Stephen Halliday: Scotland’s class of ’82 deserved more

But if they’d got penalty, they’d probably have missed

John Wark was unlucky not to win a penalty against USSR at the 1982 World Cup.
John Wark was unlucky not to win a penalty against USSR at the 1982 World Cup.

The BBC’s rerun last Saturday of Scotland’s 2-2 draw with the USSR at the 1982 World Cup Finals provided a reminder of just how talented a squad Jock Stein had at his disposal that summer.

Some of the football produced by the Scots that night in Malaga, inspired by a captain in Graeme Souness who was at the world-class peak of his powers, was of a genuinely high standard which stands the test of time. It wasn’t sufficient, of course, to secure the win Stein’s side needed to reach the second phase of the tournament. It was easy to wonder if Scotland’s fate might have been different if VAR were around in those days to award the penalty denied them at 1-1 when Anatoli Demianenko blatantly barged John Wark off the ball. That said, given Scotland’s peerless capacity for finding excruciating ways to be knocked out of World Cups, they would probably have missed it anyway.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.