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 The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 18 May 18:51

Who are the twelve greatest Scottish goalscorers since 1946? Rather than count totals, I have calculated the players’ strike rate per game. So 60% would be a player who managed 6 goals every ten games. To qualify, the basic requirement is to have scored at least 100 League goals over consecutive seasons in the top division. (Goals scored in Cup competitions, European matches or Internationals are not included.)

Where players have had long careers and their goalscoring has waxed and waned a bit, I have taken their best consecutive batch. (e.g. Charlie Dickson 106 goals at 57% - which is pretty impressive, but can’t include his 31 goals in 31 games scored in Division 2.)

Surprising to me were some who did not make the list. I’ll post them up in stages. Any ideas of who the best three might be?


12.


Dixie Deans (Motherwell and Celtic)

1969 – 1976

64% (117 goals)

Best season: 24 goals/26 games

Already an established scorer when at Motherwell, Deans’ finishing went up a level when he joined the dominant Celtic side of the day. He harried defenders to distraction and the 5’7 Deans often leapt above defenders to head home crosses.




11.


Willie Bauld (Hearts)

1948 – 56

66% (132 goals)

Best season: 30 goals/29 games

The King of Hearts burst on the scene with a blitz of goals and even a decade later was still netting regularly when in his thirties. Persistent injury problems led to a form dip in the middle of his career which lowers his average but, goalscoring aside, Bauld had a football brain and led the forward line with panache.




10.


Brian McClair (Motherwell and Celtic)

1983 – 1987

68% (100 goals)

Best season: 36 goals/44 games

A player that often seems to be overlooked but one who has a better strike rate than most of the Lisbon Lions and Charlie Nicholas as well. On occasion McClair was played as an attacking midfielder rather than as a striker, but he always found the net.




9.


Kris Boyd (Rangers)

2006 – 2010

71% (101 goals)

Best season: 27 goals/35 games

Boyd is the highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League. Always in the right place but not always a first choice in his later days since he could ‘only’ score goals.

sammer
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 18 May 19:03

Top three ?

Jimmy McGrory

Henrik Larsson

Ally McCoist

Guesses - except McGrory "must" be top ?
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: 1970par  
Date:   Mon 18 May 19:15

John Robertson
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: AJ27  
Date:   Mon 18 May 19:30

Alan Gilzean has to be up there.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: Stanza  
Date:   Mon 18 May 19:46

Joe Harper?

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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 18 May 19:49

Jimmy McGrory didn't play after 1945 so I don't think he qualifies. Lawrie Reilly did though and was quite prolific. My top three would be :-
1 McCoist
2 Larsson
3 Reilly
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 18 May 19:56

Oops - I thought it was alltime, DOH !!!
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: McCaig`s Tower  
Date:   Mon 18 May 20:14

I would say

Larsson
McCoist
McBride

Robbo, Forrest, some of the Famous five might be in the top 8. Wee Joe Harper as well
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 18 May 20:28

Most of the names mentioned are in the list but remember it's strike rate rather than overall tally. So surprisingly to me Joe Harper comes in at just under 60% due to his flat spell at Hibs. John Robertson scored plenty but not at a rate to get in the top dozen.


8.


Joe McBride (Motherwell, Celtic and Hibs)

1962 - 1971

71% (149 goals)

Best season: 31 goals/30 games

Two footed McBride blazed in shots for all his clubs, but that brief period with the emerging Lisbon Lions saw him score at a phenomenal rate. Injury in December 1966 prevented him demolishing the individual Scottish scoring record for he had already notched 35 goals in all competitions by then.



7.


Ally McCoist


1985 – 1993

72% (192 goals)

Best season: 34 goals/34 games

The greatest accumulator of goals in modern times McCoist, like Willie Bauld, had a stutter in mid career but returned with a goal-a-game flourish in his early thirties. McCoist was always confident in his ability to find a finish inside the box no matter the situation.




6.


