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Kevin Gallacher joins Scotland’s Euro Stories with SunSport and Superscoreboard



KEVIN GALLACHER knew former foe Steve Clarke was cut out for coaching when he told him he’d improve his game by standing still.

Scotland great Gallo — a 53-cap hero of Euro 92 and Euro 96 — played against Clarke in the top flights in Scotland and England.


Kevin Gallacher won 53 caps for ScotlandCredit: Getty
The former striker has revealed the moment he knew Steve Clarke was destined for a top coaching career


The former striker has revealed the moment he knew Steve Clarke was destined for a top coaching careerCredit: Kenny Ramsay
The ex-Newcastle frontman started against CIS at Euro 92 and took home a priceless memento


The ex-Newcastle frontman started against CIS at Euro 92 and took home a priceless mementoCredit: Scottish News and Sport

He really got to know him when they were united at Newcastle as Gallacher was ending his playing days, and Clarke was starting his coaching career.

And the former Scotland strike star never forgets some nuggets of information that helped him, and will now be inspiring the national team at the Euro 2024 finals in Germany.

Gallacher said: “I had running battles with Steve when he was at St Mirren and I was at Dundee United.

“We had running battles when he went to Chelsea too. You know what Clarkey was like, though, he just got on with it.


“He was a seven out of ten every game. He’d go out and give his best.
“His knowledge was phenomenal and I found that out after he retired and became a coach.

“We were together at Newcastle towards the end of my career, and that’s when you get to know people.

“I was starting to take my coaching badges and understand a little bit.

“We played Sheffield United and I got man-marked, I’d never been man-marked in my whole career!

“Neil Warnock, in showing me respect, got a player called Bobby Ford to do the job on me in an FA Cup tie.

“In the first half, everywhere I went, the guy was right behind me.

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“It felt like I just couldn’t shake him off — even when I went in to the toilet!

“I came in at half-time and Clarkey pulled me aside.

“He said, ‘Why don’t you go and just stand still out on the left wing for five minutes and see what he does then?’.

“It was a tiny bit of information but it helped me and within a few minutes I’d scored a goal.

“The game knowledge Steve had and what he could see in football was just phenomenal.

“I knew then he could go on to be a fantastic coach — and he’s doing a great job for Scotland now.”

Gallacher missed out on progress to the knockout phase in Scotland’s first two adventures to the Euros.


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But he believes Clarke and No 2 John Carver — who was also on Bobby Robson’s coaching staff when he played at St James’ Park — can create history.

The ex-Tannadice hero added: “It’s a tough group. But this is probably our best chance.

“We can certainly score goals. This is a section I definitely think we can qualify from.

“Germany in the opening game is probably the best time to get them.

“You can catch them cold. We nearly caught Brazil cold in the first game at France 98.

“Hungary and Switzerland are probably on a par with us, and we can get a result if we get our best team out there.”

Gallacher hopes that team can include 50-cap Grant Hanley, who followed his career path at Blackburn and Newcastle before his switch to Norwich City.

The Rovers legend, who still covers them for local radio, said: “I could always see Grant going on to become an international player.

“When he was a young guy at Blackburn, he had the stature and he had the physique.

“There were things to work on to become better too, but he’s grafted his socks off.

“He’s been part of the set-up for almost a decade now. He deserves it.

“Grant has done fantastically well over a period of time.”

Gallacher, who used to share a room on international duty with Angus Gunn’s dad Bryan, still recalls his own Euro adventures in the 90s.

He added: “I remember the call-up from Andy Roxburgh for Euro 92.

“It was weird. My summer holidays were ready.

“We booked a caravan site in Pitlochry. But my wife ended up going on her own as I was going to the Euros.

“It was a whirlwind for me to go there to Sweden to face Germany, Holland and the CIS.

“I thought I was the hamper carrier, there to carry boots and back everybody up.

“I ended up starting the final game against the CIS, which we won. I got Viktor Onopko’s shirt.

“A guy came over to see me in later years and really wanted that shirt badly.

“It was a one-off year that they wore the shirt and it was valuable. But I’m glad I got it.

“I always say it’s just a shame Andy didn’t start me in the first two games — we might have won them as well!”

Four years on, Gallacher recovered from injury to start the draw with the Dutch at Villa Park.

After defeat to England at Wembley, the Scots needed to beat the Swiss and rely on Terry Venables’ side bashing the Netherlands.

Gallacher said: “It was a really strange night.

“We were on the bench and being fed information from someone who had the England game on a little radio.

Ally McCoist scored an unbelievable goal and we heard England were 4-0 up. We thought we’d qualified.

“Craig Brown was shouting on to the pitch, ‘Calm down lads, we’ve qualified’.

“He came back to the bench to hear Holland had scored.

“He then ran back and started shouting ‘Get forward again, the Dutch have scored’!

Read more on the Scottish Sun

“You shouldn’t laugh at the manager, but we couldn’t stop laughing because of the circumstances.

“It’s just typical when England let you down.”

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