From great games to the game's greats. If
you have a query concerning Scottish football, this is the place
to send it to. We'll answer as many as we can but regret
that we cannot respond individually to requests. So bookmark
this site and look in regularly as questions and answers are frequently
SFAQs? What does that mean?
A FAQs (Frequently Asked
Questions) can be found on many websites, mostly relating to
technical matters and SFA stands for (amongst other things)
Scottish Football Association. So a neat amalgamation of
acronyms gives us SFAQs which means Scottish Football
Answers (to) Questions.
Q "Greetings from Streetsville,
Ontario, Canada. I am trying to find out who the "JAGS"
played on the 12th April 1958 at Firhill. Please can
you help ?
Jimmy Hamilton. S.M.T.F.C.
(Streetsville Meadowvale Thistle Football Club.)
A Im afraid this eleven
lost 1-0 to Celtic Jimmy:
Renucci, Kerr, Baird, Mathers, Davidson, Donlevy, Anderson,
Bell, Keenan, McParland, Ewing.
The defeat left Thistle fourth in the League but they had played
more games than some of the others and ended up in sixth place.
Incidentally, this was the last season that Glasgow fielded six
teams in the top flight. Rangers were 2nd, Celtic 3rd,
Clyde 4th, Third Lanark 14th and Queens Park
18th (last) and relegated.
Q "I was just wondering
why the Old Firm is called that. I have asked lots of
people and they dont know." Shona
A This goes back nearly 100
years Shona. Believe it or not there was a lot of suspicion in Scottish
football at the beginning of the 20th century that Rangers and Celtic
despite their fierce rivalry on the pitch would act
together for their own benefit rather than that of Scottish football
as a whole.
There was a famous cartoon in the Scottish Referee
which used the phrase The Old Firm to describe
them though it is possible the term may have been in use before
The suspicions extended to the clubs own supporters. One of the
causes for the 1909 riot at the Scottish Cup Final replay was the
belief that the clubs had contrived a second draw in order to reap
the financial rewards of a third game.
Q Graeme Allen
asks: Can you give me a break-down of the Scottish League
Challenge Cup final results from 1990-2002, please? Also have
you any information on the Spring Cup final played in 1975/76?
A The Challenge Cup began life
in 1990-91 as the B&Q Centenary Cup to mark the
Scottish Leagues 100th birthday. It became just the B&Q
Cup the next season and the Scottish League Challenge Cup in 1995-96.
Lack of interest/sponsorship meant that there was no competition
in 1998-99. The tournament resumed for the next two seasons sponsored
by Bells before reverting to the plain old Challenge Cup.
The competition was (and still is) open to all League clubs outside
the Premier and there have been a few surprise winners over the
years. Details of the Finals with results, crowds and venues are:
1990-91 Dundee 3 Ayr United 2 aet 11,506 Fir Park
1991-92 Hamilton 1 Ayr United 0 9633 Fir Park
1992-93 Hamilton 3 Morton 2 7391 Love Street
1993-94 Falkirk 3 St Mirren 0 13763 Fir Park
1994-95 Airdrie 3 Dundee 2 aet 8844 McDiarmid Park
1995-96 Stenhousemuir 0 Dundee United 0 (5-4 pens) 7586 McDiarmid
1996-97 Stranraer 1 St Johnstone 0 5522 Broadwood
1997-98 Falkirk 1 Queen of the South 0 9735 Fir Park
1998-99 No Competition
1999-2000 Alloa 4 Inverness CT 4 (5-4 pens) 4043 Shyberry Excelsior
2000-01 Airdrie 2 Livingston 2 (3-2 pens) 5623 Broadwood
2001-02 Airdrie 2 Alloa 1 4548 Broadwood
2002-03 Queen of the South 2 Brechin 0 6428 Broadwood
The Spring Cup ran for one season only 1975-76. This was
the first year of the Premier Division and those sides outside the
top league had only 26 league matches.
So with the 1st and 2nd divisions finishing at the end of February,
the Spring Cup was intended to run for the rest of the season. The
28 teams were grouped in seven sections of four. teams played each
other home and away for a total of six matches.
The top two from each section plus the two best third-placed teams
advanced to the last sixteen. Teams then played two-leg ties until
the semi-finals which were played on neutral grounds. Clydebank
beat Dumbarton 3-1 at Firhill and Airdrie triumphed
3-1 over Morton at Love Street.
The Final was at Firhill on May 3rd 1976. Despite
falling behind, Airdrie recovered to beat Clydebank 4-2
after extra time. Teams:
Airdrie: Poulton, Jonquin, Lapsley, Black, March, Whiteford,
Wilson, McVeigh, McCulloch, Walker, Cairney (Jones)
Clydebank: McKenzie, Hall, Abel, Fallon, Fanning, Hay
(Browning) (Provan), Cooper, McColl, Larnach, McCallan, Lumsden
Att: 5,000 Ref: W Mullan (Dalkeith)
Attendances were poor so the following year the Scottish
League scrapped the competition and teams met three times each season
as a consequence.
