Palestine & the World Cup
Bankies Glory Days
More Inter-League

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 updated.

Q Why 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 From Duncan Thompson: "Have the League of Ireland ever played at Ibrox, particularly around the late 1960s?"

A The League of Ireland have played twice at Ibrox but not in the late sixties. The first meeting of the two Leagues on Scottish soil was at Ibrox on September 29th 1948. Line-ups:

Scottish League: Miller (Celtic), Kilmarnock (Motherwell), Shaw (Hibs), Evans (Celtic), Young, Cox, Waddell (all Rangers), Combe (Hibs), Houliston (QOS), Mason (Third Lanark), Reilly (Hibs)

League of Ireland: Anderson (Dundalk), M Clarke (Shamrock Rovers), O'Grady (Limerick), Keely (Shelbourne) K Clarke (Drumcondra), Matthews, Murray, Wilson (all Dundalk), Cleary (Transport), Coad (Shamrock Rovers), J Walsh (Dundalk)

The Scots won 5-1 with goals from Reilly (2), Combe (2) and Houliston. Cleary scored for the Irish.

This was a unique occasion. There was a non-Glasgow Keely at the match and the Mason on the winning side wasn't a Rangers player!

Ten years later, on September 24th 1958 these were the teams:

Scottish League: Brown (Dundee), Grant (Hibs), Caldow (Rangers), Aitken (Motherwell), Toner (Kilmarnock), Mackay (Hearts), Hunter (Motherwell), Cousins (Dundee), Bauld (Hearts), Black (Kilmarnock), Ormond (Airdrie)

League of Ireland: Blount (Transport), Fullam (Drumcondra), O'Brien (Shelbourne), R Nolan, Keogh (both Shamrock Rovers), Rowe (Drumcondra), Wallace (Limerick), Doyle (Shelbourne), O'Reilly (Limerick), Hamilton, Tuohy (both Shamrock Rovers)

Willie Bauld scored the game's only goal

All told, the LoI played in Scotland on ten occasions. In addition to these two matches they played twice at Shawfield and six times at Celtic Park. The Scots won every match.

While on the subject of inter-league games, we erred in our previous reply to a question. We suggested that the games against the two Irish Leagues ended in the early 70s and dismissed attempts at a revival later in that decade on the grounds that the sides selected were nowhere near representative of the Scottish League.

While still believing that to be the case for the matches played in 1980, the game against the Irish League at Fir Park on November 1st 1978 was clearly a 'proper' inter-league affair. The Scottish eleven was of a high standard, containing several full internationals:

Rough (Partick), Narey (Dundee Utd), Burns (Celtic), Stevens (Motherwell) Hegarty (Dundee Utd), Thomson (Morton), Houston (Partick), Bannon (Hearts), Pettigrew (Motherwell), McAdam (Partick) (sub:Somner (Partick), Marinello (Motherwell)

Willie Pettigrew scored in a 1-1 draw. Despite the presence of three Motherwell players in the team the crowd was just 4,427.

The swansong for inter-league matches came in March 1980 when this team was beaten 2-1 in Dublin:

McCulloch (Kilmarnock), G Sinclair (Dumbarton), McDicken, Clarke, McLean (all Kilmarnock), Richardson (St Mirren), Gibson (Hearts), Munro (St Mirren), Thomson (Morton), E Sinclair (Dundee) (sub: Tolmie (Morton), Morris (Ayr Utd).

Eric Sinclair scored for the Scots. Attendance was quoted as 5,000

24 hours later this side won 4-2 in Belfast:

Thomson (St Mirren), McKinnon, Whittaker (both Partick), Orr (Morton), Fulton (St Mirren), McNamara, McLeod (both Hibs), Doyle (Partick), Somner (St Mirren), Melrose (Partick), Ritchie (Morton)

The goals came from McNamara, Melrose, Somner and an Andy Ritchie penalty. Only around 2,000 watched the game.

Our thanks to Forrest Robertson for filling in the last piece of the jigsaw by providing us with the name of Partick's Jamie Doyle.



For old SFAQs click here

Q From Eddie who asks: "Who was the first player playing in the Scottish Leagues to play against Palestine in a World Cup qualifier?"

A Technically speaking, no one did. Palestine took part in the qualifying rounds for both the 1934 and 1938 World Cups. They were eliminated by Egypt and Greece respectively. No opposing player was with a Scottish League side when these games were played. But there is a connection.

Mohammed Latif of Zamalek was on the right wing and Mostafa Kamal Mansour of Al-Ahly was the goalkeeper in the Egyptian team that beat Palestine 7-1 in March 1934. The match was played at the army ground in Cairo before a crowd of 13,000 with an English referee in charge. Latif scored twice in that match and once in the second leg three weeks later at the Hapoel ground in Tel Aviv which Egypt won 4-1. Mansour didn't play in the return.

