From the publisher:
Issue 29 of the Scottish football magazine includes:
A faithful translation
By Daniel Gray
Dropping the Saint Patrick act
In his latest memoir, Pat Nevin covers his days playing for Tranmere Rovers, Kilmarnock and Motherwell in the 1990s. He speaks to us about his own self-image and why he is so concerned with coming across as “earnest”.
By Teddy Jamieson
Hungry like the bairns
For the last five years, Falkirk have been unwilling participants in one of Scottish football’s biggest pantomimes. But could their fortunes be about to change?
By Scott Fleming
Swim when you’re winning
Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia was suspended for over 90 minutes after torrential rain at Hampden flooded the pitch. Behind the scenes, a collective will and determination eventually got the game going again. By Maurice Smith
Caput Mundi corruption comes to Caledonia
When AS Roma arrived on Scottish soil for the first leg of the 1984 European Cup semi-final, Jim McLean’s Dundee United found themselves unwittingly caught up in an international scandal: a sordid tale of drugs, bribery and lies.
By John Irving
Something is novel in the state of Denmark
Denmark’s FC Nordsjælland have become a world leader in the production of fresh young talent. As head of the Danish side’s Right to Dream academy, Scottish coach Gareth Henderby is at the very heart of their success.
By Kenny Millar
The damned United?
The Tangerines, arguably Scotland’s sixth-largest club, are challenged financially and languishing in the Championship. Ongoing success cannot be assumed, but can they turn it all around and take back their rightful place in the top tier?
By Maurice Smith
The Scottish Player Development system is extremely tough on up-and-coming talent, with the annual SPFA Exit Trials representing the end of the road for many young hopefuls. But what can be done to make the system fairer on the next generation? And how can we better prepare them for potential heartbreak?
By Greg Gordon
The climate crisis: waist deep into extra time
Although football clubs and governing bodies are adopting more sustainable practices towards energy, waste, and biodiversity, are they acknowledging the immediate threat climate change poses to the sustainability of the game?
By Ginny Clark
It was good to talk
BT Sport has been widely popular for its humorous, often relaxed SPFL coverage. Recently retired in favour of TNT Sports, we take a retrospective look back at the broadcaster’s many innovations.
By Alex Marr
Flipping Figos: Is it the future?
Several Portuguese sides have perfected a buy, develop, sell-for-profit model for their players that has kept them competitive both domestically, and in Europe. Is it time that Scottish clubs developed a similar structure?
By Paul Grech
Back where we belong
As the summer break drew to a damp, soggy close, the sounds of chatter and music filled our grounds once more. Though for many the action was consigned to the background, a group of young fans proved enthusiasm for the sport remains ripe. Football was back, and it felt good.
Words by Daniel Gray.
Photographs by Alan McCredie.
Remembering Craig Brown
June 26, 2023, marked the sad loss of one of Scotland’s most successful managers. I knew him to be a generous, kind-hearted, and encouraging man of significant footballing aptitude.
By Graham Spiers
First among guv’nors
How a walrus-moustached, bowler-hatted joiner from Edinburgh made a ramshackle English club into a giant.
By Harry Pearson
All together now
Though his departure from Anfield was complex, Bill Shankly is still regarded as a hero by thousands of Liverpudlians. Peter Hooton, member of the band The Farm, considers himself fortunate to have met Shankly and still finds motivation from the Glenbuck-born legend’s life principles.
By Richard Purden
Loving thy neighbour
Frank Connor was a Celtic legend, a true football man who enjoyed success as both player and manager at numerous Scottish clubs. To me, though, he will always be the kind-hearted, good-humoured and hard-working neighbour we knew simply as ‘Mr Connor’.
By Andy Bollen
A learning game in South-East Asia
For Christopher Grant, the path from academy coach to running a football club opened up since he moved from Scotland to Cambodia.
By Danny Lewis
Built on shifting sands
As a player, he was an often-controversial firebrand. Now, as Fleetwood Town manager, Scott Brown is emerging against type as a surprisingly calm, thoughtful and astute footballing tactician.
By Chris Sweeney
Pars, punks and pirates
Historic St Pauli is a bohemian district of Hamburg now best known for its football club and their left-wing politics. A team visit to Fife offers occasion to reflect on their worldwide popularity.
