Scotland national amateur football team

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Scotland Amateurs
AssociationScottish Football Association (1926–1949, 1954–1974),
Scottish Amateur Football Association (1949–1954)
Most capsBilly Neil (45)
Top scorerDonald Ford, Peter Buchanan (11)
First colours
Second colours
First international
England Amateurs England 1–4 Scotland Amateurs Scotland
(Filbert Street, Leicester; 18 December 1926)
Biggest win
Scotland Amateurs Scotland 6–0 Ireland Amateurs Ireland
(Celtic Park, Glasgow; 28 January 1933)
Biggest defeat
England Amateurs England 8–3 Scotland Amateurs Scotland
(Champion Hill, Dulwich; 11 March 1939)

The Scotland national amateur football team was the amateur representative team for Scotland at football. It was formed in 1926 and continued until 1974.


Origins and first match (1893–1926)[edit]

Following the adoption of professionalism in 1893, the Scotland national football team continued to field both professional and amateur players, but by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the number of amateurs winning international caps was in decline.[1] Between the formation of the SAFA in 1909 and 1926, the SFA turned down requests from the SAFA, the FA and the FFF to stage international matches featuring a Scottish team made up of purely amateur players.[2] One reason was that a Scottish amateur national team featuring no players from wholly amateur Scottish League First Division club Queen's Park would not be in the national interest, due to the prospective Scotland amateur matches clashing with Queen's Park's.[2] In August 1926, the SAFA announced that the first Scotland amateur international match would take place against their English counterparts on 18 December that year at Filbert Street, with the team's selection being determined by the SFA.[2] In front of a 10,000 crowd, Scotland won the match 4–1, courtesy of two goals from Laurie McBain and one each from George Jessiman and James Crawford.[3]

Pre-war (1926–1939)[edit]

Between 1926 and 1939, Scottish League First Division club Queen's Park provided the majority of the players for the Scotland amateur team, with many of the players winning full international caps as well.[1] With England as the biggest opponent and crowd draw amongst the Home Nations, the strongest possible team was selected and often included an all-Queen's Park XI.[1] In the same period, Scotland played regular friendly matches against the Wales and Ireland amateur representative teams and the matches were used to experiment with lineups featuring amateur players from other Scottish League clubs, in addition to amateurs playing in the Highland League, East of Scotland League, the Scottish Junior leagues, for Scottish Universities and in England.[1] Friendly matches were played versus France and Denmark in 1932.[1][2]

In its first entry into the unofficial British Amateur Championship in the 1927–28 season,[4] Scotland finished as runners-up to England and won the competition for the first time during the 1929–30 season, finishing undefeated.[5] Further victories followed in the 1933–34, 1935–36 and 1936–37 seasons,[6] before the outbreak of the Second World War in August 1939 caused the cessation of amateur international football.[1] Scotland's penultimate match before the declaration of war resulted in its heaviest defeat, 8–3 versus England at Champion Hill on 11 March 1939.[7]

Post-war (1939–1974)[edit]

Following the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Scottish amateur team did not play again until 1949.[1] The SAFA assumed responsibility for team selection and Scotland's first match in a decade took place versus Ireland at Grosvenor Park on 16 March 1949, with John Boyd scoring a late equaliser to salvage a 2–2 draw.[8] The team would win just two more British Amateur Championships over the next 25 years, in the 1951–52 and 1961–62 seasons.[1] Starting in 1952, amateur internationals were regularly staged against non-Home Nations opposition and two years later, the SFA once again became responsible for team selection.[1] The team entered two competitions in 1963, the FA Centenary Amateur Tournament and the Uhuru Cup in Kenya and finished as winners and runners-up respectively.[1] Scotland finished as runners-up in the 1966–67 UEFA Nations Amateur Cup, losing 2–1 to Austria at the Lluís Sitjar Stadium in Palma, Majorca.[1] The team played its final match on 5 April 1974, a 1–1 British Amateur Championship draw with England at Highfield Road.[9] The team ceased to exist later that year, when the FA abolished the distinction between amateurism and professionalism in domestic football.[1]


The Scotland amateur team predominantly played its home matches at Hampden Park, Glasgow – a ground also home to the full Scotland national team and Queen's Park.[1] Matches outside Glasgow were mainly played in Kilmarnock, Aberdeen and Dumfries.[1]


Most appearances[edit]

# Name Position Years Club(s) Appearances Goals
1 Billy Neil CH 1957–1969 Airdrieonians, Queen's Park 45 0
2 Bert Cromar WH/FB 1951–1963 Queen's Park 35 4
3 Niall Hopper FW 1956–1969 Queen's Park 27 6
4 Doug Grant WH 1959–1968 Elgin City, Queen's Park 23 5
5 Tommy Barr FB 1965–1971 Lanark United, Queen's Park 22 0
6 Willie Hastie WH/FB 1949–1957 Queen's Park 21 0
7 Malky Mackay FW 1966–1971 Queen's Park 20 6
8 Willie Omand WH/FW 1953–1961 Queen's Park 19 6
9 Peter Buchanan FW 1961–1966 Queen's Park 17 11
10 Ian Harnett FB 1953–1960 Queen's Park 16 0

Most goals[edit]

# Name Position Years Club Goals Appearances
1 Donald Ford FW 1965–1966 Heart of Midlothian 11 9
2 Peter Buchanan FW 1961–1966 Queen's Park 11 17
3 John Dodds FW 1930–1936 Queen's Park 9 8
4 Peter Lorimer WH 1963 Leeds United 7 7
5 Joseph Kyle CF/IF 1935–1939 Queen's Park 7 11
6 George Boardman IF 1963 Queen's Park 6 4
7 Ian Campbell IF 1966–1971 Queen's Park 6 12
8 Willie Omand WH/FW 1953–1961 Queen's Park 6 19
9 Malky Mackay FW 1966–1971 Queen's Park 6 20
10 Niall Hopper FW/RH 1956–1969 Queen's Park 6 27

Honours and achievements[edit]

  • British Amateur Championship winners: 1929–30, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1951–52, 1961–62 (shared on four occasions)[1]
  • FA Centenary Amateur Tournament winners[1]
  • UEFA Nations Amateur Cup runners-up: 1966–67[1]
  • Uhuru Cup runners-up: 1963[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r McColl, Brian; Gorman, Douglas; Campbell, George. "FORGOTTEN GLORIES – British Amateur Internationals 1901–1974" (PDF). pp. 9–15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "A Celebration – 100 Years of the SAFA" (PDF). pp. 10–24. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  3. ^ McColl, Gorman & Campbell 2017, p. 76.
  4. ^ McColl, Gorman & Campbell 2017, p. 78.
  5. ^ McColl, Gorman & Campbell 2017, p. 82.
  6. ^ McColl, Gorman & Campbell 2017, p. 99, 106, 110.
  7. ^ McColl, Gorman & Campbell 2017, p. 123.
  8. ^ McColl, Gorman & Campbell 2017, p. 136.
  9. ^ McColl, Gorman & Campbell 2017, p. 295.