Jim McCalliog: Smile back on Scotland, says 1967 Wembley hero

Jim McCalliog scores at Wembley
Jim McCalliog scored Scotland's third goal against England at Wembley in 1967

Manager Gordon Strachan has "put a smile back on Scottish soccer", says former Scotland hero Jim McCalliog.

McCalliog scored in the famous 3-2 win over world champions England at Wembley in 1967, 50 years ago this weekend.

It was a debut to remember for McCalliog, who was taken with the bow of Stuart Armstrong in last month's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over Slovenia.

"I was very pleased for Gordon and for the boys because it was a real pressure situation," said McCalliog.

"I was actually at the game, I thoroughly enjoyed it. They put a smile back on Scottish soccer that night."

Strachan had commented that Armstrong's man-of-the-match performance at Hampden was the best Scotland debut he had ever seen.

McCalliog, just 20 years old at the time, scored with three minutes remaining as Scotland recorded arguably their most distinguished victory, with Denis Law and Bobby Lennox also on target.

"With regards to the comparison (with Armstrong) I think that's what football is all about," McCalliog told BBC Scotland's Sportsound. "We all have opinions and that's what keeps the game bubbling along."

Chris Martin and Stuart Armstrong
Armstrong (right) set up a late winner for Chris Martin as Scotland found three valuable points against Slovenia after a poor start to the World Cup qualifying campaign

'A wonderful memory'

McCalliog, who had spells at Chelsea, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves and Manchester United, would only win another four Scotland caps after netting the third goal in the Wembley win.

However, he says he has no regrets and simply cherishes the appearances he did make and having the chance to be part of the triumph over the World Cup holders.

"It seems like yesterday," he said. "It's a wonderful memory and it's still imprinted very much so in my head, it was a fabulous day.

"People would save up for two years so they could go to Wembley. It was an important game, we had it rammed down our throat about 1966 so all the boys were determined we would get a good result.

"To have Billy Bremner on my right-hand side and the wonderful James Baxter on my left was a dream come true.

"There were easily four world class players in the England side; Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Alan Ball and probably Ray Wilson and that's not to mention Gordon Banks. They certainly were a great side, they were unbeaten for 18 games, and it was a tough call for us to go out and beat them.

"The Scotland selection was quite difficult back then. The manager didn't pick the team, the committee did. There was a lot of competition. I'm very grateful for the five caps, it would have been nice to have got a few more."

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