What a run Stephen O’Donnell has had over the past year or so, starting off all the way back to November 2020 where he was part of the Scotland team to defeat Israel and Serbia, on penalties, to progress to an international tournament for the first time since 1998.
As 2020 ended and 2021 began, the right wingback position was up for constant debate between the Motherwell man and Nathan Patterson who looks to be the future for the position but hadn’t exactly done much at club level, only playing 7 games in the league for Rangers all season. Some thought this was enough to merit a start for young Patterson as Motherwell had an underwhelming season themselves.
As we know SOD played against the Czech Republic in the first game of Euro 2020 and was used as a scapegoat for what was a poor overall team performance. The draw with England must have been his highlight of 2021 as he managed to pocket “generational talent” Phil Foden and One Hundred Million pound left winger Jack Grealish for the full 90 minutes and giving the latter a few nippy challenges in the process.
We all know how the Croatia game went and we tumbled out of the tournament only scoring one goal but our chances of qualifying for the World Cup this year should make and Scot excited. After an eventful end to the group qualifying saw Scotland be drawn against Euro 2020 quarterfinalists Ukraine then either Austria or Wales if we progress.
This jersey comes from Scotland’s clash with Israel where Manchester United’s Scott McTominay scored a last minute winner to send Hampden into a frenzy. O’Donnell was dropped from this game but I would still expect Steve Clarke to continue putting his faith into the Motherwell captain’s ability and hopefully get him a trip to Qatar.
This post today comes from the hangover after a hard fought game from Scotland yesterday which gave a nation Hope to be able to qualify for the World Cup next year in Qatar.
My experience from the game started by getting the train to Mount Florida from Glasgow Central and what better way to hype yourself up for a Scotland game by listening to bagpipes and singing songs about John McGinn.
The buzz in the stadium was ripped out the hearts of the fans within the first five minutes which left me with the dread that it was going to be one of those games. A super strike from the main man John McGinn brought some hope back but some shocking defending was frustrating to watch as we conceded another making it a higher mountain to climb especially with our Aussie lad Lyndon Dykes missing a crucial penalty.
I can happily say the second half was a much better watch with Scotland pushing much higher up the pitch and playing much better football with Dykes redeeming himself and getting his goal. It was certainly an experience seeing VAR in use for the first time in the flesh. It was over after the longest two minutes of our lives and of course the goal was given as Israel were just seen to be cheating, again.
An 88th minute miss from McGinn made it seem that all was over but an added six minute of injury time was seen as a massive boost and our favourite Manc McTominay had us all chanting his name after his added time winner.
Suppose I can’t finish a blog without talking about what tops me and Lauren had on. I went with the new away top as I had just bought it in Edinburgh airport last Thursday and it is a belter but Lauren went a bit classier with JD’s Score Draw 96’ replica home top.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a boogie after full time and I hope everyone in the tartan army enjoy their night last night. Roll on the Faroe Islands Tuesday.
As Italy have just won the Euros, there is no better time to share this classic from a friendly game against Northern Ireland in the summer of 2003. Italy won the fixture 2-0 to no surprise as they had a squad filled with household names at the time such as Ballon D’or winner Fabio Cannavaro, Antonio Di Natalie and Alessandro Birindelli.
Birindelli origionally started his career as a right winger during his time at Empoli before dropping back into right back. It is with Empoli that Birirndelli would play almost 150 games, helping them get promoted back to back seasons from the Serie C1 to the Serie A.
The lifelong Juventus fan would eventually get his move to the star studded side that would bolster the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Edgar Davids, Allessandro Del Piero and Filipo Inzaghi. Birindelli would go on to win 3 Serie A titles and 3 Suppercoppa Italiana’s before Juventus’s relegation at the end of the 2005/06 season due to the Calciopoli match fixing scandal which saw Juventus, alongside Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina be deducted points and fined but it was only Juventus who were to be relegated to Serie B. Juventus were also stripped of their 04/05 Serie A title.
Juventus won the Serie B with a six point gap above Napoli even after being given a 9 point deduction at the start of the season. This is no surprise as a handful of their star players stayed to help lift the super club back from the ashes. Players such as Birindelli, Trezeguet, Buffon, Chiellini, Nedved and Del Peiro all stayed loyal with Del Piero winning the golden boot for the season.