Jim Forrest (Rangers and Aberdeen)

1963 - 1970

73% (100 goals)

Best season: 30 goals/?

Jim Forrest was extremely fast and his slick finishing was a feature of the Baxter inspired Rangers side which dominated Scotland in the mid 1960s. He found good form at Aberdeen after being banished from Ibrox, and still holds the post-war record for most goals scored in all competitions in a season: 57.

Well done MT for remembering the prolific Jim Forrest, a player who scored at an even higher rate in League Cup games. The Scottish Cup was Jim's bogey competition: dropped for the 1964 and 1966 finals which were won by Rangers then exiled after the 1967 defeat at Berwick. He did get a winner's medal at Aberdeen in 1970 though.




5.


Lawrie Reilly (Hibernian)

1948 - 1957

73% (185 goals)

Best season: 30 goals/28 games

Every member of Hibs’ Famous Five forward line scored over 100 league goals for the club, but their main striker was the formidable opportunist Lawrie Reilly who won three championship medals. Injury aged 29 finished his career when he still had a load of goals left in him.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: wee eck  
Date:   Mon 18 May 20:41

Sammer has spiked a few guns with that last selection! On reflection I think Jimmy Wardhaugh was more prolific than Willie Bauld so he may be in the top four. Celtic also had a lot of regular scorers during the 60s and 70s like Wallace, Chalmers, Lennox. I think Larsson will be top though.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: McCaig`s Tower  
Date:   Mon 18 May 20:52

This is like Eurovision - you're hoping to get 12 points from the Maltese jury, but they only give you 7 - not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: AJ27  
Date:   Mon 18 May 21:10

1. Alan Gilzean
2. Joe Baker
3. Henrik Larsson
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Mon 18 May 21:20

Willie Wallace
Henrick Larson
Billie Dodds
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Mon 18 May 21:55

AJ27 gets very near the mark. BTW, Rangers fans will accuse me of bias since I now discover Billy Simpson from around 1950-1959 scored 112 goals at 65% which would put him just above Dixie Deans.

I was surprised by Willie Wallace not making it, but like many good finishers such as Chalmers and Lennox he just misses out. Players like Max Murray, Alex Harley, Andy Kerr, Finn Dossing and even our won Fergie scored at a very high rate but did not sustain it for 100 goals.


4.


Henrik Larsson (Celtic)

1997 - 2004

79% (174 goals)

Best season: 35 goals/37 games

A great all round forward who had the penalty box awareness that marks out the great goalscorer. Equally lethal with either foot or head, Larsson was a top international player who gave his best years to Scottish football.




3. Jimmy Wardhaugh (Hearts)


1953 – 1959

80% (133 goals)

Best season: 30 goals/32 games

Post-war, Wardhaugh’s dribbling and powerful shooting had marked him out as a good finisher, but during the mid 1950s he embarked on a goal rampage that established Hearts as the power in the land. His goals earned him only two Scottish caps- although technically Wardhaugh was born in England.




2. Alan Gilzean (Dundee)


1959 - 1964

84% (113 goals)

Best season: 32 goals/34 games

Golden Gillie was 21 before he got a first team game at Dens Park where his deft touch and anticipation produced goals from the outset. During his National Service, Aldershot were offered Gilzean on loan if they paid his £6 a week wages but they didn’t think Gillie was worth it.




1. Joe Baker (Hibernian)


1957 - 1961

87% (102 goals)

Best season: 42 goals/33 games

When teenager Joe Baker exploded on to the Scottish football scene Hibs were just a cavalier mid-table team rather than title challengers and after Baker left for Italy and took his goals with him, they were almost relegated. Baker later banged in another 100 goals for Arsenal at a faster rate than Ian Wright, Thierry Henry or van Persie have managed. Unlike all the others Joe never won a medal in his entire career. Amazingly I couldn’t find a single photo of him scoring for Hibs either.

