Nutmeg – Issue 23
The Scottish Football Periodical
La Dolce Vita
By Daniel Gray
Bags and bags of faded glory
Sifting through the flotsam of my football-daft childhood has been an unsettling experience, both haunting and comical. And that’s before we even get to George Best’s suburban fish tank.
By Alastair McKay
Endings and belongings
In my quest to make it as a professional player, my dad was my biggest critic, champion and companion. Now that he is gone, I appreciate even more what he left behind.
By Chris Collins
‘We want to tackle loneliness’
Time To Tackle is using football to create a healing space.
By Hugh MacDonald and Campbell Ramage
Lichties laughing their way to the top
Arbroath’s climb through the divisions has been soundtracked by hoots and giggles but Scottish football might soon have to start taking the Angus part-timers seriously.
By Scott Fleming
Lessons in nuance from my trips to Qatar
The World Cup hosts have faced intense and justifiable criticism over a range of human rights issues. But the question of whether to attend the tournament as a fan is not straightforward.
By Hugh MacDonald
After a playing career cut cruelly short by injury and the inevitable dark moments that followed, Angus Beith is finding his way to football fulfilment with a little help and a lot of effort.
By Kenny Millar
It’s all very well knowing how to lead training drills. Too often a lack of communication leaves players in the dark about why they are doing them.
By Neil Gibson
Robson’s hunger to teach and learn
The former Celtic, Dundee United and Aberdeen player has priceless experience to pass on as a youth coach, and a drive to keep improving himself.
By Greg Gordon
Degree of appeal to American dream
A sports recruitment firm founded by Scots is placing young hopefuls with US college teams. If the football doesn’t work out, the study opens other doors.
By Kevin McAllion
Lost world of an early number cruncher
An Iraqi student at St Andrews University chose Dundee United in 1984/85 for his research on tactical movement patterns. Even Jim McLean was intrigued.
By Rob Haywood
Tonic and joy of female five-a-side
Women of all ages and abilities have been starting up, or joining, recreational games near their home. Many, from mums to former offenders, are hooked on a sport they thought had passed them by.
By Claire Simpson
A bittersweet romance
From three successive promotions and a Scottish Cup final to an even faster collapse, Gretna’s fortunes were too closely tied to the wealth and charisma of one man. But insiders recall a hell of a ride.
By Sean Cole
Legend or joke? Jury’s out on Julie
Albert Juliussen is still notorious among Everton fans but the strapping striker has Roy of the Rovers status at Dundee. What’s going on?
By Harry Pearson
How Defoe defies age and doubters
The 39-year-old former England striker’s Ibrox spell has come to an end, but Jermain Defoe remains a legend on and off the pitch.
By Gary Cassidy
Keeper in a class of his own
Watching my former Hamilton College pupil Edward McGinty excel for Sligo Rovers has been a joy. I don’t rule out an eventual move to an even more illustrious club.
By Derek Hotchkiss
Scotland’s Chinese dynasty
Few Chinese players have made their mark on British football like Fan Zhiyi at Dundee and Zheng Zhi at Celtic
By Franco Ficetola
Let’s prepare for life beyond Old Firm
Sooner or later our two biggest clubs are bound to break away – it makes financial and footballing sense. The question is how the rest of us will adapt, and it is by no means a bleak prospect.
By Kenny Pieper
A handful of history
For many fans, the matchday programme is a treasured object and vital resource. Some clubs are moving towards monthly or quarterly editions, while others continue to defy the digital odds.
By Joel Sked
Felled by World Cup minnows? You must be joking
The notion that Scotland have been undone again and again by inferior opposition in the group stages stems from arrogance and ignorance. The reality of Peru, Iran, Costa Rica… was entirely different.
By Roddy Cairns
A symphony in green and white
Being a Real Betis supporter in Scotland has never been easy, but then the Spaniards came to Glasgow.
By Gordon Cairns
Curse and solace of a football nomad
I’ve tried hard to care about one team above all others but it just hasn’t happened. At least I’m immune to those unhealthy lows.
By Logan Walker
The man who helped blind fans see
Rex Kingsley, the most entertaining sports commentator of his time, was also committed to bringing games alive for the visually impaired.
By David Allan
When the Lisbon Lions and Racing club tore chunks out of each other
Celtic’s three matches against the South American champions in 1967 climaxed in a notorious Montevideo decider for the title of best club in the world. John Clark recalls how he and his teammates finally snapped in a game that cost Jock Stein an honour.
By Brendan Madden
Saints’ heavenly thrashing of Hamburg
Half a century ago St Johnstone put the Bundesliga giants to the sword in front of a packed and euphoric home crowd. John Connolly, who starred on the night, is among those recalling one of his free-scoring side’s best ever results.
By Craig Millar
Moaning about refereeing decisions when your team plays the Old Firm is natural. Having four of them sent off without good reason drags us into the realms of conspiracy.
By David Windram
Small wonder, big heart
Sauchie Juniors joined the East of Scotland League a few years ago. They are thriving by merging the community values of their late founder with a hunger for innovation.
By Colin McPherson
The Rose are back in bloom
The West Lothian community club is made up of more than 400 players of all ages. After a tough few years, it is bringing joy to adults and kids of all abilities again.
By Ed Hodge
A matter of life and death
How amateur football can help mental health.
By Tom Grant
Thrills and folly of Archibald’s Airdrie
The iconic former striker brought grandiosity, Spaniards and swagger into his brief reign at the club. Too many of us bought into the dream and his takeover bid was always doomed.
By Andrew McInnes
In the wilderness, for only a month
Darren Young spent more than four years in charge of East Fife, with more highs than lows. The ending was abrupt but a new post soon opened up. Now he is relishing the challenge of Stirling Albion.
By Andy Ross
Ups and downs of Fergie time in Ireland
Alex Ferguson’s brother Martin enjoyed early success as player-manager at Waterford but it ended in tumultuous scenes after he subbed himself on, late in a vital game.
By Cian Manning
Fun and Games for our island players
Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have all enjoyed competing in the Island Games against the likes of Welsh, Finnish, Greenlandic and Greek opposition. Bring on Guernsey in 2023.
By Steve Menary
Sounds of the sublime
Radio allows us to create our own immaculate images. One special goal by Benjelloun gave a father and son years of shared pleasure.
By Jo Higgs
They also serve who only stand and quake.
By Duncan McCoshan
Six of the best strips: Livingston
By John Devlin
European Cup Final by AC Clarke
The shirt off me back me lads by Mark Coverdale
Wingers (or: Alf Ramsey’s Crime) by Peter Russell