St Andrew’s Day: Five of the best Scottish players to turn out for Bristol City

Bristol City had a number of Scottish players turn out for them over the years. (Photo by Robert Stiggins/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Bristol City had a number of Scottish players turn out for them over the years. (Photo by Robert Stiggins/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Bristol City had a number of Scottish players turn out for them over the years. (Photo by Robert Stiggins/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The people of Scotland are celebrating St Andrew’s Day and here at BristolWorld, we celebrate the Scottish players to play for Bristol City

The people of Scotland have a bank holiday today, as they celebrate St Andrew’s Day, the patron saint of their country.

Saint Andrew was known for helping the less fortunate and when it comes to Bristol City and Scotland, there has been some fortune and luck.

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Over the years, the Robins have seen a number of Scots turn out for the club, some of which have etched their name into the very fabric of the club.

As the people of Scotland celebrate their National Day, we pay homage to those from Scotland who have featured for the City.

John Shaw, Tony Ritchie, Gary Sweeney and Gerry Gow in a squad photo preparing for a top-flight season. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)John Shaw, Tony Ritchie, Gary Sweeney and Gerry Gow in a squad photo preparing for a top-flight season. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
John Shaw, Tony Ritchie, Gary Sweeney and Gerry Gow in a squad photo preparing for a top-flight season. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images) | Getty Images

John Shaw

Goalkeeper John Shaw is another part of a strong Scottish contingent which gave City their greatest moments in their history. Brought to English football by Leeds United, Shaw never played in the league but along with Jimmy Mann, made the move to South West England in May 1974.

There would be a wait to take up the number-one spot as Ray Cashley held the post well, but eventually he was given the chance to make it his own and he made 103 successive league appearances in the English top flight. His appearances for City in the First Division prompted calls to become a Scottish international, but unfortunately it never came.

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Despite their relegation to the Second Division, he remained with the club and was still there when they suffered their third demotion, being an ever present player in the campaign in which they saw financial turmoil. He helped them get back to the Third Division, but later left to join Exeter City.

The 67-year-old made 295 appearances over an 11-year spell and played even more games in the likes of the Anglo-Scottish Cup, facing teams like St Mirren from his homeland.

Gerry Sweeney

Sixth in the all-time appearances, Sweeney spent a total of 11 years at Bristol City.

Sweeney was brought to the club from Morton back in 1971, under legendary manager Alan Dicks, who had an eye for talent north of the border.

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Operating either in midfield or at right-back, Sweeney was part of the fall and rise of Bristol City. He won promotion to the First Division, as well as experiencing the multiple relegations they had suffered.

Sweeney will mostly be remembered for being a part of the Ashton Gate Eight, eight players who ripped up their contract to save the club from bankruptcy.

After leaving the club, he played for York City, Forest Green Rovers and then Gloucester City. He would later return to the ground which served him well to work as a caretaker manager in 1997, deputising after Joe Jordan’s departure.

After leaving the world of football as both a player and coach, he worked as a postman, before working for the Press Association, covering City matches.

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In total, he made 190 appearances for Bristol City and sits 14 outings behind fellow Scot, Tom Ritchie.

Gerry Gow

He’s not part of the 400 club, but Gerry Gow served City well, making more than 375 appearances in the Football League. Gow, who hailed from Glasgow, made his debut as a 17-year-old and didn’t look back after that.

A member of the 1976 promotion winning team, he played for the club for 11 years and hit 48 league goals in those years of service to the club. A player of his ability saw him earn a move to Manchester City when Bristol were relegated in 1980 and he appeared in the 1981 FA Cup final for the Citizens. He would later play for Rotherham United and then Burnley, but his career would wind down and he moved into management with Yeovil Town and then Weymouth. In 2012, he was given a testimonial by Bristol City.

Before becoming Bristol City’s kit man, Scott Murray could play a bit! (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Before becoming Bristol City’s kit man, Scott Murray could play a bit! (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Before becoming Bristol City’s kit man, Scott Murray could play a bit! (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Scott Murray

Fraserburgh-born winger Murray arrived at Bristol City in December 1997 from Aston Villa after making just four league appearances and a failed move to Liverpool.

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He was brought to the club by John Ward, but it was under Danny Wilson that he would shine the brightest, finishing as the clubs top scorer, helping them to the EFL Trophy in 2002.

Murray’s six-years of service ended as his goals earned him a move to Reading in June 2003, but he wouldn’t be around long as he returned to Bristol City. Unfortunately his return didn’t have the desired effect as they suffered play-off heartache to Brighton & Hove Albion, but he was appointed club captain by Brian Tinnion. There were some memorable moments in his second spell, equalising against Premier League outfit Middlesbrough to earn a replay.

He departed once more, this time on loan for Cheltenham Town, before leaving permanently for Bath City.

In the two spells that he had, Murray made 426 appearances, the same as Ivor Guy, his 91 goals have him in sixth in the club’s all-time leading scorers.

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An iconic photo which is brought out before every Severnside Derby is where Scott Muray cups his hand to his ear as he celebrates in front of the Cardiff City fans at Ninian Park in what was a 3-1 victory back in 2001.

Murray now works as the kit man for the club and has done so for the last decade.

Tom Ritchie

Fifth in Bristol City’s all-time appearances, Ritchie played a majority of his career with the club.

He is arguably the greatest Scot to play for City, given his longevity at the club as well as the goals that came with it.

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The Edinburgh-born forward was brought to the club by manager Alan Dicks after being spotted playing for Bridgend Thistle up in Scotland.

Ritchie would spend 12 years at City in his first spell, establishing himself as a reliable forward, playing a part in their rise to the First Division in 1976.

After a four year stay in English football’s top tier, City were relegated and he was sold to Sunderland in 1981, where he spent just one season, with a loan to Carlisle United in the mix.

His relationship with Bristol was so strong that he returned for a second spell, having been persuaded by Terry Cooper.

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City had been relegated to the fourth division after three consecutive relegations and he left once more after 25 league goals in 83 appearances, to join up with fellow Scot and former teammate Gerry Gow at Yeovil Town.

In total, he has 132 goals in 504 appearances, making him one of the most influential Scottish players to don the red shirt.

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