Birindelli would leave Juventus in 2008 after spending 11 years in Turin and moving to Pisa for a season then eventually retiring after a season with Valle del Giovenco. His son Samuele Birindelli currently plays centre half for Pisa and has made over 130 appearances since is debut in 2016.
This jersey was Puma’s first take on the Italian National Team and have managed to keep supplying belters ever since. A plain kit that looks very elegant with the blue tone that Italy have used for years plus the badge on this jersey is probably personal favourite of mine and agree that it should be used more often. The three stars above the puma badge on the sleeve is also a nice added feature.
Italy are going to be playing in the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley tonight and what better way to get you in the mood than having a read at this.
Winners of four World Cups and a European Championship, Italy have always been one of the best in the world but over the last few years it hasn’t been easy supporting the Italian National Team. In 2018, Italy dropped down to 14th in the FIFA world rankings after failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. After failure to qualify, Italy would start their rebuild by hiring manager Roberto Mancini and haven’t looked back since.
Starting off the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Turkey and then another 3-0 win over Switzerland saw Italy qualify with one group game to spare but a 1-0 win over Wales saw Italy become the only team this tournament to qualify through the group without conceding a goal.
They haven’t had an easy route to the final either after beating Austria 2-1 after extra time, Belgium 2-1 and Spain 4-2 on penalties, they thoroughly deserve their place in this final.
Looking back to Italy’s last major trophy takes us back to the 2006 World Cup that was played in Germany. When you think about this final, two things come to mind. The first being Zinedine Zidane’s famous headbutt and the second being Andrea Pirlo’s man of the match performance. Beating France in penalties after full time ended 1-1 with Pirlo taking one of Italy’s penalties. France scored in the 9th minute after Zidane converted a penalty into Gigi Buffon. Italy equalised not long after in the 19th minute with Marco Materazzi scoring from an excellent delivery from an Andrea Pirlo corner.
Andrea Pirlo is not only one of Italy’s greatest ever players but is regarded as one of the best deep lying playmakers ever. Capped 114 times for Italy, Pirlo has played for Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus, going on to manage The Old Lady for the 20/21 season.
This jersey comes from Italy’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Northern Ireland. The Italian’s left with a draw after an excellent effort from the Northern Irish forcing a 0-0 stalemate.
Currently ranked 18th in the world, the Swedish Men’s National Team have been making a name for themselves recently as they have managed to qualify for both knockout rounds of the current Euro 2020 and the 2018 World Cup under head coach Janne Andersson who took over the blue and yellow in 2016 after they finished bottom of their group in Euro 2016.
Unfortunately Sweden never qualified for the 1998 World Cup and this kit was never displayed on the world stage, however they did wear it during their qualification for Euro 2000 which they did end up qualifying for. Two loses to Italy and Belgium and a draw against Turkey meant Sweden finished bottom of their group with the one point.
During this time, Sweden did have two soon to be world class talents in their squad with Henrik Larsson and Freddie Ljungberg being their two powerhouses. Larsson was just at the youth of his Celtic career while Ljungberg had just been signed by Arsenal. Over the years, both players were first team regulars with Larsson gaining 106 caps and Ljungberg gaining a respectable 75 caps.
Ljungberg would go on to lift two Premier League titles, one being Arsenal’s invincible season, and three FA Cups while totalling 241 Premier League appearances for Arsenal and West Ham. On the other hand, Henrik Larsson would lift four Scottish Premierships, with Celtic, and two La liga titles and a Champions League with FC Barcelona while claiming four Swedish Player of the Year awards from 2001-2004.
As for this top, the thing that stood out to me straight away was the collar. A nice open 90’s style collar that opens at the front showing a smaller badge on the blue underneath. Also you don’t find many tops nowadays that have laces on the chest which I think makes this look stunning.
Other details you will find on this jersey is faint lines traveling down the strip with the Sweden badge facing upwards and downwards. Also the Adidas three stripes travelling down the sleeves, around the collar and on the laces on the front.
In all I think the colour combination for Sweden kits are a delight and I am glad I managed to pick this one up from Classic football Shirts during my time in London. It really is the worlds biggest football shirt collection.
