NOW YOU KNOW: Greig had the edge in caps over Celts' Billy

TWO of the Old Firm's greatest captains were Billy McNeill and John Greig, who went on to be capped many times for their country during illustrious careers...

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Referee Tom 'Tiny' Wharton with Rangers captain John Greig and Celtic captain Billy McNeill before the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden in 1971 which ended 1-1. Celtic won the replay 2-1
Referee Tom 'Tiny' Wharton with Rangers captain John Greig and Celtic captain Billy McNeill before the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden in 1971 which ended 1-1. Celtic won the replay 2-1

MRS SMITH (Bearsden) – My husband and I support different sides of the Old Firm. We were talking about great players from both clubs, and their international careers.

Could you tell me which of the great wingers, Jimmy Johnstone or Willie Henderson, was most capped.

Also which of two great centre-halfs, Ronnie McKinnon or Billy McNeill, was most capped and, finally, the number of caps won by the two legendary captains Billy McNeill and John Greig.

The numbers you require are: Jimmy Johnstone 33 caps, Willie Henderson 29 caps; Ronnie McKinnon 28 caps, Billy McNeill 29 caps; and, finally, John Greig 44 caps with McNeill, as mentioned before, on 29 caps.

ANDREA (Milngavie) – Is it true that when Partick Thistle had their famous win in the 1971 Scottish League Cup, they played only Second Division sides on the way to the final?

This is not the case. In those days, the opening stages of the competition were played on a group basis.

As Thistle had been in the Second Division the previous season (and had indeed won the league), their section was made up of Second Division teams – East Fife, Raith Rovers and Arbroath.

The Jags progressed through this group undefeated and then they beat Alloa Athletic (Second Division) over two legs in the supplementary round.

From then on they faced First Division teams. St Johnstone were beaten over two legs in the quarter-final and, in the semi-final at Hampden Park, they beat Falkirk 2-0.

In the final, Celtic were, of course, defeated 4-1. Incidentally East Fife were also promoted as runners-up behind Thistle so were also a First Division team when the Jags knocked them out at the group stage.

J. GILLIES (Coatbridge) – Can you help with information on a Scottish Cup-tie in the 1980s when Albion Rovers lost to amateur side Whitehill Welfare.

On February 4, 1987, Albion Rovers were beaten 2-1 by Edinburgh amateur side Whitehill Welfare in a second-round Scottish Cup-tie at Cliftonhill.

A crowd of 633 saw Whitehill take the lead in 13 minutes and then miss a penalty a minute later.

In 60 minutes, Whitehill made it 2-0 but, with five minutes to go, Rovers pulled a goal back.

The Coatbridge side could not find an equaliser and Whitehill went on to win the match 2-1.


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