THE Scottish fans in the 35,500 crowd for the final World Cup group qualifier against Morroco in St Etienne on June 23 1998 didn’t realise they were about to become part of an exclusive band.
Craig Brown’s Scotland side had lost 2-1 to Brazil in the opening game of the Finals in France and had then drawn 1-1 with Norway. The game against the Africans was crucial to reach the next stage.
The Tartan Army watched in anguish as their nation was hammered 3-0. That was bad enough, but no-one could have possibly dreamed it would be Scotland’s LAST game in a major tournament finals.
Here are the 11 Scots who started the match – and are now in the history books for all the wrong reasons.
The SFA have overseen over 17 years of failure and now have a worse qualifying record than the likes of Northern Ireland and Iceland. Keep WGS but sack the SFA….
JIM LEIGHTON Aberdeen
The veteran keeper was making his 89th international appearance against Morocco and would make only two more – against Lithuania and Estonia. He became the oldest player to represent Scotland against the Estonians in October 1998 at the age of 40 years and 78 days, a record broken by Davie Weir in September 2010.
Leighton, who also played for Manchester United, Dundee and Hibs, had two stints at Pittodrie before retiring after the 4-0 Scottish Cup Final defeat from Rangers in 2000. A distinguished career ended in the saddest of circumstances with the goalie carried off in the third minute after a collision with Rod Wallace.
He became goalkeeping coach at the Dons before being sacked by Mark McGhee in 2009. After a spell at Huntly, Craig Brown brought him back in December 2010. Leighton again left the club at the end of the 2014/15 season.
JACKIE McNAMARA Celtic
The versatile defender/midfielder was picking up his ninth cap and would make 33 appearances in total. He joined the Parkhead side for £650,000 from Dunfermline in 1995 and made his Scotland bow against Latvia the following year.
Craig Brown deployed him mainly at right-back, but brought him into the middle of the park on occasion. He missed the opening game against Brazil, but came on as a sub against Norway before starting against the Africans. In 2005, he quit the Hoops at the end of his contract and joined Wolves. Just before the move, Celtic had granted him a Testimonial Match against the Republic of Ireland at Parkhead.
He had brief spells at Aberdeen, Falkirk and Partick Thistle before retiring from playing in 2011. He was appointed as manager at Firhill in April 2011 and left in January 2013 to take over at Dundee United. He was sacked on September 26 this year with the Tannadice side struggling at the foot of the table.
DAVIE WEIR Hearts
The central defender is the Scotland’s sixth most-capped player with 69 appearances. He played his seventh game in St Etienne, replacing Spurs’ Colin Calderwood.
He scored his only international goal in a World Cup 2002 qualifier against Latvia when the Scots won 2-1. He quit Tynecastle for Everton in a £250,000 deal in February 1999. He returned to Scotland eight years later to sign for Rangers at the end of his contract. After a trophy-laden spell as Ibrox skipper, he left in January 2011 for Sheffield United. In February 2012 he returned to Goodison in a coaching capacity and a year later he was appointed manager of League One side Sheffield United. After a run of 12 games without a win, Weir was fired in October 2013.
Two months later he joined Mark Warburton at Brentford as his assistant manager. The double-act quit the Griffin Park side at the end of last season and Weir, now 45, agreed a three-year deal to work as Warburton’s No.2 at The Rangers.
COLIN HENDRY Blackburn Rovers
The central defender known as ‘Braveheart’ to the Tartan Army played 51 games for his country and was skipper during the 1998 World Cup campaign. He made his debut against Estonia in 1993 and quit in 2001 against San Marino after scoring two goals in a 4-0 win. He was banned for six games after being found guilty of elbowing San Marino sub Nicola Albani. Then playing with Bolton, he decided to retire.
Hendry, who didn’t play his first Scotland game until he was 27, had two spells at Blackburn Rovers after starting his career at Dundee in 1983. He also had two years at Manchester City before Dick Advocaat paid £4million to take him to Rangers in 1998. He left only two years later for Coventry City. He was named Blackpool boss in June 2004, but was dismissed in in November 2005 after a string of disappointing results. In September 2006 he was appointed assistant manager at Boston United. He took over as Clyde boss in June 2007 and resigned in January 2008.
His personal life has been a catalogue of woe. His wife Denise died in tragic circumstances in July 2009 at the age of 42. In June 2010, Hendry, a father of four, was declared bankrupt and it was reported he faced a tax bill of more than £1million.
TOMMY BOYD Celtic
The full-back was only one of three Scots to score in the 1998 Finals in France along with John Collins and Craig Burley. Unfortunately, his goal was the winner for Brazil in the world champions’ 2-1 win in the opening game of the tournament when he deflected the ball past Jim Leighton. He played 71 times for his country, making his debut against Romania in 1990 while he was a Motherwell player. His last outing was against Poland in 2001.
He won a Scottish Cup medal in 1991 when the Fir Parkers beat Dundee United 4-3. He joined Chelsea for 31million that year before returning to Scotland with Celtic in a swap deal for Hoops flop Tony Cascarino in 1992. He played for eight Hoops managers – Liam Brady, Lou Macari, Tommy Burns, Wim Jansen, Jozef Venglos, John Barnes, Kenny Dalglish and Martin O’Neill.
Boyd retired in 2003, but remained at Parkhead as a Youth team manager for the Under-17s side. A regular at club charity events.
CRAIG BURLEY Celtic
The midfielder made the 28th of 42 appearances against Morocco. He threw Craig Brown’s side a lifeline in the previous game when he lobbed in the equaliser after Haavard Flo had put Norway ahead in the 46th minute. Burley levelled 20 minutes later. Unfortunately, the Celtic star was sent off against Morocco as they were knocked out of the tournament. He had his hair bleached blond during the tournament, saying he was “bored”.
