Ferguson and McGregor - A little perspective
Back in 1931 the Scottish selectors (no George Burleys in those days) selected an all 'tartan' team to play the 'Auld Enemy'. By that, I mean a Scotland team to play England that consisted entirely of players plying their trade in Scotland. Strictly, no Anglo Scots allowed. Naturally, Rangers were most represented, with four players; Meiklejohn, Archibald, McPhail and Morton being our representatives.
The Scotland fans, who would come along to Carlton Place on a Friday to hear the team being announced ahead of the game, were apparently incensed. The prevailing thought being, strictly no Anglo Scots equalled strictly no dancing the following day.
However that all tartan team, on March 28th, 1931 (note date) beat England 2-0 through goals by George Stevenson of Motherwell and Jimmy McGrory. According to John Rafferty, 'Glasgow was a city possessed that night. It was wild and forgotten were the criticisms of the team.' (Beforehand)
This win prompted a certain W.D Cocker to mark the occasion thus;
'And when the second goal was scored
Gosh! hoo the hale of Hampden roared
The very Polis loop and cheer
Nane look mair proud than the premier,
And Ramsey lauchin gey jocosely
Could maist hae shaken hands wi' Mosley'
Wonderful stuff indeed. Another game against England at Hampden, which lives on, came about six years later. On April 17th, 1937, Scotland defeated England 3-1 before 149,000 and something in attendance. Our own Bob McPhail scored two of our goals that day.
Incredibly, it would take Scotland another 25 years, yup, a quarter of a century to beat England at Hampden. And once again Rangers FC were to the fore. Four of our players, Caldow (captain) Baxter, Scott and Wilson playing for their country. Even better, it was two of our number, Wilson and Caldow who scored our goals in a 2-0 victory. Oh, and by this time Alex Scott was a Rangers reserve.
Here's where it gets interesting and adds a modern day twist, especially post Holland at the weekend there.
It's not just legend has it, or an urban myth, but people who represented Scotland that 'historic' day in 1962, will happily tell you that Baxter and a few of his team mates that day were pissed and kicking a ball about in someone's garden at midnight after that game. What I'm saying is they didn't need the manager's advice to have a bevy session. They were doing it any way.
Now I am loathe to say it was a garden in Drumchapel, because it was at a party in that scheme that Baxter got Puskas pissed a year later. I mean, 'Puskas pissed in Partick' has a better ring to it. But the bottom line is Rangers were winning, and Scotland because of the Rangers/Baxter influence went on to beat England three times in succession for the only time in the 20th Century.
A generation down the line we were gobsmacked in 1978 to learn that Willie Johnston was a junkie. The truth of the matter was, he wasn't a smackhead. What had happened was he took a Lemsip or something, which included substances banned by FIFA.
Is it not shameful that we live in a country now, where if you asked a member of the public to name an athlete called Johnston who shamed his sport by using drugs? The average Scottish moron would say Willie and not Ben! (And yes I know the 'T' is silent.)
Let's whisk back in time once again to the 1930s and Scotland playing France in Paris. On the 18th May, 1930, Scotland beat their hosts 2-0. Both goals being scored by Hugh Kilpatrick Gallagher.
There's a slight problem to this wonderful victory; that being Gallagher was hauled up before the SA beaks afterwards accused of being 'pished' on the park. You have to ask; how many goals would he have scored if he'd been sober!.
Gallagher, at the enquiry, said that what with it being a very hot day, he had had a whisky and splash to wash his mouth out. I'm pretty sure his two goals were also in the memory.
For the record, his old man said in the papers of the day that his son's greatest regret was that he never played for The Rangers. I'll leave it at that.
So let's wrap this guff up and call it a day. There is to me, at least, a difference between the likes of Jim Baxter and Hughie Gallagher to our present day Scottish scapegoating, drunken esacapdes. Baxter and Gallagher were, and always will remain legends as long as there is Scottish football. Time cannot diminish their worth to the country or their greatness.
No one can possibly say that of this present pair of Rangers under the microscope.
Yet, for me, sadness remains. I want, my total instinct is, to go on the attack and try as best as I can to defend them and their reputations. But I can't; I refuse to do so. The reason being they helped stab a previous Rangers manager in the back.
Tell you what though, Barry, because I do have to ask the question. Where are your 'pals' in the media now, when you need them most?
Yours in Rangers,
The Govanhill Gub