FOUR more players were named in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame last night at a dinner in Glasgow attended by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Included in this latest group are a famous footaller-cum-newsagent and a legendary former international captain – of England.
Terry Butcher skippered Bobby Robson’s side to the World Cup semi-finals in Italy in 1990 but merits a place in the Hampden Hall of fame for his achievements at Rangers. An arch patriot of England, he is also recognised as a great enthusiast for Scotland and has mostly based himself in the country since signing for Rangers from Ipswich Town in 1986.
Robert Smyth McColl, meanwhile, is perhaps now better known as RS McColl, having started up the newsagents business in the early 1900s. By this stage he had already announced himself as a goalscorer of some repute, scoring three hat-tricks for Scotland. He also excelled in the colours of Queen’s Park, Newcastle United and Rangers.
Making up the quartet of illustrious names are European Cup winners Ronnie Simpson and Pat Crerand. The former kept goal at the age of 36 as Celtic lifted the trophy in 1967, while the latter did so with Manchester United a year later.
Both players represented Scotland. Nominees are suggested by football fans around the world, based on their contribution to the Scottish game, and the final list is selected by a panel of experts from football and the media. The first inductions to the Hall of Fame were in 2004. There are now 77 footballers and managers included in the stellar gallery of names.
It is a wonder that someone who scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over England is not already in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. McColl achieved this distinction in April 1900 and by then had already scored trebles against Northern Ireland and Wales in successive weekends.
In all he scored 13 times in 13 appearances for Scotland. But despite this impressive scoring record he is still more widely known now for lending his name to the newsagent chain RS McColl, which was founded by McColl and his brother, Thomas. It survives to this day.
He became known as ‘Toffee Bob’ to his team-mates but deserves to be recognised for his achievements on the pitch. He has been called the first football superstar of his day and turned professional with Newcastle United when joining from Queen’s Park.
The money gained from this move helped him and his brother start up the newsagents business. He then signed for Rangers, before returning to Queen’s Park and scoring six times in his farewell game against Port Glasgow Athletic.
The Scottish football museum at Hampden displays the actual Scotland shirt – in the pinkish hue known as rosebery – that McColl wore against England in 1900 when he scored his hat-trick.
The goalkeeper’s playing career spanned 25 years, during which time he starred for Queen’s Park, Third Lanark, Newcastle United, Hibernian and, of course, Celtic. He also played for Scotland on five occasions, making his debut in the famous 3-2 win at Wembley over then world champions England.
Weeks later he helped Celtic overcome Internazionale in Lisbon as Jock Stein’s side became the first British club to lift the European Cup. He is remembered for having indulged in some trickery on the edge of the box in that game to the initial horror and then amusement of his team-mates. He back-heeled the ball away to safety from Cappellini. “We nearly collapsed with fright,” said skipper Billy McNeill in 2004. “He assured us he knew where everybody was.”
Although associated mainly with Celtic now, he established his name at Newcastle United, with whom he won the FA Cup in 1952 and 1955. He returned north to Scotland in October 1960 to sign for Hibs, and is credited with helping the Easter Road side avoid relegation in 1962. He left to join Celtic in 1964 and was initially alarmed to see the manager who sold him from Hibs, Jock Stein, later join him at Celtic. But he became Stein’s first choice in soon enough time to taste a season to remember in 1966-67. At its tail end, and when well into his 37th year, he lifted the European Cup, the Scottish Cup and earned the first of five Scotland caps. He was also named Player of the Year by football writers. Simpson died in 2004 at the age of 73.
Born in the Gorbals to Irish parents, Crerand perhaps unsurprisingly started his career at his beloved Celtic, where he played over 100 times and broke into the Scotland team. Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby was alerted to Crerand after Denis Law recommended him over Jim Baxter. He joined on 6 February 1963 – the fifth anniversary of the Munich air disaster – and three months later had earned an FA Cup winners’ medal, following United’s victory over Leicester City. He also helped United win the league championship in 1965 and 1967. His night of nights, as well as Manchester United’s, was in May 1968, when the Old Trafford side followed Celtic’s lead by becoming champions of Europe with a 4-1 over Benfica at Wembley. When Crerand played well, the saying went, United played well. He was the midfield general who allowed those such as George Best, Bobby Charlton and Law to strut their stuff. He was hailed by Busby as a “wonderfully good natured chap” but was also famed for his willingness to run towards pitch flare-ups. He was red carded in one of his 16 outings for Scotland, against Czechoslovakia. He currently has his own hour-long show on Manchester United’s own television channel called “The Paddy Crerand Show”.
Rangers caused a sensation when bringing the much in-demand England centre-half to Scottish football in 1986, just after the World Cup finals in Mexico. The Ipswich Town played had also been wanted by Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
His arrival was the marquee signing player-manager Graeme Souness wanted to make as he attempted to revive the fortunes of the club. With Butcher in place, other big names followed. Butcher’s goal against Aberdeen sealed the club’s first championship for nine years in his first season at the club. He also held aloft the League Cup during this first campaign in Scotland. Although his time at Ibrox was disrupted by injury he led Rangers to another two titles before being sold to Coventry City after a fall-out with Souness in 1990. In total he played 176 times for the Ibrox side and scored eleven goals.
He is still regarded as an iconic Englishman after his many stalwart displays during a decade-long international career, from 1980 to 1990. But his later life has seen him seem more comfortable in Scotland. He managed at Motherwell and is currently in charge of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with the 52-year-old now based in the Highlands. He also spent a spell as assistant manager of Scotland during George Burley’s ill-fated reign.
Terry Butcher, Pat Crerand, RS McColl, Ronnie Simpson.
Craig Brown, Andy Goram, Bobby Johnstone, Paul McStay, David Narey, Tom ‘Tiny’ Wharton.
Steve Archibald, Bertie Auld, Jimmy Delaney, Alan Gilzean, Maurice Johnston, Paul Lambert, Willie Maley, Davie Meiklejohn.
Bobby Evans, Archie Gemmill, Derek Johnstone, Jim Leighton, Billy Liddell, Ian St John, Bill Struth, John Thomson.
Willie Bauld, Eric Caldow, Jimmy Cowan, Alan Hansen, Ally McCoist, Rose Reilly, Walter Smith, Gordon Strachan, Eddie Turnbull.
Davie Cooper, Tommy Gemmell, Richard Gough, Willie Henderson, Sandy Jardine, Henrik Larsson, Brian Laudrup, Willie Ormond, John Robertson, Billy Steel, Tommy Walker.
Charles Campbell, Alex James, Joe Jordan, Bobby Lennox, Jim McLean, Alex McLeish, Alan Morton, Lawrie Reilly, Willie Waddell, John White, George Young.
Jim Baxter, Billy Bremner, Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alex Ferguson, Hughie Gallacher, John Greig, Jimmy Johnstone, Denis Law, Danny McGrain, Jimmy McGrory, Dave MacKay, Billy McNeill, Willie Miller, Bobby Murdoch, Bill Shankly, Gordon Smith, Graeme Souness, Jock Stein, Willie Woodburn.