Its one of footballs little oddities that the two
clubs that reached the Final were the pair that went out business
before the start of this season!
Q Graeme follows-up his
inquiry with this: "Re: Scottish League Challenge Cup final
1994/95 & 1990/91 and the Spring Cup final 1975/76 - what were
the scores before extra time?"
A Both Challenge Cup Finals
were 2-2 after 90 minutes. The Spring Cup score was 1-1.
For old SFAQs click here
Q From Jim
Hamill: " I know they are a relatively recent innovation
but I was wondering what is the lowest- ranked country in FIFA's
current list to have defeated Scotland? Have we ever come up against
the mighty Luxemburg? Can a draw against the Faroe Islands
justifiably be deemed our worst ever result?"
A Although FIFA's monthly
rankings take in 203 countries and six continents, the lowest
placed side in the current listings to have beaten Scotland is one
of our closest neighbours. No, not THAT one. It's Northern
Ireland, ranked at 100. They've beaten Scotland on fifteen
occasions, which sounds rather a lot until you remember that we
played them every year for over a century (before anyone mails
in to say Northern Ireland has only existed since the 1920s, I should
point out that games between Scotland and Ireland prior to partition
come into this category.)
We haven't played any of the countries in the bottom 40 in the rankings.
San Marino (161) are the lowest ranked we've faced. Apart
from Northern Ireland, there are just three countries ranked below
Scotland (57) who have beaten us - Hungary (58), Wales (61)
and Peru (71).
Luxembourg have been opponents on three occasions. First
up was a friendly on May 24th 1947 in the Duchy when Scotland
won 6-0 with Bobby Flavell, Billy Steel and Andy
McLaren all scoring twice in front of a crowd of 4,000.
That was followed by two matches in the qualifiers for the 1988
European Championship. Scotland won 3-0 at Hampden in November
1986 thanks to two goals from Davie Cooper and one from
Mo Johnston in front of 35,078. Then in December 1987
came an embarrassing 0-0 draw in the Duchy. Thankfully,
only 2,022 bothered to watch it.
Worst result? That really is a 'how long is a piece of string'
question. The Faroes are currently ranked at 114.
Astonishingly, 89 countries are ranked below them. We've
drawn in Malta (122) as well as that match in Luxembourg
(148) so a case could be made for either of those matches.
This has to be a purely personal choice but the Maltese game was
a friendly and we were out of the running to qualify when we played
Luxembourg. For me, that makes the Faroes - our first match in the
qualifying campaign - the worst. When you add in going two down,
there's no doubt in my mind that it was the lowest point in Scotland's
By the way, Iran are at 34 these days - ranked ahead
of Croatia, Switzerland, Greece and Austria. And countries like
Nigeria, Norway, Colombia and Poland are all rated beneath Costa
Rica at 26.
If we played either of that pair again, the shock nowadays
would be if Scotland managed a draw!
Q Duncan Thompson
asks: "Is there any truth in the story that Charlie
Tully of Celtic spent a spell on loan at Rangers?"
A Incredible as it may seem,
the story appears to be correct. According to no less an authority
than Celtic's official website, Tully spent periods on loan
at Stirling Albion and Rangers before leaving Celtic
in September 1959.
However he certainly didn't play for the Rangers first eleven
in any recognised first-class matches.
Tully was an incredible character. He once accurately bounced
a throw-in off the back of a defender's head to win a corner! In
a cup tie against Falkirk, he 'scored' directly from a corner
only for the referee to order the kick to be re-taken. Tully promptly
scored from the corner kick again and this time the goal stood.
He also scored directly fom a corner for Northern Ireland
against England. Before the game, Tully asked opposing defender
Alf Ramsey if he enjoyed playing for his country. When Ramsey
replied in the affirmative, Tully told him "Make the most
of it today then. It might be the last chance you get."
Tully started his career with local club Whiterock before
joining Belfast Celtic. He signed for their Glasgow namesakes
for £8,000 in 1948. After leaving Parkhead he
became player-manager of Cork Hibs before managing Bangor
Charlie Tully was only 47 when he died in 1971.
Q "Rangers beat
Celtic 9-1 on 11th August 1888, that is all I know
about this game. Can you tell me anything about team lines or scorers
etc" -Trevor Clydesdale
A As the strangulated voice
of Toyah Wilcox would proclaim, its a mystery. Wed
have thought that Rangers websites would afford such a famous victory
great prominence. After all, you can hardly get past the first page
of any Celtic site without finding out that they beat Rangers 5-2
in the first meeting of the sides in May 1888. Of course they
dont tell you that it was a Rangers reserve side they met.
But we cant find a trace of this game on any Rangers site
anywhere. Nor is there any mention in any of the contemporary newspapers
that might have reported on it such as the Glasgow Herald, North
British Daily Mail or the Catholic Observer. Also, Celtic
are listed as playing Airdrieonians that day.
It may have been a reserve game but we cant find a trace of
that either. So the jury is out on this one. If someone out there
has any info then wed be glad to see it.