Graham McColl is an experienced freelance writer. He is the author of several successful books, including CELTIC: THE OFFICIAL HISTORY and CELTIC: THE JOCK STEIN YEARS, and contributes to FOUR FOUR TWO and WHEN SATURDAY COMES. He lives and works in Glasgow.
Well, World Cup fever is on us once again and here Graham McColl takes a look at the possible how’s and why’s of certain teams winning the coveted cup. He looks at all the various factors that go in to making that winning team from tactics to pure luck and with all this in mind he looks at the qualifying teams for the 2010 competition.
Celtic's greatest side became European champions in 1967, but if you think you know their history - think again. This is their tale as never told before. The remarkable story of how Jock Stein brought together a group of local lads, engaging on their first European Cup campaign, and led them all the way to the top will never be repeated. As they progressed, they continued to challenge on four fronts, giving new pride to the city of Glasgow, and creating a legend that resonates still, fifty years on. A Year and a Day provides unprecedented detail on the twelve months that brought such unique success. Discover which Clyde player almost became a Lisbon Lion and who he would have replaced. Learn how Jock Stein got his prediction for the final horribly wrong and even what the Lions had for breakfast on the great day. Find out who spirited away the match ball - and keeps it to this day - at the end of Celtic's tumultuous quarter-final with Vojvodina. The book includes an excruciatingly honest interview with Jimmy Johnstone, Celtic's greatest player, previously unpublished in full. The other Lisbon Lions also have their say, and here too, for the first time, are extensive interviews with representatives of all of the opponents that Celtic faced on the way to Lisbon, providing frank and shocking insights. Teeming with fresh material, this book scrutinises every step Celtic took on the way to winning the European Cup. Even the players who won the great trophy will discover in these pages new revelations about how they emerged triumphant. It is the last word on their magnificent achievement.
Celtic have always been associated with colourful football in the more than 120 years since the club was founded to feed the poor children of the East End of Glasgow. Those romantic origins have been honoured by the many great Celtic teams who have lit up the game not only inside Scotland but in some of the most memorable matches the world has ever seen. This wonderfully illustrated book provides a vivid and evocative celebration of the club's golden years. Drawing on the vast photographic archive of the Daily Mirror and Daily Record , it features evocative, exciting and rare images that show why Celtic means so much to so many people. Here are the famous players who proudly wore their club's colours, producing some of football's finest moments in a more innocent age before commercialism took hold of the sport. All the Celtic greats are here, pictured in their prime and often in intriguingly unusual behind-the-scenes situations: from Jimmy McGrory to Paul McStay, Jimmy Johnstone to Henrik Larsson, Kenny Dalglish to Frank McAvennie. They light up these pages along with the great managers and the classic games in which Celtic have been involved. When Football Was Football: Celtic is not just about the showcase events and icons of yesteryear: it reveals the inner life of the club, with the players off duty, the vibrancy of the fans, plus the colourful and still intriguing lesser-known stories that have made Celtic so special. Revelling in the club's most glorious years, this is a must-have photographic tribute for any follower of Celtic and indeed any football fan.
We had a dream... From Gretna Green to John O'Groats, wild celebrations ensue for the following week. Rubbish is not collected; post isn't delivered; trains and buses don't run; grass remains uncut at the height of summer; fish is not landed at the harbours. Nobody cares. It is as if everyone's birthdays have all come at once; as if two-dozen new years had been rolled into one; as if Scotland had beaten England 6-2 in the final of the World Cup at Wembley Stadium... The natural home for the World Cup trophy is in Scotland. Every Scotland supporter would agree that this is where, in a fair and equal world, the great prize truly belongs. International football was born in Glasgow and Scotland has produced more talented players per head of population than any other small country - think of Denis Law, Kenny Dalglish, Jim Baxter and Jimmy Johnstone - while Scottish supporters have shown in huge numbers how much they enjoy being at the World Cup finals. The deserved rewards for such a blend of talent and devotion are to be found in this tale of Scotland achieving World-Cup success, putting them on the same level as the great footballing nations - Brazil, Italy and Germany. This alternative version of Scotland's World-Cup history is truly the stuff of which dreams are made.
The Little Book of Scotland is a gallus collection of words of wit and wisdom by and about the Scotland football team's players, managers and officials from the Wembley Wizards to Alex McLeish's Euro 2008 campaigners. The book will contain over 150 brave-hearted football quotes. Each quotation will be dated and attributed to its source and, where appropriate, entries will be accompanied by explanatory asides and/or supporting statistics. The sayings will appear in no particular order, but where connections and themes emerge these will be taken into account.Altogether now...Stand up, if you hate England. Stand up, if you hate England. Stand up, if you hate England. Stand up...[repeat to conclude with triumphal chants of Scotland! ].
Back in the 1890s, Willie Maley took control of Celtic and with iron will-power established a footballing tradition that endures to this day. In the 1960s, Jock Stein shaped a team that proved itself to be Europe's finest, while the recent arrival of Martin O'Neill has seen Celtic challenge Rangers to become Scottish football's dominant force in the early 21st century. Few tales are as intriguing as that of Celtic and their managers. The club was the epitome of managerial stability during its first century and only six men had been Celtic manager by the time of the club's centenary in 1988. Each of them - Willie Maley, Jimmy McStay, Jimmy McGrory, Jock Stein, David Hay and Billy McNeill - had been Celtic players who then went on to become team manager. Once McNeill departed in 1991, however, Celtic shook off their conservative, stable image. The club appointed seven managers in nine years, including Wim Jansen and Dr Jozef Venglos from overseas. Other 1990s incumbents, including Lou Macari and John Barnes, managed only for a matter of months while Tommy Burns and Liam Brady lived out their stretches under extreme pressure. The Head Bhoys provides a detailed examination of each individual who has held this key position at the club. Interviews with those close to the action at Celtic down the years highlight the value of each manager's contribution to the club, assessing their strengths, weaknesses and lasting legacies. A tale of intrigues and tensions, disaster and glory, with portraits of some giant individuals, this book should be of interest not only to Celtic supporters but to all followers of football.