logo

Best Scottish Forwards of All Time

Mon 09 May 2022 | 4:30

Scotland may not be a big name in European football, yet they have produced some great players none can deny their impact on the European and even world football. In this post, however, we are not exactly to best Scottish footballers of all time, but best Scottish forwards of all time.

Although some

best Scottish footballers in 2022

like Kevin Nisbet or Scott Wright have really performed well, there’s no reason to include them on the list of best Scottish footballers of all time or even best Scottish forwards of all time because, as the phrase itself suggests, they are among best Scottish footballers in 2022 and have a long way ahead of them to become one of the best Scottish footballers of all time, or let’s say, be called on best Scottish team of all-time if ever.

Just let’s leave best Scottish footballers in 2022 to another post and focus, for now, on the best Scottish forwards of all time some of whom can, indeed, be called on the best Scottish team of all-time, too. The ones like Kenny Dalglish or Denis Law, for instance, who can be considered as an all-time best player in Scotland or at least a former

best player in Scotland

, though some believe the footballers just mentioned are even more: legends of Scottish football.

A List of the Best Scottish Forwards of All Time

The list we are going to introduce to you is in ascending order, so the names like Kenny Dalglish and Denis Law are actually at the end of the list, but let’s see which footballers come before them on the list.

Bobby Lennox

Almost a one-club man during his footballing time, Bobby Lennox is a 78-year-old retired Scottish winger and forward who served the top Scottish club, Celtic, for almost all his career. In fact, if he hadn’t served the American club, Houston Hurricane, for a season, we could have said he had actually served Celtic for all his career. Lennox was indeed a prolific scorer; he scored a total of 301 goals in 599 appearances for Celtic during his service to them - around one goal in every two appearances - and thus became the club’s second top scorer of all time behind Jimmy McGrory with 502 goals. Lennox won all his club trophies with Celtic including 8 Scottish Cups and was actually part of the Celtic team known as Lisbon Lions who managed to defeat Inter Milan 2-1 in the 1967 European Cup final and actually win the cup.

Among fans, Lennox was known as “Buzz Bomb” or “Lemon” due to his extremely fast speed and the fact that he left opposition defenders helpless with his speed. Lennox also served the

Scottish national team

sometime between 1966 and 1970 making 10 appearances and scoring 3 goals for them in the process. He was actually part of the Scottish national team who managed to defeat England in 1967 at Wembley stadium just one year after the English won 1966 FIFA World Cup - it was also England’s first defeat after winning the trophy. Lennox scored one goal in that game and by doing so actually became the first Celtic player to score for Scotland at Wembley; the honor that Lennox himself also said once he was proud of. Sir Bobby Charlton once said about Lennox: “If I'd had Lennox in my team, I could have played forever. He was one of the best strikers I have ever seen,” and the Argentinian former striker, Alfredo Di Stefano: “The Scotsman who gave me the most trouble was Bobby Lennox of Celtic.” Maybe that’s enough to even call Lennox one of the best Scottish footballers of all time, too.

Alan Morton

The first passed footballer on the list of best Scottish forwards of all time, Alan Morton was a Scottish winger and forward who played only for two clubs, namely Queens Park and

Rangers

, during his career, though he’s often known as a Rangers player. Although Morton was short in stature - he was only 1.62m, he was a physically balanced footballer who could compensate for his short height with speed and intelligence. Morton was actually part of the Scottish national team known as “Wembley Wizards” who managed to beat the English national team 5-1 in 1928 at Wembley stadium. Although Morton didn’t score in that game, he provided three crosses that were all converted to goal by the then Scotland national, Alex Jackson.

The passed Scottish footballer served his country’s national team for 12 years between 1920 to 1932 making 31 appearances and scoring 5 goals for them in the process. He never made a World Cup appearance during his career since for most of his international career there was no World Cup at all and in the two finals years of his career that the first edition of FIFA World Cup was launched, Scotland was not among the competing teams in the global competition. Morton died in December 1971 at the age of 78.

