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Bruce wants to join the foreign legion

EVER since The Hon. Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, of Wanderers, and Lieut.

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Henry Waugh Renny-Tailyour, of the Royal Engineers, were picked to play for Scotland in what was only this country's second international football match -- against England in London in 1873 -- just a mere trickle of ''outsiders'' have been given the same privilege.

The Hon., later to become a Lord, was born in Kensington and the lieutenant, who was to reach the rank of colonel, saw the first light of day in the North West Provinces of India. As international footballers, they didn't do too well. Scotland lost that particular match and although the lieutenant scored a goal neither was picked again.

Mind you, they had other, and to them more meaningful things to do with their lives. Kinnaird, as well as being an accomplished sprinter, tennis player, swimmer, and canoeist, served in the House of Lords, was president of the YMCA and Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Renny-Tailyour, who incidentally also played international rugby for Scotland and cricket for Kent (he even played for the Gentlemen against the Players), was to become managing director of the Guinness company. Two fine lads who came from good Scottish stock.

Which brings me to the point. Since that day, when England won 4-2 almost 127 years ago, less than twenty people born outside of the country have been capped by Scotland. Yet, this week alone we have heard of two who have asked to be considered.

In the case of Rangers midfield man Nigel Spackman I can sympathise. His grandfather was a Scot and up until recently that would have been enough to give him qualification to play for Scotland. But under an agreement by the four home associations it is not enough any more. Pity, for we could do with another good midfield player.

The other case involves Liverpool's South African-born goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, already capped by Zimbabwe. Now he has been granted British citizenship, Bruce feels he should be allowed to play for one of the four home countries.

''I'd play for anyone who wanted me,'' he said. Fair enough, but then Bruce points out that he could hardly expect to replace either Neville Southall, of Wales, or England's Peter Shilton. That, of course, leaves Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Now, Jim Leighton, Scotland's current No.1, has not had the best of times in recent international matches, but although I have always admired Grobbelaar, a man who often brings a chuckle to the serious business, I would much rather see full-blooded Scot Leighton as our last line in the World Cup finals in Italy. But if Andy Roxburgh decides otherwise, I would remind Bruce that there are other capable lads in front of him in the queue -- Hibernian's Andy Goram, born in Bury, with a Scottish father, and Thurso-born Bryan Gunn, of Norwich.

Incidentally, if Grobbelaar was ever to play for Scotland he wouldn't be setting a trend, for of all the ''outsiders'' to be capped by this country goalkeepers have the highest ratio -- around 25%.

Apart from Goram, four others come into that category, Bill Fraser, of Sunderland, who was born in Australia, Leeds United's David Harvey (Leeds), Arsenal's Bob Wilson (Chesterfield), and Celtic's Joe Kennaway, who was born in Montreal and is rather unique for the fact that he was also capped by Canada and the United States.

* * *

ROY AITKEN, transferred only last week to Newcastle United, will be back among Celtic connections on Sunday when he attends a special dinner in the Albany Hotel, Glasgow. Aitken, along with other former Celts Mark McGhee and Tommy Burns, will turn out to honour former young team-mate Steve Murray, who had to give up the game, because of a bad knee injury.

The dinner is the culmination of a testimonial for the youngster, who played for Scotland at under-21 level. Among items up for auction will be the jersey Jacki Dziekanowski wore for Poland against England, and Ray Houghton's Republic of Ireland jersey he wore in that country's final World Cup qualifier. Only a few tickets remain for the event and can be had by telephoning 041 647 9749/0430 or 041 632 5221.

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