Nephew of Celtic icon Bertie Auld has theory as to why Lisbon Lion didn't win more Scotland caps

By Euan Davidson

December 18, 2021

Celtic icon Bertie Auld should’ve had more Scotland caps.

There’s no getting around it. Auld was a vital component of a ridiculously successful Celtic side, a Lisbon Lion and a Scottish footballing legend. Successful as both a player and manager, Auld was recognised across the land.

But he won a ridiculously low 3 caps [SFA]. That is utterly shameful from the SFA, on face value. People have their theories as to why this was, of course, but now Auld’s nephew has given a potential reason as to why this was.

It might not even be the Scottish footballing authority’s fault.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ian Cairns, Auld’s nephew, gave a beautiful recollection of the life and times of Bertie Auld. It’s a fantastic piece, with some brilliant Auld stories in there. However, it’s when we get to the Scotland part of the story that things get extremely interesting.

Cairns explains [Daily Mail]: “He wasn’t proud of this but he was the first Scotland international to be sent off. There was a kerfuffle at the end of the Holland game and he was red-carded

“At that time, it was up to a club to put players forward to the committee for international recognition. And the rumour is that Celtic chairman Bob Kelly was embarrassed by the red card and had an input into what happened with Scotland.

“How true that is I don’t know for certain. But Uncle Bert liked a song, a party and a drink and, let’s face it, those were three things Mr Kelly didn’t like much at all…”

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Did Bob Kelly stop Celtic icon Bertie Auld playing more for Scotland?

For goodness’ sake. If that’s the reason why a player as beloved and talented as Bertie Auld didn’t get to represent his country more, then it’s a real shame.

Bob Kelly of course, had something of a reputation for upsetting players. John Fallon had his 1967 European Cup medal taken away from him [Scotsman]. The twelfth Lion would only see it again 52 years later.

Bertie Auld deserved tens more caps than he had. Of course, international football is very different now, with far more games, so modern cap records look more impressive. But for Auld’s talents, he really should’ve been allowed to tally up more than 3 outings for his country.

Photo by Don Morley/Allsport/Getty Images

It’s a theme, really. None of the Lisbon Lions had the number of caps they really ought to have.

There probably isn’t a harsher case than Auld’s, though. He was the life of the party, but that didn’t diminish his talent one iota. In fact, his exuberance before heading out against Inter Milan gave his teammates helped in providing the confidence to win the European Cup.

Nowadays, a player like Bertie Auld would be a regular for his country. What a shame he didn’t get to represent Scotland more often.

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