Billy Liddell

The second passed footballer on the list of

best Scottish forwards of all time

, Billy Liddell was a Scottish winger and forward who served only one club during his career: Liverpool and for 23 years between 1938 and 1961 during which he managed to score 228 goals in his 534 appearances for the club across all competitions - around 2 goals in every 5 appearances. It might be interesting for you to know that Lidell became Liverpool’s top scorer in eight out of nine seasons from 1949 and 1958. He also broke the record of Elisha Scott for most league appearances for Liverpool as he made his 431st appearance for Liverpool in 1957-58 season.

Maybe it’s because of such an impact that Liverpool fans nicknamed the club “Liddlepool” after Billy Liddle’s family name for some time! In playstyle, Liddle was a strong and pacey player with a powerful shot. He was able to play anywhere in the front line including both wings and in the center, though his main role was winger. In 1998, he was included on the EFL 100 Legends list which is a list of 100 great footballers who played part or all of their professional career in EFL or Premier League. Liddel died in July 2001 at the age of 79.

Bobby Walker

The earliest in chronological order on the list of best Scottish forwards of all time, Bobby Walker is a passed Scottish forward who was born in 1879 and died in 1930. He played for the Scottish club, Heart of Midlothian, for a major part of his career; actually from 1896 to 1919 during which he made a total of 328 appearances and scored 124 goals for them only at league level. He also served the Scottish national team between 1900 and 1913 making 29 appearances and scoring 8 goals for them in the process. Maybe Walker was not that prolific a scorer but he was considered as one of the best footballers in Europe during his footballing time and maybe it’s interesting for you to know that he was so a technical player that they called his playstyle which consisted of some brilliant footwork “Walkerism”. Walker was actually the Heart of Midlothian’s most capped footballer with his 29 caps up until 2006 that his record was broken by Steven Pressley. It should also be mentioned here that for different periods between 1905 and 1931, Walker held the record for most appearances made for the Scottish national team.

Lawrie Reilly

Considered as one of the best forwards Scotland has ever produced, Lawrie Reilly is also a passed Scottish footballer who served only one club during his career:

Hibernian

and for 12 years between 1946 and 1958 during which he made a total of 253 appearances and scored 185 goals for them - around 2 goals in every 3 appearances averagely. And if you know that Reilly 22 goals in his 38 appearances for the Scottish national team during the time he served them - actually from 1948 to 1957, you will probably admit that he was a prolific goalscorer, as he really was. It might be interesting for you to know that Reilly scored 18 hat-tricks during his club career and was part of the Hibernian’s attacking line in late 1940s and early 1950s known as the Famous Five. With his 38 caps and 22 international goals, Reilly is not only Hibernian’s most capped footballer ever but also Scotland’s fourth top scorer of all time. He has an international strike rate of 61% which, to your surprise, is even greater than those of Kenny Dalglish and Dennis Law who top the list of best Scottish forwards of all time. Can he be on the

best Scottish team of all-time

? Most probably, yes!

Jimmy Mcgrory

Another passed footballer on the list of best Scottish forwards of all time, Jimmy Mcgrory played almost all his career for the top Scottish club,

Celtic

; actually for 15 years from 1922 to 1937 during which he managed to score 522 goals in his 501 appearances for the club. That, as you see, is a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.04) in every appearance which makes Mcgrory the only footballer on the list to have scored more than one goal in every appearance for his club. Also with that number of goals, Mcgrory is Celtic’s top scorer of all time plus that he also holds the record for most goals scored in a single season for Celtic as he scored 62 goals in 46 appearances in 1927-28 season for the club. With these stats, Mcgrory is not a prolific but a super prolific scorer and surely has a place on the best Scottish team of all-time.

