February 11, 2004 by

Ally McLeod

2 comments

Categories: Sports

amcleod.jpgAlly McLeod, the soccer coach who led Scotland to the 1978 World Cup finals in Argentina, died on Feb. 1. Cause of death was not released. He was 72.
The charismatic left-winger did his military service with the Royal Scots, then played for the Blackburn Rovers and Hibernian. He was appointed manager of Ayr United in 1966, and led the team from the Scottish second division to the top flight before moving to Aberdeen in 1975, where he won the League Cup.
When McLeod succeeded Willie Ormond as Scotland’s manager in 1977, he promised his countrymen the team would “bring back a medal” from the 1978 World Cup. Although the Tartan Army made it to Argentina, and the British team didn’t, the World Cup campaign was a dismal failure. In the first round, the Scots beat Holland 3-2 before facing a 3-1 defeat to Peru and a 1-1 draw with Iran. Midfielder Willie Johnston was also kicked out of the competition and sent home when he failed a drug test.
After the poor showing in Argentina, McLeod returned to Scotland to coach Motherwell, Airdrie, Ayr and Queen of the South.
Lyrics to “Ally’s Tartan Army”

2 Responses to Ally McLeod

  1. John Sinclair

    I remember that time with great affection and much of that is due to Ally and his self-belief. It is often better to travel than to arrive. I will never forget how he made me feel, ….. Proud to be Scottish for the first time in my life.

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