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 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
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
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
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.