Scotland | Remembering chillier times with fewer caps

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Eddie Turnbull. Link to article in Edinburgh Evening News.Edinburgh | Eddie Turnbull of Hibernian was the first British player to score in the European Cup (see July 27). Yet due to arcane bylaws of the Scottish Football Association, his nine appearances for Scotland, including the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, remain mere historical footnotes. Until the 1970s Scotland’s international players were only capped when playing another member of the Home Nations; thus, other players find themselves in Turnbull’s predicament, including Stewart Imlach. Imlach’s son Gary has asked, in his well-received book My Father and Other Working Class Football Heroes, for his father to receive a posthumous cap for his four appearances. Lawrie Reilly, who played with Turnbull on the Hibernian front line and 38 times for Scotland, has joined the call. “It’s an incredible situation when you think that today players come off the bench for ten seconds, often just to waste time at the end of a game and they receive a cap, that’s something I think should also be looked at.”

Update: See 12 Feb 2006 for news of a Scottish Football Association policy reversal.

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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