So was Joe Baker the greatest Scottish post-war goalscorer? Probably, but most of his career 300 league goals were scored outside of Scotland so his final tally does not compare to the likes of Bauld, Reilly, Wardhaugh, McCoist and Larsson. And perhaps like Jamie Vardy, Baker actually benefited by playing for mid table clubs who concentrated on playing to his strengths. Then again, if Bill Shankly had been given the money he asked for to sign him, maybe Baker could have outscored Jimmy Greaves down in England and been a world cup winner in 1966. ‘Scottish hat trick hero destroys Deutschland!’ Now that would have made it a better day.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Mon 18 May 23:13

Joe McBride was top league scorer in 1966/67 depite being injured at Easter Road in the November and not kicking a ball again that season.

Had he remained fit, as Sammer says, he would likely have bettered all goalscoring feats on record - and played in Lisbon the following May.

He was such a prized asset that the whole Celtic board visited him in hospital to assess his progress.

To think he was almost signed by Willie Cunningham for 65/66 - what a combo he and Fergie would have made..............if only !!!
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: OzPar  
Date:   Tue 19 May 01:03

Very interesting thread, sammer. Here's a couple of honourable mentions...

A lethal striker in his day was Allan McGraw of Morton. Between 1961 and 1966 he scored at an astounding rate of 117 goals in 136 matches, which comes out at 86%.

Unfortunately, he's ruled out of this as a lot were scored while Morton were in the old Division Two.

Also, our own Alex Ferguson had an exceptional season in 1964/65 when he scored 31 goals in 32 league games. In addition, he scored 4 goals out of 6 games in the Fairs Cup and 4 out of 6 in the League Cup.

With appearances in the Scottish Cup (4) where he never scored, that comes out at 39 goals in 48 games, which equates to a scoring rate of 81%.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Tue 19 May 02:39

That would be season 1965-66 when we scored 96 league goals. Fergie was as good a goal getter as anyone in Scotland around that time- he shared our ‘Tartan Boot’ as top league scorer with McBride. In his three years at EEP Fergie scored 68 league goals at a rate of 74% which explains why Rangers bought him. It’s worth pointing out that Fergie had to play with a different strike partner each year- McLaughlin, Fleming and Delaney- yet adapted to their different styles. If you look at the list above many of these strikers had a regular partner: Gilzean (Cousin); Wardhaugh (Bauld); McCoist (Hateley); Larsson (Sutton).

However cream rises and I don’t think Fergie is on a par with those at the top of the list. For me the ‘Big Five’ in Scottish scoring are, in order of their total competitive goals: McCoist (355); Bauld (277); Wardhaugh (271); Larsson (242) and Reilly (238). McCoist has the lowest strike rate and Larsson the highest. That is well beyond what Fergie managed in his playing career. Baker and Gilzean would likely have matched these figures had they not left Scotland.


And apologies to Lawrie Reilly, whose year by year record I have managed to track down. I initially gave his career strike rate, but his best spell from 1951-1956 produced a rate of 132 goals at 86%. So the final positions are:

1. Baker 87%
2. Reilly 86%
3. Gilzean 84%
4. Wardhaugh 80%
5. Larsson 79%
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: OzPar  
Date:   Tue 19 May 02:51

You are correct, '65/66.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: OzPar  
Date:   Tue 19 May 08:16

Quite honestly, I see a bit of Fergie in Kevin Nisbet, especially in the way that he uses his body to create space for himself. He also has a similar eye for goal and that jaunt that comes with an air of confidence in himself, visible in all the best strikers.

I hope this enforced lay-off is not going to interrupt Kevin's progress. If he continues the way that he's been going he should build up a respectable strike rate over a few years. Where he goes after the Pars will determine that.

Even Sir Alex would accept that, with the benefit of hindsight, moving to Ibrox was not the best move he could have made at the time. Scott Symon may have taught him a few management tricks and he certainly learned what not to do under Davie White, but he surely gained nothing in his playing skillset after leaving EEP.