Mcgrory is also the all-time top scorer of British football with 550 goals in 547 appearances both at club and international level. If we just dismiss the one season Kenny Dalglish managed Celtic - actually the club for whom he played during his career as a player, then Mcgrory will be the only footballer on the list who managed the club he served as a player - actually Celtic - after his playing career, and for quite a time; actually for 20 years between 1945 and 1965 during which he managed to win 15 club trophies with them including two Scottish League Cups in 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons. In general, Mcgrory is a highly-decorated footballer among the

best Scottish forwards of all time

. Besides the 15 club trophies he won as a manager, he also won 19 club trophies as a player 16 of which he won when with Celtic.

Although almost short in stature as it is defined in the world of football - he was 1.68m, Mcgrory was that kind of a forward with great header abilities during his footballing time. In fact, he practiced his own special kind of header - let’s call it his signature header - which required him to make almost a horizontal move in the air sending the ball like a bullet towards the goal which usually was converted. It was actually such a header that earned the passed Scottish footballer “human torpedo” and “mermaid” nicknames from the fans. And finally, here is another record from him: The most number of hat-tricks,  actually 55, scored in top-tier British football from which 48 were scored at league level and 7 in different Scottish Cup editions.

Hughie Gallacher

Yet another passed footballer on the list of best Scottish forwards of all time, Hughie Gallacher served seven clubs during his career the most prominent of which was Chelsea. In fact, he’s the only footballer on the list who served the top Premier League club sometime during his career; actually for 4 years between 1930 and 1934 during which he managed to make 132 appearances and score 72 goals for the English club. However, what is Gallacher is quite known for is not his service to Chelsea - although that is also a noticeable part of his career - but his international goal-to-appearance ratio. During his service to the Scottish national team which lasted for 11 years between 1924 and 1935, Gallacher scored a total of 24 goals in 20 appearances which means he scored 1.2 goals in every international appearance averagely.

That is not only the highest international goal-to-appearance ratio on the list but also much better than Dennis Law and Kenny Dalglish’s ratios of 0.54 and 0.29, respectively. It should also be mentioned here that Gallacher was part of the Scottish national team known as “Wembley Wizards” who managed to beat England 5-1 in 1928 at the Wembley stadium. Gallacher died in June 1957 at the age of 54.

Jimmy Johnstone

Known for his deceptive maneuvers and special dribbling style during his play time, Jimmy Johnstone is a passed Scottish forward - he died in September 1944 at the age of 61 - who served the top Scottish club, Celtic, for a major part of his career; actually for 13 years between 1962 and 1975 during which he managed to make 529 appearances and score 135 goals for the club. He doesn’t look like a prolific scorer at least by the goals he scored for Celtic, however, as mentioned above, he was that kind of a forward to be known more for his technique and maneuvers than goalscoring capabilities, and maybe that’s why he finished third in the contest for the 1967 edition of Ballon d’Or trophy with just one point behind Sir Bobby Charlton who earned 40 points and finished second.

Johnstone won all his 19 club trophies with Celtic and was actually part of the Celtic team known as “Lisbon lions” who managed to win Euro 1967. He also served the Scottish national team sometime between 1964 and 1974 making 23 appearances and scoring 4 goals for them in the process. The passed Scottish footballer was voted the greatest Celtic player ever by fans in 2002.

Denis Law

The only winner of the Ballon d’Or trophy on the list of

best Scottish forwards of all time

and actually the only Scottish winner of the trophy,

Denis Law

is an 82-year-old retired Scottish footballer who played for the top Premier League club, Manchester United, for a major part of his career; actually for 11 years between 1962 and 1973 which comprises two third of his career chronologically. So, no wonder that Law is often remembered as a Manchester United player, though he also served Manchester City and in two time periods during his career which in length was not more than two seasons. Law was indeed a prolific goalscorer both at club and international level. He scored a total of 303 goals in 602 club appearances - around one goal in every two appearances - and 30 goals in 55 appearances that he made for the Scottish national team between 1958 and 1974 - again with the same average stats: around one goal in every two appearances.