Regular subscribers to The Kit Rail will know that we’ve already covered Willie Pettigrew with his stunning Dundee United 1981 Scottish Cup Final Jersey. For that reason we are covering Willie’s full Scotland international career, from the under 23’s through to his last full cap.
Scotland Under 23’s
He made his international debut for the under 23 side, at the age of 21, in a friendly match in Sweden that was played on the 16th of April 1975. Scotland won this fixture 2-1.
A European Championship clash in Romania would see Willie score his first international goal in another 2-1 win coming on the 31st of May 1975.
Next up would be a double header against Denmark with Scotland securing a crucial 1-0 win away, on the 2nd of September 1975, and adding yet another victory, this time beating the Danish 4-1 on the 28th of October 1975.
Pettigrew ended the international calendar year with another European Championship Victory, grabbing himself a brace in a 4-0 destruction of Romania at Brockville on the 16th of December 1975. This result saw Scotland top their group and continue through the tournament.
Willie’s sixth and penultimate under 23 cap would come against Wales at Wrexhams Racecourse Ground on the 4th of February. During this game, Willie would score another brace to secure a narrow 3-2 victory for the Scots. We covered this match when we featured the Joey Jones jersey not too long ago.
The last cap to come for Willie Pettigrew would be in the second leg of the Under 23 European Championship Quarter Finals as Scotland took on The Netherlands in front of an amazing 32,000 fans at Easter Road, home of Hibernian, on the 24th of March 1976. Scotland lost the first game 2-0 (a game that Willie missed due to injury). Scotland would win the second game 2-0 but would lose on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate score. You can find more details on this match as we covered it during the Jan Everse jersey.
In all Willie started 7 games at under 23 level winning all seven and grabbing himself five goals in the process.
Full International Career
2 weeks after his last under 23 cap, Willie would make his full international debut and what a debut it would be.
A home friendly versus Switzerland on the 7th of April 1976 would see Willie net his first goal after only 2 minutes. This would be the only goal of the game as Scotland would win the game 1-0. This game has also been covered as we featured Rene Hasler earlier this week.
Cap number two would again see Willie find the net, scoring the first goal in a 3-1 win over Wales at Hampden Park on the 6th of May 1976. You can see more of this game and jersey on Terry Yorath’s page on the The Kit Rail.
A few days later would come cap number three which would see Scotland beat Northern Ireland convincingly in a 3-0 win at Hampden Park with goals from Gemmill, Masson and Dalglish.
Willie would have to wait six months for cap number four which would be a world cup qualifier against Wales. We would see another victory for Scotland and Pettigrew as the Scots would beat Wales 1-0.
Willie’s fifth and final cap would come on the 27th of April 1977 and would see Scotland run out as winners in a 3-1 victory against Sweden with goals coming from Hartford, Dalglish and Joe Crag.
Willie would play five times for his country, scoring two goals in the process and would be in the winning team on all five occasions. If you add Willie’s under 23 appearances, you end up with an impressive 12 games representing Scotland, 12 victories and a highly commendable 7 goals.
Trevor Cherry was an English full back that could be played anywhere along the back line. Starting his career with Huddersfield Town, Cherry would make the move to Leeds for £100,000 where he would play 399 games and go onto captain the club.
Winning his first cap in 1976 against Wales with this jersey coming from his game against Scotland the same year in the Home Championship.
Cherry would go down as the first England player to be sent off in an international friendly as England played Argentina in 1977 with Cherry getting two teeth knocked out after the rash challenge on Daniel Bertoni who then decided to punch Cherry in the mouth.
Cherry was part of the England squad for the 1980 European Championships in Italy but was restricted to a single substitute appearance against Spain which would be his last international cap.
This top comes from the 1976 Home Championships where Scotland Hosted England at Hampden. Scotland would win the game with goals coming from centre half Gordon McQueen and clinical striker Kenny Dalglish with a penalty from Mick Channon giving England a goal back in the 87th minute.
Admiral only produced two England home kits with this being the first and the last being the 1982 jersey that also features on The Kit Rail under Terry Butcher.
As for this top, it’s a classic England home top using the main three colour red, white and blue with red and blue stripes travelling down the sleeve and also around the collar.
As Switzerland begin to face up against Italy on matchday two of Euro 2020, we’re going back in time to show off this golden oldie from when Scotland hosted the Swiss back in 1976.
