EXCLUSIVE: Goram Returns for Scotland
One of Scotland’s most famous footballers will be involved in a re-creation of a famous cricket match in Perth next week.
Former Hibs, Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper, Andy Goram, has been named in the Scotland XI which will take on Lancashire in a 30th anniversary “re-enactment” of the then-SCU’s first-ever competitive victory over a county back in 1986 at North Inch in Perth.
The Scottish select includes six of the players – captain Richard Swan, Neil Burnett, Bruce Russell, Willie Donald, Alan Stevenson and 1999 World Cup star Iain Philip – who made history by overcoming their English rivals by three runs in the B & H Cup competition.
But it’s the selection of Goram, the 43-times-capped Scotland football star, which is likely to generate the most interest, in advance of the match with a Lancashire Select on May 11.
“The Goalie” is now 52, but first made a name for himself as a wicket-keeper-batsman for various clubs in the [Lancashire] Saddleworth League, including Delph and Dobcross and Moorside, as the prelude to joining Oldham Athletic FC in the 1980s.
When Goram was subsequently signed by Hibernian, he interspersed his impressive time at Easter Road and later, Ibrox, with spells at Penicuik, West Lothian, Uddingston and Freuchie.
He also represented the Scottish cricket team on four occasions, most famously against the formidable Australian touring side at a packed Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow in 1989.
As he told me later: “I had met the Australian lads the night before and they seemed a friendly bunch of blokes, so I was a bit surprised when I walked out on to the pitch on the Saturday.
“Merv Hughes was bowling – we had got on famously when we met the previous evening – and I said: “Hello mate” as I walked to the crease.
“I thought he would be the same genial guy on the pitch as off it. Some hope! First up, he dropped one short, it nearly took my head off, then when I looked up, he was standing in front of me, bellowing: “You should stick to effing football, mate!
“You’ll soon wish you were back at effing Hibs. It was a bit of a shock, but we had a good laugh about it afterwards.”
The match has been organised by Stephen Boyd, a cricket development officer in Perth, who confirmed that Goram had been enthusiastic about being involved.
He added: “Andy has been in regular contact and he knows this was a big deal for Scotland back in 1986.
“It’s great to have him in the side and see so many names from the side which triumphed 30 years ago. We’ve also received messages of support from some of those who can’t make it, such as Omar Henry, who is in South Africa.
“It should be a great occasion – we’ve arranged it as a 35 or 40-over game, starting at 1.30, and it would be terrific to see a big crowd at the North Inch.”
SCOTLAND: Richard Swan (capt), Iain Philip, Bruce Russell, Neil Burnett, Andy Goram, Chris Plomer, Willie Donald, Bob McFarlane, Trevor Brown, Alan Stevenson, David Armstrong.