Post Edited (Tue 19 May 08:19)
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Tue 19 May 08:26

I wonder how many goals McCoist would have scored had Souness not fallen out with him ?
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: DBP  
Date:   Tue 19 May 08:58

I always remember there was one of those super Sunday days on sky. Rangers were playing celtic at lunchtime and it was arsenal v (can't remember who)
This was mid 90s when ally mcoist was scoring loads with rangers and Ian Wright was at arsenal.

They had stats for the game, and I can estimate the numbers but can always remember the interpretation of those numbers.

Basically, mcoist's stats were along the lines of, shots 20, on target 10 goals 2.
Wright's, which I do remember, were shots 2 on target 2 goals 1
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: veteraneastender  
Date:   Tue 19 May 09:17

"With appearances in the Scottish Cup (4) where he never scored, that comes out at 39 goals in 48 games, which equates to a scoring rate of 81%."

Oz - Fergie scored 3 goals in the 1964/65 Scottish Cup run to the final, all against Third Lanark, over three games.

As pointed out, in the 65/66 cup season he went scoreless.

"That would be season 1965-66 when we scored 96 league goals."

94 according to "Black & White Magic"
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: OzPar  
Date:   Tue 19 May 10:36

Yes VEE, I have already admitted my mistake that I should have written 65/66 not 64/65, and Fergie was goalless in that later Scottish Cup run.

As for our goals total in 65/66, best get sammer to answer that.

:)
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: Raymie the Legend  
Date:   Tue 19 May 21:00

Quote:

Buspasspar, Tue 19 May 08:26

I wonder how many goals McCoist would have scored had Souness not fallen out with him ?


I was always of the opinion that he needed four or five chances to score a goal.
He couldn’t fail to hit 20+ in a season when rangers were whipping teams five and six




It's bloody tough being a legend
Ron Atkinson - 1983
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: DA-go Par Adonis  
Date:   Tue 19 May 21:09

Yeah, if I remember did he not fall out with Souness due to him being on the bench - the preference being Hately and Mo Johnston.

I'd argue both were better than McCoist.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I love it when we don't sell Kevin Nisbet,
He's gonna score in every game 'til Christmas,
And every touch is goal la la la, it's goal la la la,


Post Edited (Tue 19 May 21:10)
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: Buspasspar  
Date:   Tue 19 May 21:22

DA-go

If I remember and my memory is not great Souness said in the dressing room to McCoist after a defeat ....you were the worst player on the park today and McCoist said NO you were

McCoist only played 19 games the following season under Souness after that but was re-instated to the first team as a regular when Walter Smith became manager
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Wed 20 May 16:29

Quote:

Buspasspar, Tue 19 May 21:22

DA-go

If I remember and my memory is not great Souness said in the dressing room to McCoist after a defeat ....you were the worst player on the park today and McCoist said NO you were

McCoist only played 19 games the following season under Souness after that but was re-instated to the first team as a regular when Walter Smith became manager


Wattie and S'ally were practically lovers, BPP. 🙂

I agree with DA-go that Hately and Mo had to be the first choice pairing, but S'ally was a good back up. Still and all Souness was - and is - an arrogant tw@t. His management record isn't great for that reason. I'm not counting his time at Ibrox when Oldco were cheating big time.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Wed 20 May 19:27

It can be a fine line between confidence and arrogance but there were bigger fans of Souness than Jock Stein.
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/souness-stein-story-thats-never-6414686

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Thu 21 May 06:16

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Wed 20 May 19:27

It can be a fine line between confidence and arrogance but there were bigger fans of Souness than Jock Stein.
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/souness-stein-story-thats-never-6414686


I agree, TOWK, but the two are polar opposites, one is a positive attribute, the other a negative. I just can't get my head around why any manager would want to tell one of his players he was the worst on the park. What good could that possibly do?



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: The Deadliest Dozen
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Thu 21 May 09:50

I could imagine Fergie saying something along those lines but with a few expletives added for good measure in the confines of the dressing room.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd
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