Falkirk's Italian Connection
Rangers Treble-winning Captains
Lowest Rangers Crowd
Fergie & Colin Stein
1969 title
1986 World Cup Squad


Falkirk & the Italian connection

Q David Manson has a few Bairns queries: " Who captained Falkirk when they won the Scottish Cup in 1957? Which Falkirk goalie had a name that sounded like roofer? Was it Tyler or Slater? Who was the Falkirk player who played for Italy?

A John Prentice, who later managed Scotland, was the skipper when Falkirk beat Kilmarnock after a replay in the 1957 Scottish Cup Final. Keeping goal for them in both games was Bert SLATER who later played for Liverpool before returning to Scotland and winning a League championship medal with Dundee.

The Italian international was Johnny Moscardini. Thanks to my colleague Forrest Robertson we can relate a little of his fascinating story. Moscardini was actually born in Falkirk in 1897, the son of one of three brothers who left the town of Barga in Tuscany to establish fish-and-chip shops and ice-cream parlours in Scotland.

Moscardini served in the British army in World War One and was wounded in battle. He moved to Italy to convalesce after the war and played for Tuscan side Lucchese and later for Pisa. He was capped nine times for Italy between 1921-25 and scored seven goals. .

With the family business facing difficulty Moscardini finally left Italy to help out back in Falkirk.It isn't clear whether he actually turned out for the Bairns during this period. There's a Moscardini's there still owned and run by the family to this day. Johnny lived to a ripe old age, dying in Prestwick in 1985.

Back in Barga Johnny Moscardini's is a revered name. He is the only 'local' to have played for Italy and every so often the town holds a Moscardini family reunion where the main meal is fish and chips! The local team - AS Barga - play in the Johnny Moscardini stadium.

You can find out more about Barga and Johnny Moscardini on the Barga News website.


Lowest Rangers crowd

Q From "Administrator" (We'd better not say where. Don't want to get anyone into trouble): "What is the lowest attendance at a Rangers game in the last twenty years?"

A Lowest at ANY Rangers game is 2,109 away to Ilves Tampere in the UEFA Cup on Nov 1st 1986.

Lowest at Ibrox is more problematic owing to the inaccuracy of estimates. I've recently dealt with a similar query and explained the problems on the last question here

The League game against Dundee United on May 2nd 1984 is PROBABLY the lowest being quoted as 5,000 in some quarters and 7,500 in others. The same season saw gates of 8,000 and 8,500 in the League Cup v QOS and Clydebank.

I've seen the Clydebank figure cited as low as 7,000 but only in the same publication which gives 5,000 for the Dundee United match.

Ironically after 1983-84 Rangers attendances are much more reliable and had you asked about the past NINETEEN years the answer would be 8,424 for the league match v Dumbarton on Mar 2nd 1985

1969 title winners

Q Sticking with the same season, JD Lee asks: "Who won the League in 1969?"

A This was the fourth title for Celtic in their march to nine in succession. They took 54 points from a possible 68 and finished five ahead of Rangers in second place despite losing twice to their great rivals. The only other team to lower Celtic's colours that season were Morton who won 4-2 at Parkhead in the League.

Celtic also won the Scottish Cup and the League Cup to win the Treble for the second time and the last occasion before Martin O'Neill's team did so in 2001. In Europe they were beaten in the quarter-finals of the European Cup by eventual winners AC Milan.


For old SFAQs click here


Rangers Treble Captains

Q Richie Wilson wants to know "all the Rangers treble-winning skippers and the years."

A Seven trebles, six skippers, as follows:

1949   Jock Shaw
1964   Bobby Shearer
1976   John Greig
1978   John Greig
1993   Richard Gough
1999   Lorenzo Amoruso
2003   Barry Ferguson


Fergie & Colin Stein

Q Josh Wilson sends in this: " Did Alex Ferguson and Colin Stein play together in the Rangers team in 1968-69? In particular did they both play in that year's Scottish Cup Final?'

A To take the second part first, Stein was suspended for the Cup Final and Ferguson replaced him in the team. Rangers lost 4-0 to Celtic in a match which has been credited with ending Fergie's Ibrox career.

They did play together a few times though. My colleague Forrest Robertson tells me that they lined up in the same team six times in the League though they only played the full 90 minutes together twice. Stein scored a hat-trick for Rangers in a 5-1 win on his debut at Arbroath on Nov 2nd 1968 and Ferguson came on as a substitute for Andy Penman. Stein scored another hat-trick seven days later at home against former club Hibs and Fergie again replaced Penman as Rangers won 6-1.

It wasn't until March 8th 1969 that they both appeared again when Fergie replaced Willie Johnston and scored once in a 6-0 win over St Mirren at Ibrox. Stein didn't score that day.

Three days later both played the full 90 minutes at home v Arbroath but neither scored as Rangers won 2-0. Four days after that Stein scored three and Ferguson one in a 6-0 win over Clyde at Ibrox. Fergie was replaced by Orjan Persson.

Their final outing together was in a 3-2 defeat at Airdrie on March 24th. Both played for 90 minutes and neither scored.

They also played together three times in the Fairs Cup that term. Stein scored two in a 3-0 win at Dundalk on November 13th 1968 as Fergie was subbed by Alfie Conn. Both scored a goal in the 4-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at Ibrox on March 19th 1969. Fergie was replaced by Persson.

The last time the pair played in the same Rangers team was in the return leg on April 2nd. Both lasted 90 minutes as Rangers lost 2-0 but triumphed 4-3 on aggregate. So in total they played in the same team on nine occasions but for 90 minutes just three times.

Oddly enough in the three matches they both played the full 90 minutes, neither scored a goal.

1986 World Cup squad

Q From Gordon Jack: "Please can you give me a list of the Scotland squad for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico?"

A The squad was: Jim Leighton, Richard Gough, Maurice Malpas, Graeme Souness, Alex McLeish, Willie Miller, Gordon Strachan, Roy Aitken, Eamonn Bannon, Jim Bett, Paul McStay, Andy Goram, Stevie Nicol, David Narey, Arthur Albiston, Frank McAvennie, Steve Archibald, Graeme Sharp, Charlie Nicholas, Paul Sturrock, Davie Cooper and Alan Rough.

Managed by Alex Ferguson, Scotland failed to qualify from what was termed "the group of death," losing 1-0 to Denmark and 2-1 to West Germany and drawing 0-0 with Uruguay.

Gordon Strachan was the only Scot to score. Graeme Souness skippered the side for the first two matches with Willie Miller taking over for the game with Uruguay.