Both played in Egypt's match against Hungary in the finals in Italy which the Magyars won 4-2. It was the first appearance by an African side in the Finals and the last until 1970.The team was managed by a Scotsman - James McRea

The Scottish playing connection stems from both these players coming to Glasgow afterwards. Latif played one League match for Rangers (against Hibs) in 1935-36 and also turned out in a benefit match against Falkirk.

Mansour joined Queen's Park in 1936 while studying PE at Jordanhill College. He played in nearly fifty first-class matches for the Spiders between then and 1939 - 41 in the League and eight Cup ties.

Mansour was a highly influential figure in African football becoming Secretary of the recently-founded Confederation of African Football (the UEFA equivalent) in 1958. He was also a manager and referee.

He died earlier this year aged either 89 or 87 - none of his obituaries were quite sure. Sadly, his three years at Hampden seem to have been lost in the translation. According to one obituary he came to the UK to play for Queens Park RANGERS.

He was the last survivor of that pioneering Egyptian team.

Our thanks to Duncan Thompson for providing information on Mohammed Latif.

Q "Can you give a breakdown of attendances during Clydebank's heyday seasons - 1975-76, 1976-77,1977-78 - together with stats like appearances and goalscorers? It's difficult to come across these in the history books - I'd be obliged if you could help" - Bankiebill

A Average League gates for the three seasons were:
1975-76: 1,391 1976-77: 3,045 1977-78: 4,484

In 1975-76 Clydebank won the Second division title. Top scorer was Davie Cooper with 22 (League 13, League Cup 2, Spring Cup 7), just ahead of Joe McCallan with 21 (12,4,5) There were only 26 League matches. McKenzie, Hall, Cooper and McCallan started every game though only the first two were ever-presents (i.e. not subbed at any point). In addition Mike Larnach can also claim 26 appearances with 25 starts and one substitute appearance. The Bankies also reached the Final of the Spring Cup (the only time the trophy was contested) where they lost 4-2 after extra time to Airdrie at Firhill.

Best attended home game was against Arbroath in the League Cup when 2,700 saw the Bankies clinch the section. Away from home there was a crowd of 3,899 at their Scottish Cup defeat by Raith Rovers, 4,000 at Firhill in the League Cup Quarter-Final 1st leg and 5,000 at the same ground for the Spring Cup Final. Lowest home gate was 800 for the visit of Berwick in the League Cup. Worst away was 300 at Stirling in the League.

In 1976-77 they became the first Scottish side to win two successive promotions when they finished runners-up to St Mirren in the First Division. Joe McCallan was top scorer with 31 goals (27 League, 4 Scottish Cup) just pipping Mike Larnach with 29 (25 League, 4 League Cup). Abel, Fallon, Larnach and McCallan started all 39 League matches though Fallon was the only true 'ever-present.' This was the season when it took four games and seven hours before Bankies were beaten by Rangers in the League Cup.

Top League home crowd was 7,500 at the 2-2 draw against St Mirren on Xmas Day. Both Love Street matches attracted five-figure gates - 10,550 and 11,000. The home League Cup tie with Rangers attracted 10,000 to Kilbowie. There were 12,000 and 15,000 at the two Ibrox matches and 14,000 at the Firhill play-off. 13,618 saw Hearts triumph at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup. Lowest home crowd was 1,000 for the visit of QOS in the League Cup while the smallest away was 758 at Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup.

Their chances of survival in the top flight were dealt a body blow before a ball was kicked when Davie Cooper was transferred to Rangers in June 1977 - a consequence of that century-old Old Firm habit of signing players who have impressed against them.

1977-78 was Clydebank's first in the Premier. A different tale altogether. McCormack and Larnach were joint top scorers with five apiece. (five League and four League and one League Cup respectively). Fallon played in 35 of the 36 League matches, missing only the 3-0 home defeat by Rangers in Feb 1978.

Although relegated, Clydebank still managed to notch up some satisfactory performances including their first win over Celtic. Their average attendance was their highest ever although their final match against Dundee United drew a crowd of just 430 - the lowest attendance for any Premier/SPL match ever played.

Biggest home crowd of the season was 10,000 for the 2-0 defeat by Rangers in April 1978. 20,000 saw the 1-0 loss at Parkhead in September 1977. The Dundee United game was the worst home crowd. In the League the lowest away gate was 2,650 for a 0-0 draw at Ayr. Worst overall was 545 at East Fife in the League Cup.








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