Tour games in 1967 that the Aussies count and we don’t

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THE official SFA records show that tomorrow night’s Scotland v Australia clash at Easter Road will be the fourth meeting of the countries, with Scotland winning two games, Australia one, and one drawn.

The Australian Football Federation records, however, count as official three games played between the countries in May and June 1967; the Socceroos who played in those games, in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, have them included in their tally of international appearances.

The SFA, however, do not count these three matches as official; the Scotland team on each occasion was an ‘SFA Touring XI’, with the games part of a world tour which took in Israel, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. With Celtic and Rangers involved in European finals in May 1967, there were no Old Firm players involved in the squad managed by Bobby Brown. Indeed, of the Scotland XI who had beaten world champions England 3-2 in April 1967, only Jim McCalliog was in the party.

Tour skipper Ian Ure had to come home after breaking his jaw as Scotland beat Israel 2-1 in Tel Aviv, a certain Alex Ferguson of Dunfermline Athletic and a young Willie Morgan of Burnely getting Scotland’s goals. A Hong Kong XI were then beaten 4-1 – Ferguson scoring twice with Harry Hood, then of Clyde, and Dunfermline’s Willie Callaghan also on target – before the Scots arrived in Sydney for a three-match Test series.

Ferguson scored the only goal of the game, as Scotland beat the Dr Jo Venglos-managed Australians. Three days later the sides met again, in Adelaide, and again the tourists won, Hearts’ Jim Townsend and Willie Morgan of Burnley, got the goals.

A further three days on the sides played again in Melbourne and again Ferguson made the difference, scoring both goals in Scotland’s 2-0 win.

The Scots then moved on to New Zealand, where they beat the New Zealand Under-23 team 7-2 in Wellington, with Joe Harper scoring a hat trick, two-goal McCalliog, Tommy McLean from the penalty spot and an own goal accounting for the other Scottish goals. Ferguson then scored a hat trick, with Andy Penman getting the other goal in a 4-1 defeat of an Auckland Provincial XI, before the party crossed the Pacific to play in Vancouver where Ferguson took his tally of goals to ten in seven games. McCalliog scored another two while McLean converted another penalty as the Scots won 4-1.

They moved on to Winnipeg, where five goals from Harper, then with Huddersfield, and singles from West Brom’s Bobby Hope and Morgan, gave the Scots a 7-2 win and a tour record of played 9, won 9, scored 33 goals, conceded 9.

For the three Australia games, the Scotland teams were: Match one (Sydney): Harry Thomson (Burnley), Willie Callaghan (Dunfermline), Eddie Colquhoun (WBA), Jim Townsend, Alan Anderson (Hearts) Doug Fraser (WBA capt), Willie Morgan (Burnley), Bobby Hope (WBA), Jim McCalliog (Sheffield Wed), Alex Ferguson (Dunfermline), Harry Hood (Clyde).

Match two (Adelaide): Jim Cruickshank (Hearts), Callaghan, Townsend, Anderson, Jackie McGrory (Kilmarnock), Fraser (capt), Tommy McLean (Kilmarnock), Hope, McCalliog, Ferguson and Morgan.

The team for Melbourne was unchanged from the Adelaide starting line-up.