The Library is home to almost certainly the largest collection of books on Scottish football in the world. We have biographies, annuals, club histories and match programmes dating from the mid 19th century to the present day covering all levels of the game from amateur to the national team. We are always keen to add to the collections so we were delighted when former professional footballer Cammy Murray got in touch with an offer of some books.
Cammy Murray made his professional debut with St Mirren in August 1962 and stayed with the club until 1972 and holds the record for most consecutive appearances for the club playing an incredible 222 matches for them and is in the St Mirren Hall of Fame. He then played for Motherwell for a single season from 1972 to 1973; later returning to the club as a coach. He finished his career at Arbroath playing for the club from 1973 until 1978. He is the younger brother of George Murray who played for Motherwell and Aberdeen and unlike Cammy was selected for the Scotland international team. Cammy’s dream was to take the field alongside his brother for Scotland but it never quite happened, though many thought it should have.
Cammy has now published four books on football that cover his own career, the career of his friend and colleague Tom Forsyth, the history of amateur club Lanark Rams and his research on how the Scottish game especially at international level could be revived by encouraging players to show more individuality or flair.
Most professional footballers keep a scrapbook that records the ups and downs of their careers. Cammy has turned his scrapbook and the scrapbook of Scotland and Rangers legend Tom Forsyth into actual books. These present in chronological order clippings and photographs from the two players careers. In doing so they don’t just tell the story of two footballers but give a vivid and unique impression of how Scottish football developed and changed from 1962 to 1982. Cammy’s scrapbook records the day he was told to mark a young and largely unknown player called Kenny Dalglish and quickly knew he had encountered a footballing genius.
Cammy became a schoolteacher after leaving the professional game, but he never left football. He found a happy home at Lanark Grammar School where as well as teaching physical education he became a key figure in the amateur team for teachers at the school, Lanark Rams. Cammy’s passion for football and his coaching skills created a great camaraderie in the team. The book “The Rams’ 40th anniversary 1978-2018” brings together the memories of Rams past and present to tell the story of a very fondly remembered amateur team.
These three books present accounts of Scotland’s football past but Cammy’s other book looks to Scotland’s football future. “What our football needs is a sense of freedom” laments the loss of flair and individuality in Scottish football and speculates on how we could bring these back. Murray draws on a lifetime of playing and coaching experience as well as his own research to suggest how we could revive the Scottish professional game. Central to his thesis is that the passion and love that youngsters have for football is quashed by modern coaching methods.
You can read Cammy’s football books plus thousands of others at the National Library of Scotland.
Cammy Murray Scrapbook. Shelfmark PB6.223.309/5
Tom Forsyth: Rangers & Scotland scrapbooks collection. Shelfmark PB6.223.309/4
The Rams’ 40th Anniversary 1978-2018. Shelfmark PB5.223.502/16
What our football needs in a sense of freedom. PB5.223.502/17