dundee’s title-winning side in 1962 before a big-money move to Arsenal at the end of the following season. After six years at Highbury he rounded off his career by moving to Old Trafford in 1969, retiring two seasons later. Perhaps surprisingly he was only capped eleven times. Then again, his rivals for the Scotland centre-half berth included Billy McNeill, Ronnie McKinnon, Jackie McGrory and Ron Yeats. (what price that kind of choice today?). It was also a surprise that he played professionally at all, having played rugby as a schoolboy. A “blond colossus” is how Dundee’s official history describes him.

Although ‘Shire didn’t perform too badly during his brief spell as boss, Ure didn’t remain there long, being succeeded by Dan McLindon in 1975.

Q Sakri4 asks: “When did Scotland last lose 5-0 before the game in Paris?”

A In a World Cup qualifier in Portugal in April 1993. This was Scotland’s worst ever qualifying campaign (yes, worse than 2002). Although unbeaten at home, the only sides we beat in the group were Estonia and Malta. Scotland finished 4th. Italy and Switzerland qualified with Portugal in 3rd. The Scotland team humiliated in Lisbon was: Goram, Gough, McInally, McPherson, McKimmie, Levein (Nevin), McStay, McCall, McCoist, Collins (Durrant), Gallacher.

That line-up looks a lot stronger than the current team so maybe that 5-0 drubbing against the World Champions isn’t quite so bad when viewed in perspective.

Q Andy4362 wants to know: “How many teams from outside the top division have reached the League Cup Final?”

A There was a flurry from Fife in the early days of the competition. ‘B’ Division East Fife won the trophy in 1947-48 and in the following two seasons Raith Rovers and Dunfermline from the same division were losing Finalists. Kilmarnock in 1953 and Morton in 1964 were also unsuccessful Finalists from the lower league.

Since the Premier Division started in 1975 Dundee have achieved this status twice (1981 and 1996) and of course Ayr United this season. Raith Rovers in 1995 joined their fellow Fifers as winners. So, in total seven teams on nine occasions with two winners.
However, the achievements of Dundee, Ayr and especially Raith in the past decade are of a different order from before. These teams have all had to get there in an era of seeded draws whereas previously no lower league side came up against a top division team until the last eight at least.

Q In a similar vein Boabzburd wants to know: “ When was the last time, before this year, that there were two non-Premier Scottish Cup semi-finalists in the same season?”

A Strictly speaking, never. Since the inception of the Premier there have always been at least three semi-finalists from that division. But if you mean from outside the top division, then the last time it happened was in 1938. East Fife and the long-gone Edinburgh team St Bernard’s were the sides in question. They were drawn together in one semi-final while Kilmarnock and Rangers met in the other. It took three games at Tynecastle in front of a total crowd of almost 100,000 before the Fife team won through to the Final where they defeated Kilmarnock in a replay.

Q From Michael Dedeyne: "Can you please inform if Celtic Glasgow is playing at home on march 16th? Would it be possible for 3 Belgian fans to find tickets for this match or are the Celtic games always sold out in advance?"

A Celtic are at home on that date against Dundee United in a league match. They usually play in front of over 58,000 in their 60,000 seater stadium. Most of these supporters have season tickets so places are scarce. I suggest you contact the Celtic ticket office on their website. Most Scottish clubs are happy to accommodate visitors from abroad if given enough notice.

Q Graeme Clive of the Mental T-Shirts company asks: "Where can I find photos of old Scotland international matches, especially v England in 1967? I want to print them on t-shirts. I enjoyed the site, particularly QOS 3 Celtic 2 in 1934. I always thought it was 1932. My grandfather, who is still alive, was at the match!"

A Thanks for the kind words, Graeme. Perhaps the best place to start is ebay. You'll have to register. More specifically, there's the Programme Monthly and Football Collectibles website. Bidfootball is a new site. Or for a list of memorabilia sites in general, try here.

Regarding the game your Granddad was at, it took place on Aug 12th 1933 and was QOS's first ever match in the top flight. Their only competitive home game against Celtic prior to this was a drawn Scottish Cup tie in 1927.

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