Football Memories: Record-breaking cap call for Stirlingshire schools squad

Scotland schoolboys viictory shield winners 1963 including four from Stirlingshire - a record.'Alex Totten (back, left)'Willie Smith (back third from left), 'David Cattanach (fifth from left)'Ian Mitchell (seventh from left)
Scotland schoolboys viictory shield winners 1963 including four from Stirlingshire - a record.'Alex Totten (back, left)'Willie Smith (back third from left), 'David Cattanach (fifth from left)'Ian Mitchell (seventh from left)
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It was one of Stirlingshire schools’ finest squads, and one of its finest hours.

The district select side supplied a quarter of the Scottish schoolboys team in 1961 and the quartet played a pivotal role as Scotland won the Victory Shield.

The players, Alex Totten of Denny High, Davie Cattenach of St Modan’s, Ian Mitchell and William Smith of Falkirk High.

Alex Totten, who moved from Dennyloanhead to Liverpool shortly afterwards, recalled the great team.

“It was a huge achievement for the Stirlingshire schools team.

“There was maybe one or two picked up in previous years but this time there were four of us – and all went on to have careers after school.

“And not only did we have so many in the squad - that was a record for Stirlingshire at the time, having such a small county area, we had four in the team that won it.”

Before them the record was two in the squad, and illustrious names at that - George Young of Rangers and Denny-born Billy Steel - both Scottish full internationals.

The quartet had good careers too. Totten moved to Liverpool and then returned to Scotland for a career with Dunfermline, Dundee, Alloa and of course Falkirk.

Cattenach still stays locally, having the Three Kings near Shieldhill. He went on to play at Celtic.

Mitchell had a spell at Newcastle United but is perhaps best known for his time at Tannadice with Dundee United and Willie Smith was at Rangers.

The team was led by Mr Reid, of Bathgate.

“It was a good team,” adds Totten. “, Northern Ireland, Wales - we beat them both 4-1 and played England at Roker Park, Sunderland.”

Also of note to Falkirk fans in the picture is Dennis Setterington, who would later become a Bairn.

Tony Gallagher, of Falkirk and Forth Valley Academy has been called up to the present day Victory Shield squad to face N.Ireland next month.