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Q After Jim Baxter's death, I read that he wasn't in Scottish football"s Hall of Fame. He was one of the all-time greats so how come?
A Baxter (picture opposite) was certainly one of the finest talents Scotland has ever produced but the Hall of Fame is a recent institution and the only qualification for membership is 50 international caps.
'Slim Jim' played in an era when there were fewer internationals played (sometimes as few as four World Cup qualifiers as opposed to as many as ten nowadays) and, for the most part, no substitutions allowed. Consequently he gained 'only' 34 caps. Prior to the 1970s George Young was the only player to have 50 caps. Then Denis Law and Billy Bremner joined him and many others since
You'll find many great players of the past face the same injustice as Baxter. Jimmy Johnstone and Dave Mackay to name but two. No offence to Tom Boyd and Kevin Gallacher (both Hall of Fame members) but I'm sure they wouldn't exactly feel offended at the suggestion that the likes of Baxter, Johnstone and Mackay should have the same recognition.
For pre-war players when the only internationals generally played were against the other home countries things are even worse. The likes of Hughie Gallacher, Alan Morton and Alex James would have had to have played at international level for nearly 20 years to get anywhere near 50 caps.
To their credit the SFA have admitted there is a problem here in the light of Baxter's untimely demise and have said they'll do something about it. Let's hope they do...and quickly. Our heroes may be immortal in memory but not so in the flesh. Bobby Murdoch, one of the Lisbon Lions who won the European Cup with Celtic died recently too. Another sad loss