Colin Stein's career

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Colin Stein's career

Post by Carlucci » Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:20 pm

Could give me any career details for the famous Scottish striker Colin Stein? The clubs he played for, number of goals scored, and anything you think it may be interesting...

Thanks. Warmest regards

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Post by Scottish » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:02 pm

Colin Stein was one of the most colourful characters in Scottish football in the 1960s and 1970s. Born in Philipstoun, West Lothian on May 10th 1947 he started out with junior club Armadale Thistle as a left-back before switching to centre-forward. He signed for Hibernian aged 18 after scoring a hat-trick for Armadale in a local cup final played at Easter Road. Used sparingly in his first two seasons as a professional he really began to make his mark on the game in 1967-68, scoring 29 times in 45 competitive appearances for Hibs. Stein’s old-fashioned direct approach as a striker made him a big favourite at Easter Road and he soon came to the attention of Scotland boss Bobby Brown, playing for the Under-23s and the Scottish Football League before making his full international debut in a 1-0 friendly win away to Denmark in October 1968.

Two weeks after that game he was transferred to Rangers for £100,000 – the first six-figure transfer fee in Scotland - after turning down a move to Everton. His impact was both immediate and sensational. Stein scored a hat-trick on his Rangers debut in a 5-1 league win at Arbroath and followed that up by scoring another three a week later in his first home appearance for the club in a 6-1 victory over his old club Hibs. Four days after that he scored twice in a 3-0 away Fairs Cup win against Irish side Dundalk.

Stein however had a temper as quick as his feet. He had already been sent off twice as a Hibs player - one of them a match against Raith Rovers this season. In a league game at Kilmarnock in January 1969 he struck out at diminutive Killie winger Tommy McLean (later, ironically to become a team-mate of Stein’s at Ibrox). Incensed by this attack on his team-mate and friend, Kilmarnock defender Billy Dickson came to McLean’s defence. Both Dickson & Stein were sent off as their brawl encouraged fighting on he terraces between rival supporters.

Stein was suspended for 28 days as a consequence. However because of bad weather he missed just one league match and this suspension was later cited as a reason for the authorities in Scotland moving from bans being based on a period of time to a specific number of matches.

In his fourth match back Stein was sent off along with Clyde’s Eddie Mulherron with just two minutes remaining of a match which Rangers won 6-0 and in which Stein had scored another hat-trick. This time he was suspended for 35 days and missed seven league games and the Scottish Cup Final though he continued to play for Rangers in Europe where they reached the semi-finals of the Fairs Cup before losing to Newcastle United. Despite this lengthy suspension Stein notched up 18 goals for Rangers to add to the ten he had scored for Hibs. He played for both sides in the Fairs Cup during the season.

This was also the season Stein made his international reputation. He scored in six consecutive international appearances – ten goals in all. He bagged two in Cyprus in a 5-0 World Cup qualifying success then in the home internationals –played in a week at the end of the season for the first time – he scored once in each game. Scotland won 5-3 away to Wales, drew 1-1 with Northern Ireland at home before the lowest ever Hampden Park international crowd and lost 4-1 to England at Wembley.

But Stein’s crowning moment came on May 12th 1969 when he scored four times in the 8-0 demolition of Cyprus. To this day he remains the last Scotland player to score a hat-trick in a full international match.

While his amazing 1968-69 season was never to be repeated Stein remained at the forefront of the Scottish game for some years. He notched his tenth international goal in a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland in September 1969. That was just his seventh international game but even though he made a further fourteen appearances over the next four years he never scored for Scotland again.

He still rattled the goals in for Rangers. In the next three seasons he was top scorer overall for the club with 27 goals in 1969-70, 20 in 70-71 and 25 in 71-72. Nor were these years without incident. He won his first club playing honour in 1970-71 when Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 in the League Cup Final. Later that season it was Stein who scored the Rangers equaliser on January 2nd 1971 at Ibrox in the match which preceded the worst disaster in Scottish football history when 66 supporters were killed when the barriers gave way on a stairway shortly after the end of the match.

His finest hour as a Rangers player though came on May 24th 1972 when Stein scored the opening goal in the Nou Camp when Rangers defeated Moscow Dynamo 3-2 to win the Cup-Winners Cup.

