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.
After 84 years the series came to an end
It says SCOTLAND V ITALY but the small print shows it's an inter-League
match. 67,000 saw the teams draw 1-1
He tormented the Scots in the only 'League' clash with Wales.
For old SFAQs click here
Q From Ger Harley:
"I can vaguely remember Scottish League v English League matches
plus ones against the Welsh and both Irish leagues. I think they
finished around the late seventies.
Do you know:
1. when the last of these games was played
2. who against, the line up and score
3. did any non-Scots or non-English players ever play for either
the Scottish or English sides"
A The last game against the
Football League was at Hampden in 1975-76 when
a solitary Trevor Cherry goal won the match for the English.
Scottish League: Stewart (Kilmarnock), Rolland (Dundee
United), Wark (Motherwell), Forsyth (Rangers), Jackson (Rangers),
Miller (Aberdeen), Duncan (Hibs), Bremner (Hibs), Joe Craig (Partick),
McDonald (Rangers), McKean (Rangers)
Football League: Shilton (Stoke), Cherry (Leeds), Mills
(Ipswich), Doyle (Man City), McFarland (Derby), Todd (Stoke), Wilkins
(Chelsea), Channon (Southampton), Greenhoff (Stoke), Currie (Sheff
Utd), Tueart (Man City).
Fixture list pressure together with declining crowd interest (the
attendance for this game was just 8,874 despite the presence
of several star names in the English line-up) put paid to a
series which had started back in 1892.
Games against the Irish League started in 1893 with
the last fixture taking place at Ibrox in September 1969
(note: old copies of the Wee Red Book mistakenly list
the last fixture as being in Belfast in 1967-68). Line-ups:
Scottish League: Donaldson (Dundee), Clunie (Hearts),
Greig (Rangers), Thomson (Hearts), Sweeney (Morton), Stanton (Hibs),
Cormack (Hibs), Harper (Aberdeen), Ingram (Ayr) (sub: Johnston (Rangers),
Robb (Aberdeen), Stevenson (Hibs)
Irish League: Finlay, Hill, Hutton, Macken, McCullough,
Nixon, Humphries, McCafferty, Mulgrew, Rowland, Weatherup
The Scots won 5-2. Joe Harper scored twice with Davie
Robb, Peter Cormack and Willie Johnston netting one apiece.
There were only around 5,000 present.
Fixtures against the League of Ireland started
in 1938. The last game was at Celtic Park in September
Scottish League: Cruickshank (Hearts), Hay (Celtic), Dickson
(Kilmarnock), Stanton (Hibs), McKinnon (Rangers), Henry (Dundee
Utd), Johnstone, Connelly, Hood (all Celtic), Graham, Duncan (both
Hibs). Tommy McLean (Kilmarnock) was a non-playing substitute
League of Ireland: Thomas, Bryan, Brennan (all Waterford),
O'Mahoney, Finucane (both Limerick), Dunning (Shelbourne), McGeough
(Waterford), Lawlor (Shamrock Rovers), Hale (Waterford), Minnock
(Athlone), Matthews (Waterford)
George Connelly scored the only goal in front of 7,654
However, just to confuse things, there was an attempt to restart
the matches against the two Irish outfits in the late 1970s. The
sides selected for the Scottish League were nowhere near full strength,
composed mainly of part-timers. As far as I can tell, this revival
came to an abrupt end in March 1980 with the Scottish
League losing 2-1 in Dublin and winning 4-2
in Belfast 24 hours later.E-mail
for line-ups and scorers
As for the 'Welsh League', there was just one match - played
in Cardiff in September 1952. The Welsh players all
represented Welsh sides in the Football League. The Welsh won 3-
0 with goals from Allchurch (2) and Parker
Welsh League: Howells, Stitfall, Sherwood, Baker (all
Cardiff), Wilcox (Newport), G Williams, R Williams (both Cardiff),
Lucas (Swansea), Parker (Newport), I Allchurch (Swansea), Edwards
Scottish League: Martin (Aberdeen), Boden (Celtic), Cox,
McColl (both Rangers), Paterson (Hibs) Laing (Hearts), Stewart (East
Fife), Humphries (Motherwell), Reilly (Hibs), Sharp (Partick), Ormond
There were also matches against the Southern League, Danish League
and Italian League. In two matches against the Italians in
the early 1960s the Scots not only faced the cream of Italian football
but the Swedes Hamrin and Nielson, Helmut Haller of
West Germany, the Brazilian Mario Zagalo, England's
Gerry Hitchens, Welsh legend John Charles and our very
own Denis Law!
In his centenary history of the Scottish League 'The First 100
years', Bob Crampsey points out that in the first inter-League
game at Bolton in 1892 there were four Scots in
the Football League side. Crampsey says that after the first
few games no more Scots would be selected until the 1960s.
Dave Mackay played for the Football League against
the Scottish League. Denis Law didn't just play FOR
the Italian League, he also turned out for the Football League
against the Italians in 1960 - a match which also saw
German goalkeeper Bert Trautmann don the English colours!
Indeed during the early 1960s Welsh stars like Cliff Jones
and Jack Kelsey and Irishmen like Peter McParland
turned out for the Football League.
International rules were much stricter then, as Crampsey points
out. Many players (and Crampsey cites Bob Ferrier of Motherwell
and JB McAlpine of Queen's Park as examples) were able to play for the League but were
ruled out of appearing for Scotland because they had been born in
England. This was the rule which saw the Baker brothers -
Joe and Gerry - play for England and the USA
respectively, despite their cut-gravel Scottish accents! So there
were plenty of non-English in the Football League sides but whether
you could count the players who turned out for the Scottish League
as 'non-Scots' is debatable. Especially as we live in an
era which has awarded international caps to Matt Elliott.
There were players of Canadian or South African extraction but
again these were of Scottish parentage.
Q Tom Fletcher e-mails
from Canada: "Who was the last Scotland player to
score a hat-trick and in what game?"
A It was Colin Stein,
who scored four in the 8-0 win over Cyprus
in a World Cup qualifier at Hampden in 1969.
Q Mike Burgess wants
to know: "Who was the first £1 million Scottish player
A Andy Gray was transferred
to Wolves from Aston Villa for a then British record
fee of £1,469,000 on September 8th 1979. He
actually didn't cost Wolves a great deal as they'd just sold Steve
Daley to Man City for £1,437,500 three days
previously. So, in effect Wolves signed Gray for just £31,500.
Considering Villa had paid Dundee United just £100,000 for
Gray four years previously, it was a smart piece of business all
Million Pound Man: Richard Gough
The first £1M transfer inside Scotland
was in October 1987 when Rangers signed Richard
Gough from Spurs. The fee has been quoted between £1.1M
Q DL McPherson asks:
"Could you settle an argument please and tell me who were
champions in 1977?"
A Certainly. Celtic won
the title in 1976-77, finishing eight points ahead of Rangers.
It was the 10th (and last) title won by manager Jock Stein.
Q "When did the Scottish
Premier League begin?", is the question from BNeilBrownlee
A The SPL was set up
at the start of the 1998-99 season. But the Premier Division
was established back in 1975-76.