A scary collection of Scottish footballers for Halloween/ Liquidation Day…
Were these blots on the landscape the prototypes for the monsters on Babylon 5? what else could explain the appearance of ex-Rangers boss Jock Wallace (1)? The story goes that Jock used to eat monkeys while on a survival course in the Burmese jungle. You can see the effects of this for yourself. Just say “no” kids.
With those psychotic eyes and prohibition hoodlum looks it’s hardly surprising that Hibs’ Lawrie “Who are ye lookin’ at” Reilly (2) would regularly be hired to collect debts from the Mafia. Who could fail to pay up to a man whose head looked like a miscast from a jelly-mould?
Rumour has it that Alex Thomson of Dunfermline (3) crawled up the plughole one night while the manager was having a bath. He certainly seems to have some awful fate in mind for the photographer.
St.Mirren’s John Miller (4), aka Bela Lugosi, stood in for Transylvanian butlers opening the doors of castles to young couples at midnight during thunderstorms.
John Beath (5), possibly the only man in history who can say that he was a “star” for Albion Rovers, was actually a paintbrush on which somebody had drawn a face and stuck on to a decapitated body.
The only reason we can think of for Jimmy Cowan’s hundreds of appearances for Morton (6) was that nobody dared to tell him he was dropped and with a face like that we can only imagine what Bertie Harrison (7) of Ayr United had for a body.
Sadly, history does not record how many rich widows fell for the suave, smooth-talking patter of Aberdeen’s Eddie Falloon (8).
All of the aforementioned are mere PGs, though, compared with Ayr United’s Terry McGibbon (9). In a bizarre Island of Doctor Moreau type experiment the Ayrshire club decided to keep him fed on a diet of monkey glands and dog biscuits. He later evolved into Jim Jim Leighton.
Every one of these creations make the Elephant Man look like George Michael, but a few burning questions remain unanswered. What sort of stomach did you need to take team pictures in those days? Just how old were these players when they retired? And, most intriguing of all, why did they all insist on being photographed against a background which gave all of them the appearance of wing-nuts?
Next time you hear somebody talking about the unacceptable face of Scottish football you’ll know what they’re talking about.