A reliable and gifted goalkeeper, Jim Leighton enjoyed a long and silver laden career and is Scotland’s second most capped player with 91 appearances. With Aberdeen Leighton won two League titles, in 1984 and 1985, the Scottish Cup four times, the Scottish League Cup twice, the European Cup Winners’ Cup, and the European Super Cup. Leighton played in all of his country’s matches at the 1986, 1990 and 1998 World Cup finals. In 1988 he joined his old Aberdeen boss Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, and, after spells with Dundee and Hibernian, he ended his senior career back at Pittodrie.
A member of the successful Derby County and Nottingham Forest sides under Brian Clough, Gemmill is also the scorer of Scotland’s greatest ever World Cup goal. He first came to prominence with St Mirren where, in 1966, he earned the distinction of being the first tactical substitution in Scottish football history, when he came on for Jim Clunie in a Scottish League Cup tie. A hard working and persistent player Gemmill enjoyed much success in England winning the Football League championship in 1972, 1975 and 1978 and the League Cup in 1979. Archie’s consistent performances earned him 43 caps, 22 of which were as captain, and he scored eight goals in the dark blue of Scotland.
The prolific striker burst onto the Scottish football scene at the age of just 16, scoring the winning goal for Rangers against Celtic in the 1970 League Cup final. He was superb in the air and extremely versatile, playing in a number of positions for Rangers including centre half, centre-forward, midfield and on the left-wing. Johnstone went on to become a mainstay for the Ibrox side during the 1970s. He was in the Rangers team which won the Cup Winners Cup in 1972 and was Rangers’ leading scorer in both of the club’s treble winning seasons, in 1976 and in 1978. In total Derek scored an impressive 210 goals in 546 games for Rangers and domestically won three League Championships, five League Cups and five Scottish Cups. He was voted Scottish Players’ Player of the Year in 1978 and won 14 caps for Scotland.
A popular choice for club and country during the 1950s, Evans made over 500 appearances for Celtic and won 48 caps for Scotland. At Parkhead Evans won the Scottish League championship in 1954, the Scottish Cup in 1951 and 1954 and the Scottish League Cup in 1957 and 1958. He was a Scottish Cup finalist in 1955 and 1956. Evans also made 24 appearances for the Scottish League and was voted Scottish Player of the Year in 1953. Bobby combined excellent tackling and heading skills with commitment and a relentless work rate.
An ever present forward for Scotland during the first half of the 1960s, Ian St John was one of Motherwell’s most gifted players of the era. His transfer to Liverpool in 1961 helped to pay for the construction of the Fir Park club’s main stand. The ‘Saint’ played 21 times for Scotland scoring nine goals. With the ‘Reds’ St John won the First Division in 1964 and 1966, the Second Division in 1962 and the FA Cup in 1965. He also represented the Scottish League four times during his spell with Motherwell.
Billy Liddell won 29 full caps for Scotland, made four wartime international appearances and he played twice for Great Britain against the Rest of Europe. With Liverpool, Liddell was a League champion in 1947 and an FA Cup finalist in 1950. Strong and powerful, Liddell’s direct runs at defences became a trademark feature of his play. He scored an impressive 229 goals in 534 games in a fantastic Liverpool career which was interrupted by the Second World War. During a period when the Anfield club largely underachieved the consistent performances of Liddell made him a hero to the Liverpool fans who referred to the club as ‘Liddellpool’ in his honour. In 2006 Liverpool fans voted him the 6th most important player to have served the club
John Thomson had already established himself as Scotland’s number 1 when tragedy struck on 5th September 1931. Swift, agile and graceful Thomson was considered a brilliant goalkeeper having overtaken Jack Harkness at international level. He made his Celtic debut in a match against Dundee in 1927 at just 18 years of age. Thomson won four caps for Scotland, made four appearances with the Scottish League, was a Scottish Cup winner in 1927 and 1931 and a Scottish Cup finalist in 1928. The tragic accident during the Old Firm match in September 1931 robbed Scotland of a goalkeeper whom many contemporaries considered to be the greatest ever. An estimated crowd of 30,000 went through to Cardenden in Fife to pay their respects at his funeral.
Bill Struth started out in football as a trainer with Clyde in 1907 before moving to Rangers, initially as a trainer in 1914, and latterly as manager in 1920. He is largely responsible for the Ibrox club’s domination of Scottish football up until his retirement in 1954. Under his control Rangers won an incredible 18 League titles, 10 Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups. Struth was a strict disciplinarian who commanded the respect of his players and he instilled in them the confidence, determination and superiority which he believed should apply to anyone wearing the light blue colours of the club. He ensured that his players were given the best of facilities and expected them to get the desired results in return.