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'Fergie's not taking you, talk to him' | McCoist recalls 1986 World Cup call

Calum Atkinson
Calum Atkinson

10:48 10 Jul 2021

Former Rangers striker Ally McCoist recalled receiving a phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson to inform him that he was not in the Scotland squad for the 1986 World Cup.

McCoist had scored 24 goals for Rangers in the 1985-86 season and he was hopeful that he would be included in Ferguson's World Cup squad.

However, those hopes were dashed by an early morning phone call from the legendary Manchester United manager.

"We got a phone call in the morning at Ibrox and I could hear Jock Wallace, who was the Rangers manager at the time, arguing with Fergie," McCoist recalled on our Heineken Roadshow. 

"I walked into the office and Jock Wallace kind of threw me the phone and said, 'he’s not taking you, talk to him'.

"Fergie came on and said, 'you’ve been doing well, blah blah blah, but I’m not taking you. If anyone pulls out of the squad though, you’ll be first in.

"Kenny Daglish pulls out of the squad the next day and he calls up Stevie Archibald instead."  

 

OTB presenter Joe Molloy pointed out that Pat Nevin had a very similar experience before that World Cup

"It’s so funny you say that because we have Pat Nevin as a regular on our show and I have just been reading his new book and Fergie told Nevin that he would be first in as well," Molloy said.

"That’s magic isn’t it, absolute magic," McCoist laughed.

The Rangers legend though pointed to missing out on the 1998 World Cup as the biggest disappointment of his career.

"I was in tears when I never went to France '98," he said.

"Anyway Craig Brown has since said publicly that it was a mistake which I appreciated, but the water had gone under the bridge by then.

"I remember the devastation of not going to that one but that’s life isn’t it."

McCoist did however play in three major tournaments with Scotland and enjoyed every bit of it.

"I loved everyone of them, I loved Italia '90 and the Euros in '92 and '96, they were brilliant," he explained.        

"I enjoyed every minute of the experiences at major tournaments."

The UEFA European Championships Roadshow on OTB Sports with Heineken – official beer partner of UEFA Euro 2020. Finally together to be rivals again. Drink responsibly, visit drinkaware.ie

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Alex Ferguson Craig Brown Euro 92 Euro 96 Euro 2020 Ferguson Jock Wallace Manchester United McCoist Rangers Scotland Sir Alex Feguson World Cup World Cup 1998

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