So it's time for the big reveal (although the picture below is a bit of a clue). Who's made the Top Five Footballers of all time and, who's top of the list compiled by our sportswriters? As ever - and you will - let us know what you think...

5. Jim Baxter 1939-2001

Show me your medals: With Rangers won three titles, three Scottish Cups, four League Cups. Won 34 caps.

Class is permanent: Here's the story. It's not about keepie-uppies at Wembley or a carry-oot in Blackhill with Puskas. Slim Jim led a life that seemed to be a series of anecdotes interrupted in his youth by football matches. This story has Jim as a film star. It was the role he was born to play. Back in the mists of time, Slim Jim was asked in retirement to play a cameo in The Gift, a film for BBC. The scene is: two teenage boys from Caithness, who have come for a trial with a football club in Glasgow, have gone out for a fish supper. They are talking about Baxter and how one of their dads remembers the keepie-uppies at Wembley. One of them finishes eating the supper, crumples up the wrapping, and throws it over his shoulder. Baxter emerges from the dark, takes it on his chest, drops it on to his knee, and then volleys it into a litter bin. He shrugs, smiles and walks off. One take.

View from the terracing: Look up a dictionary. There is a picture of Baxter under G for Gallus.

4. Dave Mackay 1934-

Show me your medals: With Hearts, one Scottish Cup, one league title, two League Cups; with Tottenham Hotspur won one title, three FA Cups; won second division title with Derby County. Won 22 caps.

Class is permanent: A player who matched ability with achievements. A winner. The most famous photograph of the great man is him shaking Billy Bremner warmly by the throat but this does not accurately portray a midfielder of excellent technique. Mackay was central to historic triumphs for three teams but his colleagues remember a fine footballer. Jimmy Greaves stated simply that Mackay was the most accomplished player in a Spurs team that included Danny Blanchflower, John White and Cliff Jones. Mackay would be the best in a training drill that focused on volleying a ball continually against a wall. "It is much harder than it sounds," said Greaves. With the ability to tackle solidly, run all day, pass with ease off either foot and contribute goals it is no surprise that Mackay was successful at Hearts, Spurs and then Derby County. Brian Clough signed the Scot for his temperament and for his powers of organisation, putting Mackay into a sweeper role that suited his reduced pace but still enhanced vision. He is thus remembered with warm affection and respect at three historic clubs.

View from the terracing: The Real Mackay.

3. Jimmy Johnstone 1944-2006

Show me your medals: With Celtic, one European Cup, nine titles, four Scottish Cups, five League Cups. Won 23 caps.

Class is permanent: Jinky was a player who could break a heart as well as make it soar. His footballing genius was encapsulated in his mission to entertain. His private life could be painful and his demise was tragic. He was a player capable of extraordinary moments of brilliance, twisting and turning with the sharpness of a hare under pressure of a greyhound. He was absurdly brave and searingly quick over the first two yards and, almost incidentally, he was a fine header of the ball. He famously scored a back-post header against Peter McCloy of Rangers in a mismatch of sizes that recalls David's heavy tackle on Goliath. He was a consistently influential player for Celtic but there were highlights. He was unplayable against Red Star, magical against Leeds United in both legs of a European Cup semi-final and joyfully mesmerising in Alfredo Di Stefano's testimonial match against Real Madrid after the European Cup triumph. Di Stefano was asked to pose for a photograph with the great Ferenc Puskas after the match. 'Wait," he told the mass of photographers. "We must have Johnstone in this." The Wee Man dutifully shuffled into shot. Puskas, Di Stefano, Johnstone. Says it all, really.

View from the terracing: Don't know about the full-back but I'm skelly-eyed trying to follow Jinky.

2. Denis Law 1940-

Show me your medals: Two titles with Manchester United and one FA Cup. 55 caps with 30 goals.