Yet just a few months later he was on his way out of Ibrox. Jock Wallace took over first team responsibilities from Willie Waddell for 1972-73 and was determined to instil more discipline at the club by moving on both Stein and Willie Johnston. Talented as these players were, Wallace didn’t want his selections being affected by suspensions. With the emergence of Derek Johnstone at centre-forward he felt able to let Stein go. The value of the fee was £140,000 represented by a £90,000 payment and the valuation of ‘Cutty’ Young at £50,000. Young left Coventry as part of the deal. He was the replacement for Johnston.

Stein found goals a lot harder to come by in the English top flight though it is also fair to say that he had taken more than his fair share of knocks over the years. In three seasons mainly spent warding off relegation he managed 29 goals in first class matches.

It was something of a surprise then when Rangers parted with £80,000 to bring Stein back to Ibrox in March 1975 as they were closing in on their first league title for eleven years. The heroics of his first spell weren’t to be repeated and it wasn’t until his fourth match back that he scored a goal. But it was one of the most important he ever scored. Losing 1-0 way to Hibs with an hour played it was Stein whose header secured a 1-1 draw and thus confirmed Rangers as champions for the first time since 1964.

Stein hadn’t played enough matches to win a title medal though and in his second spell at Ibrox he was largely a fringe player. Rangers won the ‘treble’ in 1975-76 but Stein’s only medal came in the League Cup. He made just 15 appearances over the season. In 1976-77 he played just twice but in 1977-78 stuck in reserve football he was given the chance for one last hurrah.

Kilmarnock’s promising young striker Iain Fallis was killed in a road accident and Stein went to Rugby Park on loan for the remainder of the season. It wasn’t as charitable an act as it might seem. Kilmarnock had been promised two players as part of the deal which took Gordon Smith to Rangers at the beginning of the season but for reasons unknown they never materialised. Killie had been relegated and Stein found goals a bit easier to come by in the First Division, scoring eight times in 24 league matches. But it was the Scottish Cup which gave Stein his last taste of glory when he played in the Kilmarnock team which sensationally beat Celtic to earn a trip to Ibrox in the quarter-finals. Rangers had to pulp all the tickets they had somewhat presumptively printed advertising their opponents as Celtic. Killie were beaten 4-1. Stein didn’t score but it was perhaps fitting that Ibrox was the ground where he played his last full 90 minutes.

He made a couple more starts for Killie but never lasted the full match. His final appearance as a player was also at an appropriate venue, Gayfield Park, Arbroath. This was the ground where Stein had made his hat-trick debut for Rangers almost ten years previously but his last appearance was in sharp distinction to that game. On April 1st 1978 he came on as a substitute in a league match Killie lost 1-0 in front of just 921 spectators.

Freed by Rangers at the end of the season, Colin Stein retired just before his 31st birthday.

His career stats read:
Scottish League 221 apps (215 +6s) 112 goals
(Hibernian 69A 40G)
(Rangers 128A (123 +5s) 64g
(Kilmarnock) 24A (23+1s) 8g

All were in the top flight except his loan spell at Kilmarnock

Scottish Cup 26 apps 12 goals
(Hibernian) 3A 3G
(Rangers) 20A 9G
(Kilmarnock) 3A 0G

Scottish League Cup 53 apps (51 +2s) 22 goals
(Hibernian) 20A 8G
(Rangers) 33A (31 +2s) 14G

Europe 33 apps 14 goals
(Hibernian) 8A 4G
(Rangers) 25A 10G

Drybrough Cup 2 apps 2 goals
(Rangers) 2A 2G

In England – all with Coventry City
English League 83 apps 22 goals
FA Cup 8 apps 2 goals
League Cup 7 apps 5 goals

For Scotland
Full internationals 21 apps 10 goals
Under-23 1 app 0 goals
Scottish League 4 apps 1 goal

First class total 459 apps (451 +8s) 202 goals

His honours cabinet isn't as full as it might have been. The CWC takes pride of place but in addition to that he won just two League Cup winner's medals. He also played in the losing Rangers team in the 1971 Scottish Cup Final.

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Post by Scottish » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:14 pm

Carlos, I'm trying to get in touch with you but my e-mails keep getting bounced back by your ISP which must think I'm a spammer. Can you e-mail me at my usual address and add it to your contacts list? That way I shouldn't get bumped.


Post by Burnie_man » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:29 pm

scottish wrote:He signed for Hibernian aged 18 after scoring a hat-trick for Armadale in a local cup final played at Easter Road.
That would have been the 1964-65 St.Michaels Cup Final, which Armadale Thistle won 6-2 against Penicuik Athletic at Easter Road. They also lost the East of Scotland Cup Final that season to Linlithgow Rose at Tynecastle, a game which Stein could also have played in.

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