Scots across the Channel

Questions and Answers
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Q. Apart from Steve Archibald at Barcelona and Mo Johnston at Nantes, are there any other examples of Scottish players on the continent? I vaguely recall John Hewitt going, I believe, to Switzerland. Are there any others?

A. Steve Archibald and Maurice Johnston can perhaps be regarded as the most successful Scottish players to have played abroad. Johnston in particular enjoyed the best period of his career for both club and country while with Nantes. However, several other instances of Scottish players joining European clubs can also be cited, the majority of whom are also forwards.

Denis Law signed for Torino after his first spell with Manchester City in the early 1960s along with Joe Baker of Hibernian but neither player managed to help the Turin side meet the challenge of neighbours Juventus. In 1981, Joe Jordan left Manchester United to join Milan and he also played for Verona before joining Southampton in 1984.

The recently appointed Leicester manager, Mark McGhee, signed for SV Hamburg from Aberdeen in 1984 after Alex Ferguson's side won the Scottish League and Cup double. After scoring only seven goals in 30 games in the Bundesliga, McGhee returned to Scotland with Celtic 18 months later. Alan Mc- Inally is another Scottish player to have played in German football, joining Bayern Munich in 1989 after two years with Aston Villa.

Davie Dodds took a rather circuitous route from Dundee United to Aberdeen in 1986 by spending around four months in Swiss football with Neuchatel Xamax.

Also at this time two other Scottish strikers went to France - Eric Black left Aberdeen for Metz but recurring injury problems plagued his career. Ray Stephen joined Nancy from Dundee in October 1986 and was appointed captain of a team then managed by Michel Platini. Apart from one successful season when he finished as third top goalscorer in France (behind Jean-Pierre Papin), Stephen also struggled with a knee injury. In returning to Scotland in 1992, he joined the Highland League side Cove Rangers andmade an early impact, scoring six goals on his debut against Nairn County before being substituted after 60 minutes.

The former Kilmarnock and Rangers player Gordon Smith, whose celebrated missed chance in the 1983 FA Cup final took the tie to a replay, had a spell in Austrian football after serving Brighton and Manchester City.

In addition, three Scottish international midfield players of the last decade or so have played on the continent. Graeme Souness spent two years with Sampdoria after captaining Liverpool's European Cup winning side in 1984 before his appointment as player- manager of Rangers.

Murdo Macleod moved to Borussia Dortmund from Celtic in 1987. Three years later he returned to Scotland with Hibernian and is at present player- manager at Dumbarton.

Finally, Jim Bett's career represents something of a travelogue. Born in Hamilton, he first played for Airdrieonians in the late 1970s before moving to Iceland and then the Belgian side Lokeren. From 1980-83 he played for Rangers and a second spell with Lokeren followed before he settled down for a nine-year stint with Aberdeen from 1985. Released at the end of last season, Bett spent the summer in Icelandic football before signing for Hearts in October 1994. - Derek Mackenzie, Aberdeen

A. A curiosity was Joe Baker, the first player to be capped by England while with a club outside its boundaries (Hibernian). Born in Liverpool of Scottish parents and taken to Motherwell as a baby, he joined Torino at the same time as Denis Law (1961).

Nostalgia compels me to mention that in his book Great Masters of Scottish Football Hugh Taylor relates that in 1951, the great Jimmy Mason of Third Lanark, an inside-right nonpareil and then aged 32, was offered £4,000 in cash, £30 a week, a free house and a flight to Italy by Lazio, when he was being paid £14 a week by Thirds. He stayed at home and deprived Lazio of the bargain of the century. - Duncan Macintyre, Greenock


Q. On 26 December 1994 Leeds Rugby League Club played a league match on the ground of Hull RLFC, thereby ending a run of 36 consecutive home Boxing Day fixtures. Given the close proximity to the city of Leeds of other prominent rugby league teams and theguarantee of a large home "gate" on this particular day, why was this sequence allowed to become established? Has any other team played out a longer run of home (or away) competitive fixtures on such an important date in the calendar. - Ste ve Edbury, Shipley

Q. Is there a more multi-sports stadium than Wembley Stadium? It has staged the Olympics, World Football Cup and ran weekly greyhound racing and speedway. What were the attendances for greyhound racing? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. In greyhound racing, the hare runs either on the inside or the outside. Does this have an effect on results? - Richard Shipley, Otley

If you know the answers to any of these questions, or have a sporting question of your own you would like answered, write to: Q & A Independent on Sunday 1 Canada Square Canary Wharf London E14 5DL fax: 071-293 2430