Class is permanent: Hugh McIlvanney, the peerless sports writer, has a criterion for football greatness: "Would the player be included in a good Brazil team?" Law passes this test with some ease. The idea of him dovetailing with Pele is the stuff of dreams but the Scot did not do too badly at Manchester United, forming an axis with Best and Charlton that is immortalised in a statue outside Old Trafford. His goal ratio, particularly at international level, testifies to his abilities in the box. But Law was much more than an assured striker, even a great player. He was glamour. He was excitement. It was impossible to watch his hunched figure, grasping the cuffs of his shirt, and not be tensed for his latest burst of action. He made a living predicting the arc of a ball and then applying a significant if sometimes mere touch. He was decisive off either foot. But his antics in the air were worthy of a commentary by David Attenborough. Law could twist, hang and strike in the air. He was spectacular. He was also extraordinarily brave and combative. A player whose very name conjures up the magic of football and the ability of the game to linger in the mind down the ages.

View from the terracing: Now that's what I call a stunning blond.

1. Kenny Dalglish 1951-

Show me your medals: With Celtic, won four titles, four Scottish Cups and a League Cup; with Liverpool, won three European Cups, six titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups. Won a record 102 caps, scoring 30 goals.

Class is permanent: His career at Liverpool was stellar. He was voted the greatest ever player at a club that has had one or two. But despite a winning goal in a European Cup final and a career in which his success stretched into his tenure as a player/manager on the Mersey, he is remembered with awe as a player with Celtic. He was the primary seven boy playing with the toddlers. Dalglish could take the ball from the goalkeeper and progress up the field with the minimal assistance of an odd 1-2 and thump the ball past the opposition goalkeeper. Red-cheeked and bright-eyed, he always celebrated a goal as if he was surprised at his genius. His finishing was honed by Jock Stein, who regularly took a bag of balls on to the training field and told Dalglish simply to pass the ball into the net. He did this for the rest of his career. There is a case to be made that Dalglish played out of position for all his career, being at the focal point of the Liverpool attack. He certainly had the guile, skill and technique to be a midfielder of world class. He was also brave, robust and disciplined.

View from the terracing: The best. Nae mibbes aye, mibbes no about it.

Top 10-6





Ian Rush on why his fellow Liverpool forward is the best he has ever played with, and the strongest too:

He was a mischief-maker. He came up with that famous story about me saying that when I was in Italy with Juventus it was like living in a different country. That was his humour and going into that dressing room was difficult in a way. It was all about how you took it. He was great at taking the mickey. It was all about getting to know him.

At first, whatever Kenny said you believed. But then you overcome that and see he is trying to get you into the dressing room, make you part of it. He was using that experience to help players come along.

He was very important for me, personally. He was the best player I played with. People regard Kenny and I as the best ever partnership at Liverpool and that is humbling. He used to take me aside and say: "I will put the ball there." I would think: "You cannot do that."

I always remember once that I did not make the run and he put the ball where he said he would. He just looked at me, he did not say anything. I never made that mistake again.

We did not really work at the partnership. It was telepathic, I suppose. I had the pace and ran into the spaces and he put it there. It was mostly down to Kenny. He could hold the ball up, he could turn a defender he could pass and he could score.

He helped me a great deal when I was younger. My job was to score goals but he improved me in other areas, too. He brought other things into my game.

He was very brave. The way he played – he turned so quickly – he was always going to be kicked. He would get up and get on with it. He was strong, Kenny. He used to say that if people were kicking you that meant they were scared of you.

He could have played anywhere in the team. He was not an out-and-out striker because he had so much else to his game. Put simply, he was best as a goal-maker and that is a great thing to say about someone who scored so many great goals.

On the pitch, he could put the ball where no-one else could. He could roll people and move away from them.

Off the pitch, he had the ability to help younger players come on in the right way. You have to do it yourself at Anfield but he was able to get you into the Liverpool mentality. And once you get into that mentality you realise what he was trying to do with the dressing room banter. You had to prove to him you could handle the mickey-taking.

You had to be mentally strong to survive at Liverpool. If you cannot handle the banter and the stress, then you were not good enough to play for Liverpool.

I still see him. We are both ambassadors for Liverpool. We sit at games and people just describe him to me as the best player Liverpool had. He is the best player Scotland have had, too. And, yes, he still takes the mickey.

The 50 Greatest Scottish Footballers 50-41

The 50 Greatest Scottish Footballers 40-31

The 50 Greatest Scottish Footballers 30-21

The 50 Greatest Scottish Footballers 20-11

The 50 greatest Scottish footballers 10 - 6