That anniversary prompted me to research the history of the national team, a subject which appears to have been woefully neglected by the football authorities and the media in the past. There are no match reports for many games, in fact some games were barely mentioned in the press at all. Allied to poor record-keeping by the old Scottish Women's FA, and a lax attitude at the Scottish FA after they took over in 1997, many players have been forgotten, and those records and statistics which have been published are frequently wrong.
After months of research, I can now start to put that right by publishing a definitive record of every Scotland women's international from 1972 to date, a total of 370 matches in fifty years.
To see a full list of Scotland matches, click here (pdf).
Quite often, a squad list would be published for a game or a tournament, but the team that played was not recorded or was missing the substitutes. It has not yet been possible to finalise the statistics for the SWFA years from 1972-1997, but I do have a complete record from the time that the Scottish FA took over.
To see Scotland's full match record from 1998 to date, click here (pdf). This includes a wealth of details including the number of caps each player had won, the substitutes and the time they came on, goalscorers and times of goals, and the venue, with attendance where known. [NB I have watermarked the file to discourage copying.]
It corrects a number of mistakes which have been published online, even in sources such as the Scottish FA archive which could (and should) more more accurate.
In particular, the number of caps won by certain players has been wrongly recorded, notably record goalscorer Julie Fleeting whose caps total came to 118, with 110 goals scored in those matches (most accounts claim 121 caps and 116 goals).
My next step is to add to the record of the pre-1998 matches, and in particular I hope that the players who featured in those matches can be recognised properly for their contribution to Scotland's football history.
The Scottish FA recently presented caps to the 1972 team, and it would only be right if all the other players were also awarded caps. I also support the introduction of 'heritage numbers' for every internationalist.
There are now 243 names on the list of Scotland players, of whom 144 made their first appearance under the SWFA. However, I acknowledge that the number may have to be revised slightly if new information comes to light.
If you have any comments or queries about these statistics, please get in touch through the Contact Form.
In compiling these statistics, I would like to acknowledge the help and co-operation of a number of football historians, in particular Neil Morrison and Tommy Malcolm. I would also like to thank several former players for sharing their memories (and their press cuttings!), notably Margaret McAulay Rae and Elsie Cook.