When Iconic Rockers Thin Lizzy Declared Scotland ” Champions “

Written by on June 15, 2018

The book APOLLO MEMORIES remembers the night Thin Lizzy, and iconic lead singer Phil Lynott in particular, declared the Scotland National Team ” Champions ” in 1979.

Oh, if only that had been true but if real truth be told we were still suffering a hangover from our fourth World Cup appearance 12 months earlier.

It was a nice gesture from the Irishman but Scotland’s heroes were coming to the end of a three year period when anything seemed possible for one of the best ever Scottish international sides.

After successful Home International campaigns in 1976 and 1977, when England were beaten at Hampden and Wembley, the Scotland National Team went onto qualify for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina ahead of European Champions Czechoslovakia and one of the best Welsh sides ever. Yes, much was expected of Ally MacLeod’s side at the time  but sadly little was delivered outside a face-saving 3-2 win over eventual beaten finalists in the tournament Holland.

An opening group match defeat by Peru [ 3-1 ] and then an abysmal draw v Iran [ 1-1 ] saw Scotland needing three clear goals in a victory over the Dutch to qualify for the second phase. We all remember Archie Gemmill’s wonder goal in that game but Jonny Rep spoiled the party with a long range effort that made it 3-2 after 90 minutes.

Jock Stein took over as boss in late 1978 but in 1979 Scotland had lost 3-1 to England at Wembley and were still suffering the trauma of South America.

Dalglish was in his prime and we had Graeme Souness too but not even these Liverpool greats could save us from embarrassment in Argentina.

So, maybe not champions but we had one of our best ever kits at the time and it graced the Lizzy lead singer on a memorable night in Glasgow in 1979.



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