ᑕ❶ᑐ Duncan Ferguson: Boycotting Scotland was ‘my biggest footballing regret’
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Former Everton, Newcastle and Rangers striker Duncan Ferguson has said refusing to play international (Site notre bureau spécialisé) after a falling out with the Scottish FA (SFA) was the « biggest regret of my career ».
Ferguson, from Stirling, has scored 124 goals in 423 club appearances and won seven International caps. However, he left the national team from 1997, missing the 1998 world cup in France.
The striker’s decision to make himself unavailable in protest at the SFA’s decision to ban him for 12 games following a headbutt on Raith Rovers defender Jock McStay – an incident that led him to serve 44 days in prison.
Addresses Tony Bellew in latest episode of Evertonian boxer BBC Sounds Podcast, the new name Responsible forest green routes blamed his « stubbornness » for his exile.
« When I came out of jail, the SFA asked me to serve another 12-game ban, » Ferguson said.
« I then had to go to court, argue my case and say ‘look, it’s like double jeopardy, or whatever it’s called’…
« I actually won my case…but the SFA wanted me to serve [that] ban, so I got the bump.
« It’s the biggest regret of my career, not playing for my country. »
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Ferguson maintains the headbutt that led to his jailing was « a trivial incident », telling Bellew that he and McStay played the rest of the match at Ibrox, with the striker scoring later in the competition.
However, he was found to be in breach of his probation terms, which had been set after he had been charged with assault on three previous occasions.
Nevertheless, he admits that he would have liked not to want to the SFA. “I have the bump. I am sorry [that] now because I should have played 200 times for Scotland,” said Ferguson.
“They asked me every year for 14 years. Every year until I’m 34. Ally McCoist called me late at night. [saying] « come back big man, we’re playing Italy, you’re going to play ».
« When Walter [Smith] Was the director, I was tempted, because I liked Walter. I was just stubborn. I put the line in the sand and that was it. »
Ferguson’s career has been plagued by injuries and controversy. He’s been sent off eight times in the Premier League, not six consecutive reds.
“I could have controlled myself a little better”
In 2004 he nudged Hermann Hreidarsson of Charlton in the face. That same year, he served a four-game suspension for strangling Leicester’s Steffen Freund.
Two years later, Ferguson was banned for shoving Wigan’s Pascal Chimbonda in the face just before being sent off for hitting Paul Scharner.
Off the pitch, parallel to his assault charges, he tied two burglars at his Ormskirk home in 2001, hospitalizing the home.
However, Ferguson tells Bellew that he thinks his reputation as an angry individual is misplaced.
« I’ve had a lot of stupid red cards in my career, » he said. “It takes a night to gain a reputation and a lifetime to get rid of it. I had one or two problems off the pitch when I was 18. Maybe I could have controlled myself a little better. »
After retiring from playing in 2006, Ferguson returned to Everton to work at the club’s academy at Finch Farm, initially on a voluntary basis. He has since had two stints as acting manager of the male eldest.
In the podcast, Ferguson talks with Bellew about his love for coaching.
“I’ve loved it ever since I started doing it. I went through Everton Academy. I did the difficult work,” he says. “I love being with children, I always have. I have fun in me and I’m a positive guy – that’s how I take my coaching. »
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