On ScottishFitba.net we have been happy to publise books on Scottish football in the past. We now have another opportunity with 'Scotland On This Day' by Derek Wilson which is published in time for the Christmas stocking of every football fan. After over six months of toil and sweat, Derek has produced a book which attempts to tell the story of Scotland’s long and eventful history in just 192 pages. That is quite a challenge and includes individual diary entries for every day of the year, plus multiple listings on busier dates. It tells the tales of the games and the characters (so it is full of Hampden heroes and villains), the tournament qualifications and the heart break – indeed, all the events, however big or small, that have helped make following Scotland's national side the rollercoaster ride we just can't stop riding.
Saturday 1st October 1949
Henry Morris of East Fife must have wondered just what he did wrong not to earn a second Scotland cap. His first performance, in Scotland's 8-2 thrashing of Northern Ireland, was certainly a startling introduction to international football as he bagged a hat-trick, outscoring famous names such as Billy Steel and Laurie Reilly, who managed only one each. Nonetheless, if Morris was expecting a second call he was to be disappointed and this remained the only appearance for his country. This match was also Scotland's first ever World Cup contest as the British Home Championship of 1949-50 was used by FIFA to determine who would travel to Brazil the next summer.
Saturday 2nd October 1965
Despite a double from Alan Gilzean, Scotland lost 3-2 to Northern Ireland in the opening game of the 1966 British Home Championship. He had put the guests in front in Belfast and equalised with eight minutes remaining but this was not enough to force a draw for Scotland as they conceded a last gasp winner.
Saturday 3rd October 1953
After declining to take the place they had earned at the 1950 World Cup, Scotland made a good start to the qualifying campaign for the 1954 tournament with a 3-1 win against Northern Ireland in Belfast. However, this would turn out to be Scotland’s only victory in the whole competition. A draw and a defeat in the remaining British Home Championship games secured qualification to Switzerland where Scotland lost both matches against Austria and Uruguay.
Friday 3rd October 1958
Jackie Henderson was a latecomer to football and only began playing the game as a teenager but still went on to represent Scotland. On this day in 1958 Arsenal paid £20,000 to Wolves for his services and the attacker – who could play up front or on either wing – did well for the side at a time when the club was generally struggling. The majority of his seven Scottish caps had arrived when still with his first club, Portsmouth, but his form a Highbury was good enough to earn him a brief recall.
This new volume also contains pictures, stats, trivia and anecdotes aplenty and is available now from all good book shops around the country. It is also available to buy online through the author’s website: www.sportwriter.eu , priced £9.99, and published by Pitch Publishing.
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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