Rene Hasler was a 5ft 7′ defender who played his full career in Switzerland with FC Zurich, FC Basel for two separate spells and Neuchâtel Xamax FCS.
Starting his career way back in 1969 at FC Zurich, where he would win the Swiss Cup before moving onto FC Basel. It is during his time in Basel Hasler would earn his first cap for Switzerland which would be on the 21st of October 1972 against Italy in a 0-0 draw. Rene’s last international appearance would end with a 2-1 defeat to Spain.
This jersey is from Switzerland’s clash with Scotland from the 7th of April 1976. The game ended 1-0 to Scotland with Willie Pettigrew scoring on his debut for his country inside the first two minutes of the game.
This Adidas classic is similar to many from around that time with a simple two colour combination with one being the main body, white, and the other being used for the collar and Adidas stripes, red. The colours used being from the Swiss flag as shown as the badge.
This top also features a black Adidas branding which other Adidas made kits did not during this time. One such case would be the Netherlands top which is featured on the website that is Adidas but only shows the stripes with no branding.
With Euro 2020 about to begin, we have been holding off sharing this beauty of a top but now we can with Wales’ first game against Switzerland quickly approaching we can finally talk about it.
Making 59 appearances for Wales from 1969 all the way to 1981 while captaining the team for 42 games. Yorath also managing the team for five years guiding them to wins over Brazil and then European champions West Germany while almost qualifying for the 1994 World Cup.
Yorath was also the first Welshman to play in a European Cup final as Leeds were beaten off Bayern Munich in the 73/74 final.
This jersey is from Yorath’s games against Scotland in the Home Championships from the 6th of May 1976 where Scotland got the better of the Welsh 3-1 thanks to an opener from Motherwell favourite Willie Pettigrew.
Probably one of Wales most iconic kits, this symmetrical beauty uses the bright red of the dragon as the main colour with the green and yellow coming from the Royal Badge of Wales. The best thing about this kit may be the yellow Admiral branding on the collar matching the stripes down the side. No Wales kit would be complete without the badge and this one is a beauty, showing the dragon off in all its glory surrounded by the green shield with yellow stars.
Aussie forward Scott McDonald would start his career off playing for semi-professional outfits Gippsland Falcons and Casey Comets, where he would become to youngest ever National Soccer League player at 15 years of age, before getting his move to to the south coast of England with Southampton. After a couple of loan spells at Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth and a permanent move to Wimbledon FC, it was his next move up to Scotland that would make everyone remember his name.
Signing for Motherwell in 2004, McDonald would make over 100 appearances in claret and amber while scoring over forty goals in his first stint at Fir Park. The Aussie can be most remembered for famously scoring a brace against Celtic on the last day of the season of the 04/05 season to deny Celtic the title, giving it to city rivals Rangers.
Motherwell would accept a bid of £700,000 from Celtic at the end of the 06/07 season where he would spend the next three years of his career making 88 appearances and scoring 51 goals. McDonald would win the league in his first season with the bhoys while being named the leagues top scorer and adding a league cup winners medal to his collection in the 08/09 season. During the Champions League group stage in November 2008, McDonald would famously score against Manchester United, holding them to a 1-1 draw. Scott would move on from Celtic on the 1st of February 2010, deadline day, to Middlesbrough for £3.5 million to join up with previous manager Gordon Strachan.
After Middlesbrough, McDonald would have a successful career playing for Millwall, Motherwell again, Dundee Utd and Partick Thistle before moving back to his homeland of Australia where he’s played with Western Utd, Brisbane Roar and most currently Western Sydney Wanderers. McDonald managed to feature 26 times for his country.
This jersey is one of McDonald’s early tops from his time with the Australia under 20’s where he would play 24 times, playing under coach Ange Postecoglou, who at the moment is being heavily linked to the vacant Celtic managerial position.
This Adidas branded kit bolsters Australia’s classic Green and Yellow, displaying a small felt number in the centre of the jersey front and the normal larger size template on the back. As it’s a under 20’s top, no names were printed on the back.
Instead of the badge showing the Football Australia logo, it shows the Australian coat of arms which bolsters a shield with the badges of states New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania while being supported by a kangaroo and an emu.