Easy, Easy

World Cup | 1974 | If Only

Written by: Rob Conlon
Artwork by: Eamonn Dalton
Billy Bremner kneeling down in a Scotland kit, necklace hanging out, looking absolutely haggard

Billy Bremner dreamed of representing Scotland at a World Cup, yet on the eve of their first appearance at the tournament in sixteen years, journalists at a press conference couldn’t help notice Bremner seemed subdued. After some coaxing, he eventually told them his problem: the reporters sitting in front of him.

Bremner nearly missed captaining Scotland in 1974 when, during a trip to Norway, a curfew-breaking drinking session alongside teammate Jimmy Johnstone in a student bar hit the news. He shouldn’t have been surprised; among the crowd in the bar treated to ‘a bout of community singing’ were some of the same journalists in the press conference now. This story came a month after Johnstone was saved by coastguards off the shore of Largs, when another squad night out ended with him commandeering a rowing boat at 6am and drifting out to sea, singing ‘Michael Row The Boat’, not realising he had no oars.

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