By Hugh MacDonald
Photographs by Reece Mullen
Kindred spirits, fierce rivals
Some players stick with one club for their entire career, beloved of fans and synonymous with the team’s name. In a new series, we will be highlighting the stories of these one-club players, starting with Billy McNeill and John Greig, two Old Firm rivals who faced off against each other for the best part of 20 years.
By Ronnie McCluskey
From Calcutta to Clydeside, barefoot
In 1936, Mohammed Salim became the first Indian footballer to play in Europe when he made his debut for Celtic. At that time, in Britain, Indians were often treated as second class citizens. But the Hoops held a different set of values, where dignity did not depend on colour or creed.
By Andrew McFadyen
One cap wonders of the world stage
A place in the national team is a significant achievement for any player, but often the experience can be short-lived. For those players with just a single appearance, is a cap a gift or a curse?
By Sean Cole
Living life to the dullest
Friendly games are usually low on thrills and excitement, but sometimes the boredom can present a rare opportunity to disconnect from technology, to live slowly, let your mind wander, and immerse yourself in the pace of a dull 90-minutes.
By Mark Holmes
Confessions of a glory hunter
Queen’s Park are now the third of the five Glasgow teams I have supported. But why is switching your alliance from one club to another such a target for ridicule?
By Gordon Cairns
A tartan army tale: We’re only here to watch the tennis
In 2008, a group of friends ventured to Macedonia for George Burley’s first competitive game in charge of Scotland. The booze-fuelled trip led to two armed standoffs, with our band of travellers almost never making it back at all.
By Stephen Watt
The Welfare state of play
This year marks a decade since the Lowland League was first formed, allowing ambitious clubs a route up the football pyramid and on to greater success. As this new age dawned, one club seemed primed to take full advantage of the opportunity: Whitehill Welfare. Words and photographs
by Colin McPherson
Learning from our losses
When my partner suddenly died, my love for the game did too. But through my grief, football has taught me to cherish those moments shared in the stands.
By Andy Ross
A father’s journey through grief
In January 2020, Liam Walsh’s 15-year-old son Patrick went to a football game at Tottenham Hotspur and never came home. Hurrying for the last train out of Marylebone, he collapsed and died, suddenly, unexpectedly and still, without cause. Two weeks later, Liam’s Dad, Mick, with his sense of purpose desperately unravelled, gently died too. Here, in an extract from his book, Red Balloons, Liam recalls a family pilgrimage to Leith following Patrick’s passing.
The battle of Easter Road
Graeme Souness’s debut as Rangers’ player-manager resulted in a vicious, bloodthirsty skirmish with John Blackley’s Hibernian. As the two sides locked horns, I watched over in childish wonder.
By Colin Leslie
“Fish suppers if we manage a point”
Thanks to his sensational late winner, John Fletcher became the hero in one of Arbroath’s greatest ever victories. Footage of the feat was once feared lost, but the day remains indelibly stamped on the collective memory of the Lichties loyal.
By Craig Millar
Smells like team spirit
There is no definitive blueprint for building a football team from the ground up. With my team, Edinburgh South Ladies, it was commitment, blind faith and a willingness to learn from our mistakes that finally made us a success.
By John Greechan
This June just gone, an international event of a different kind came to Hampden Park – The International Football History Conference. I was lucky enough to attend as a delegate, finding a welcoming, convivial assortment of people, all coming together to share their love of the game.
By Michael Gallagher
Lost and found
More than 450 British football grounds, stands and terraces were demolished in Britain between 1970 and 1994, including dozens in Scotland. From Forres down to Stranraer, they feature in a new book and some are previewed here. By Paul Claydon
Six of the best: Ross County
Like so many of Scotland’s ‘smaller’ clubs, Ross County punch well above their weight when it comes to their kits.
By John Devlin
Not everything is black and white
An increasingly unstable Gretna – locked in a thrilling two-way title race with St Johnstone – left it until the final minute of the season to clinch promotion to the SPL for the first, and last, time in their short history, consigning Ross County to the drop in the process.
By Phil Rodger
Mitoma’s Nipple by Attila the Stockbroker
Not a Match by Spike Munro
Euros Dreaming by Kevin Graham
Command Performance by Sam Phipps