For Manchester United, Law managed to score a total of 237 goals in 404 appearances across all competitions which translates to 1.16 goals in every 2 appearances averagely. With these stats, he’s actually Manchester United’s third top scorer of all time just behind Sir Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney who occupy the second and first positions on the list of Manchester United top scorers of all time, respectively. Other than that, the fee for which Law was transferred to Man Utd in 1962 was a British record transfer fee at its own time and the top retired Scottish footballer also holds the record for the most number of goals scored for Man Utd in a single season (46).

As mentioned above, Law also scored 30 goals in 55 appearances for the Scottish national team and by doing so became Scotland’s top scorer of all time; the record he has held to this date, of course, jointly with Kenny Dalglish who scored the same number of goals for Scotland but in 102 appearances. If we just exclude Law’s individual honors, then he will become a low-decorated player with only 6 club trophies with Manchester United, however, Law has more than a handful of individual honors to his name, too, including a Ballon d’Or trophy in 1964 and UEFA Champions League top scorer in 1968-69 season with 9 goals. It might be interesting for you to know that the Dutch legend,

Johan Cruyff

, finished as the same competition’s second top scorer with 6 goals. With such stats and records, there is no doubt that not only Denis Law is one of the best Scottish forwards of all time but also one of the

best Scottish footballers of all time

.

Kenny Dalglish

Number one on the list of best Scottish forwards of all time, Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish, simply known as

Kenny Dalglish

in the world of football, is one of the greatest footballers Scotland has ever produced. Although he’s behind Denis Law in some respects - for instance, he has not won a Ballon d’Or trophy, he’s been bestowed the title of “Sir” to indicate his greatness and achievements in the world of football. And we just said he didn’t win a Ballon d’Or trophy? That’s right, but he actually finished second in the Ballon d’Or contest in 1983 with 26 points, or in other words, received the Ballon d’Or silver award in the same year. He’s one of the highly-decorated footballers on the list if not actually the highest decorated one with a number of club trophies to his name both as a player and manager as well as some individual awards. For your information, the 71-year-old retired Scottish forward won only 31 club trophies as a player including four Scottish Cups and four Scottish Premiership titles and 13 trophies as a manager including two FA Cups which sums up to 44 club trophies in total.

Sir Kenny Dalglish is the only footballer on the list to have been named on FIFA 100 list by the Brazilian legend, Pele - a list of the greatest living footballers in 21st century - and the only footballer on the list, of course, alongside Denis Law who has been inducted into both English and Scottish Halls of Fame. Dalglish served only two clubs during his career: Liverpool and Celtic and for 13 and 8 years, respectively, and although he was not as prolific a scorer as Denis Law, he managed to score a total of 173 goals in 338 appearances for Celtic and 172 goals in 515 appearances for Liverpool which sums up to 345 goals in 853 club appearances - 2 goals in every 5 appearances averagely.

It might be interesting for you to know that Dalglish is a more beloved figure to Liverpool fans than Celtic despite the fact that, at least, by nationality, he’s closer to Celtic, and the proof to that is that Liverpool fans still call him King Kenny. Also by their votes in 2006, the retired Scottish footballer topped the list of “100 players who shook the Kop” which is a list of top Liverpool players who had or have had a great impact on the club through their contributions to it. On that list, Dalglish is even in front of Steven Gerard who was indeed a great and beloved Liverpool player.

And finally, as you know, Sir Kenny Dalglish and Dennis Law are jointly Scotland’s top scorers of all time with 30 international goals. The difference is in the number of their appearances; while Denis Law scored his 30 international goals in 55 appearances Dalglish scored the same number of international goals in 102 appearances which on one hand has gotten him the lowest international goal-to-appearance ratio on the list of Scotland top scorers of all time but on the other hand has made him also the most capped Scottish footballer of all time.

READ MORE:


source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.