Twenty years ago The Scotsman brought out a book documenting every game played by Scotland since the first international in 1871 against England right up to the final game before publication in 1994, writes Stuart Cameron.
It listed teams, scorers and a report of each match – a gem.
The next edition never came. Just when I had given up hope that there would ever be a book to replace it, up pops “Scottish Rugby – Game by Game” by Kenneth R Bogle published by Luath Press.
It’s my new best friend - a companion I am so fond of it has become a serious threat to my marital status! Seriously, I never thought the original could be bettered.
Well this one from the well known Hawick scribe is more than twice the size, almost 650 pages, covers all 625 games played by Scotland right up to the tournament in South Africa last year, is packed with images and it lists every Scottish player capped in order of appearance including the 1000th – Jim Hamilton – who graces the cover.
What it doesn’t do (which may be useful for the next edition of this, hopefully, ongoing publication) is name the clubs associated with the players with a breakdown of who they played against.
What it does include are dates of birth and death, tells how many caps each won, their positions played and how long their careers lasted.
There are informative articles and quirky features including a list of players who played for Scotland in uncapped internationals, one of these being the unluckiest player of all never to win a cap – Borderer Mark Moncreiff - who played for Scotland in 1991 against the USA and the Barbarians, and in 1993 facing Fiji and Tonga.
Talking to Mark about this he is absolutely fine with it. Disappointed of course, but maybe not as disappointed as others are for him. Some have had two appearances in uncapped matches for Scotland but no one has ever had this experience three let alone Mark’s four times.
There have been some splendid Scottish Rugby books but this is as good as it gets.
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Who graces the front cover of Ken Bogle’s book?
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