Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  

Saints players at major international tournaments

Recommended Posts

Having read a few posts about former Saints and inclusion in international squads for major tourney, I thought I'd post this.
This was originally on Facebook before the last world Cup in 2018.

Tells the history of Saints players at the major competitions.

One thing that no-one has ever seen is a serving Saints player take part in a major international tournament.

In our history we have had 28 players gain full Scotland caps, the last of which was Roy Aitken back in 1991. None of them have been included in squads for the World Cup or Euros.

We have come close to having Saints represented in major tournaments.

In 1957 Bobby Holmes was named in a pre-WC tour squad and was widely tipped to make the final squad for Sweden in 1958. However, a freak training ground injury ended his hopes (and ultimately his career). Ironically on the day of his injury he was not meant to be at training as he had been to Glasgow to be measured for his official Scotland suit in preparation for the tour!

Jump forward to 1978 and we saw Tony Fitzpatrick and Frank McGarvey included in the initial squad for Argentina. Fitzy made the final 40 who were in the running, but he never made the final 22.

In 1986 Campbell Money was included in the initial squad for Mexico. He was due to make his international debut against the Netherlands in April 1986, but an injury sustained against Dundee United a few days before the match cost him to miss out and ended his hopes of travelling to Mexico.

Whilst never having a serving player involved in a World Cup, there has been at least one past or future Saint in all eight Scotland squads which have been involved in WC tournaments.

Sweden 1954 and Switzerland 1958

Willie Fernie (Celtic) – (12caps 1goal)

He played both matches in 1954 and one of the three matches in 1958.
Willie played for Saints between November 1961 and September 1963. He played 29 matches, including the 1962 Scottish Cup final, and scored five times.

West Germany 1974

Jim Stewart (Kilmarnock) – (2caps)

Gordon McQueen (Leeds United) – (30caps 5goals)

Peter Cormack (Liverpool) – (9caps)

None of the three players made any appearances in the tournament.

Stewart played for Saints between October 1984 and May 1986, making 9 appearances.

McQueen played 77 matches between February 1970 and October 1972, scoring 6 times.

Cormack was Saints assistant manager for a couple of months in 1986. He took charge of the team for two matches after Alex Miller left for Hibs in November 1986, before he joined Miller at Easter Road.


Argentina 1978

Archie Gemmell (Nottingham Forest) – (43caps 8goals)

Gordon McQueen (Manchester United) (See 1974)

Ally MacLeod (Manager)

Gemmell played in all 3 games, scoring twice against The Netherlands, including arguably the greatest ever Scotland goal!

McQueen never played any matches

MacLeod was manager between April 1977 and the final match of the 1978 tournament. He took charge of 17 matches winning 7 and drawing five.

Archie Gemmell started his career at Love Street in March 1964. He made 81 appearances, scoring ten times before heading south in May 1967.

Ally MacLeod played for Saints during 1955-56 scoring three times in 25 games

Spain 1982

Steve Archibald (Tottenham Hotspur) – (27caps 4goals)

Steve played all three games scoring once.

He played 17 times for Saints and scored twice between November 1990 and May 1991.


Mexico 1986

Roy Aitken (Celtic) – (57caps including one with Saints in 1991, 1goal)

Frank McAvennie (West ham United) – (5caps 1goal)

Steve Archibald (Barcelona) (see 1982)

Alex Ferguson (Manager)

Aitken played all three games

McAvennie made two sub appearances

Archibald played one game

Alex Ferguson was manager for 10 matches between October 1985 and the end of the tournament. He won three and drew four of the games.

Roy Aitken made 37 Saints appearances during 1991-92, scoring once.

McAvennie had two spells at Love Street making a total of 182 appearances, scoring 63 goals between January 1980 and June 1985 and then October and December 1994

Fergie was Saint’s manager between October 1974 and May 1978, leading them to the First Division title in 1977.


Italy 1990

Roy Aitken (Newcastle United)

Roy captained the side in all three matches

France 1998

Paul Lambert (Celtic) – (26caps)

Paul played all three games.

He started his career at Saints in 1985, making 261 appearances scoring 15 times before leaving in September 1993

Over the years Saints have had 45 ‘foreign’ players and four of them have appeared in a WC final tournament and one was manager during the original tournament in 1930.


Robert Millar made 24 appearances for Saints between 1909 and 1911. He then emigrated to the United States and became a naturalised American, playing twice for the national team. In 1930 he was team manager of the national team as they finished third in the inaugural World Cup tournament.

1986 - Victor Munoz (Spain) (60caps 3 goals).
Victor played 20 games for Saints during 1990-91, scoring twice.

2002 – Eric Djemba-Djemba (Cameroon) (34caps)
Djemba-Djemba signed a short-term deal with Saints in February 2014 but things never worked out and he made just three appearances before leaving in the summer.

2006 – Chris Birchall (Trinidad and Tobago) (43caps 4goals)
Birchall spent a short period on loan at Love Street from Coventry City in late 2007. He made nine appearances before returning south after sustaining a hamstring injury.

2018 - Aaron Mooy was included in the Aussie squad for the tournament.


The only Saints connection to the European Championships is Victor who appeared for Spain in the 1984 and 1988 tournaments.

This year we will see John McGinn in the Scotland squad. Unfortunately Kenny McLean misses out due to injury having played a major part in qualifying.

Hopefully one day we will see a serving Saints at a tournament.   

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, TPAFKA Jersey 2 said:

I though Gordon McQueen was injured for the 78 World Cup??

He was in the squad but didn’t play due to injury

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...