With Berti Vogts as manager, Burley retired from international football after playing against Austria in 2003. He was 32 at the time. Wim Jansen brought him to Celtic from Chelsea in 1997 and he played a vital role in helping the Hoops to their first title success in a decade – while stopping Rangers from making it 10-in-a-row. He left Parkhead in December 1 1999 during the disastrous John Barnes reign. Derby County paid £3million for him. He was released in 2003 and played two games for Dundee. He had equally brief spells at Preston and Walsall before hanging up the boots.
Burley now works in the media as a commentator and analyst. He has worked for BBC’s Radio 5 Live and ESPN.
PAUL LAMBERT Celtic
The midfielder was a Motherwell player when he made his Scotland baptism against Japan in 1995. He won 40 caps before retiring at the age of 34 in 2003. He scored one goal for his nation – in the 2-2 draw with the Faroe Islands in Toftir in September 2002. He started his club career at St Mirren and, at the age of 17, won a Scottish Cup medal when they beat Dundee United 1-0 in 1987. He moved to Fir Park in 1993 in a £250,000 deal before joining German giants Borussia Dortmund on a Bosman three years later. He won a Champions League medal when they defeated Juventus 3-1 in the 1997 Final.
Wim Jansen signed him for Celtic a year later and, like Burley, he was instrumental in bringing the Premier League flag to Parkhead after an absence of 10 years. He captained Martin O’Neill’s team throughout the run to the UEFA Cup Final where they lost 3-2 in extra-time to Porto in Seville in 2003. He left Celtic two years later to take over as player/manager at Livingston in June 2005. Lambert left the following February when he resigned after winning only two games. Four months later he took over as boss at Wycombe Wanderers, but left in May 2008.
In October 2008, he was appointed manager of League One side Colchester United and, less than a year later, was given the job at Norwich City after managing Colchester to an opening-day 7-1 win at Carrow Road. He led the East Anglian side to successive promotions before switching to Aston Villa in June 2012, taking over from the sacked Alex McLeish. In February this year, he was axed with the club 18th in the Premier League.
JOHN COLLINS Monaco
Celtic’s current assistant manager was a Hibs player when he made his Scotland debut against Saudi Arabia in 1988. He played another 57 times before retiring following the 2-1 aggregate Euro play-off loss to England in 1999. The classy midfielder scored 12 goals for his country – the most notable being the equaliser against Brazil in the opening game of the 1998 World Cup Finals. Collins kept his nerve before netting with a superbly-placed penalty-kick.
Billy McNeill signed him for Celtic in a £1million deal in 1990, but he left six years later in a Bosman deal for AS Monaco. Everton paid £2million for him in 1998 after the French Finals. He captained the side for a spell before teaming up again with Jean Tigana at Fulham. Tigana had been his boss at Monaco. He helped the London side gain promotion to the top flight in 2001 and retired two years later.
He was named manager of Hibs in 2007 and led them to a League Cup success over Kilmarnock before resigning later that year. He had a brief spell as boss of Belgian outfit Charleroi in 2008 and became Director of Football at Livingston in 2012. He quit a year later and joined the Ronny Deila revolution at Celtic in the summer of 2014.
CHRISTIAN DAILLY Derby County
The much-travelled utility player made his international bow against Wales in 1997 and picked up another 66 caps before quitting in 2008. He has the distinction of becoming the youngest player to represent Scotland at Under-21 level when, at the age of 16, he played against Romania at Easter Road in September 1990.
He scored six goals for his country with the first coming in June 1997 in a 3-2 friendly win in Malta. His last was in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Lithuania when the Scots won 2-1 in Kaunas in September 2006. He captained Scotland 12 times.
Blackburn paid a whopping £5.35million for the former Dundee United and Derby star in August 1998. Dailly, now 41, had further spells at West Ham, Rangers, Charlton, Portsmouth and Southend before retiring in 2012. He has done some work in the media.
GORDON DURIE Rangers(now deceased)
The speedy striker started his career at East Fife in 1981 before joining Hibs three years later and then moving to Chelsea in 1986. He won his first cap against Bulgaria in 1987. His 43rd and last appearance came in the ill-fated encounter against Morocco at the age of 32. However, Durie will be remembered for scoring the second goal in the 2-0 win over Latvia that clinched a place in the 1998 Finals. In total, he scored seven goals for the Scots.
He had a two-year spell at Spurs from 1991 to 93 before joining Rangers where he scored a memorable hat-trick in the club’s 5-1 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Hearts in 1996. Ironically, he joined the Tynecastle side in 2000 and played 16 league games and scored three goals.
Durie was named assistant manager at East Fife in November 2010 and in March 2012 he was caretaker boss following the departure of John Robertson. Due to ill health, he resigned in November that year. He joined the Rangers coaching staff in July 2013.
KEVIN GALLACHER Blackburn Rovers
The fast-paced winger won his first cap as a Dundee United player against Colombia in 1988. He made a further 52 appearances while scoring nine goals. His last game was against San Marino in 2001.
His first goal came in a 3-0 win over Estonia in Tallin in 1993 and his last was against Croatia in a 1-1 draw in Zagreb seven years later. His most famous strikes were the double he netted against Austria at Celtic Park in a World Cup qualifier in 1997 to help his country towards France the following summer.
After leaving Blackburn in 1999, he played for Newcastle, Preston, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield before quitting the playing side in 2002. He has worked in the media and published a book entitled ‘Tartan Turmoil: The Fall and Rise of Scottish Football’.