Famous Scottish Football Players

If you thought football is all about a ball being juggled by twenty players with two goalies trying to restrict its entrance at the ends of an approximately 130-yard pitch, you have been living under the rock for sure! The adrenaline-rush and the thumping of the heart in a football ground will tell you what football is to its fans – it’s a religion and not just a sport. Over the decades, modern football that traces its roots back in China have greatly evolved to become one of the most loved and popular sport of the world. The codification of football dates back to 19th century England. With the expanse of the British Empire, football also spread. Football in Scotland has been played since centuries. Scotland served as the host of the world’s first official association football match. What’s more, SFA or Scottish Football Association is the second oldest national football associations of the world. With such a profound history in the game, it is only natural that the country has been home to preeminent footballers who have excelled at the sport. Names like Kenny Dalglish, Denis Law, Jim Baxter, Steven Fletcher, Shaun Maloney, David Marshall are revered in football for their sporting abilities, passion and dedication and tactics and techniques. With this segment, find out in details about the life and career of Scottish football players.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson
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Famous As: Former Manager of Manchester United
Birthdate: December 31, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Alex Ferguson is known for his 26-year tenure as the manager of the football club Manchester United, from 1986 to 2013. He won 38 trophies with the club, including 13 Premier League titles. The first English Football Hall of Fame inductee, Ferguson has also received the knighthood

 2 David Moyes

David Moyes
6
Famous As: Football Coach
Birthdate: April 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow
Scottish footballer and coach David Moyes had a 19-year playing stint as a center-back for football teams such as Celtic, Preston North End, and Bristol City. He currently manages the Premier League club West Ham United and has been named the League Managers Association Manager of the Year thrice. 

 3 Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson
4
Famous As: association football player
Birthdate: March 11, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Glasgow

Liverpool left-back and the captain of the Scottish national football team, Andrew Robertson has also been associated with clubs such as Hull City and Dundee United in the past. He led his team to a UEFA Champions League victory in 2019. He now also runs a charitable foundation for underprivileged kids.

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 4 Denis Law

Denis Law
3
Famous As: Football - Centre forward for Scotland
Birthdate: February 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland

After representing teams such as Manchester City and Torino, Scottish footballer Denis Law had a successful stint with Manchester United. Known as The King, he was the only Scottish footballer to earn a Ballon d'Or and the only man to have 2 statues at the Old Trafford.

 5 Bill Shankly

Bill Shankly
5
Famous As: Scottish Footballer and Manager
Birthdate: September 2, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glenbuck, Scotland
Died: September 29, 1981
Bill Shankly is remembered as the man who pulled Liverpool from nowhere and catapulted it to popularity, with wins such as the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup. It is believed he died a sad man, not being allowed to be on the Liverpool board after retiring as a coach.

 6 Matt Busby

Matt Busby
3
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: May 26, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bellshill, Scotland
Died: January 20, 1994

After an illustrious career that saw him play for teams such as Manchester City and Liverpool, Matt Busby did wonders as a manager, director, and president of Manchester United. The Scottish footballer also developed players later known as the Busby Babes, 8 of whom tragically died in the 1958 Munich air crash.

 7 Martin Compston

Martin Compston
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK

Martin Compston began his career as a footballer, playing as a defender for youth teams such as Aberdeen and then for senior teams such as Greenock Morton. However, an audition in high school led him to the lead role in the movie Sweet Sixteen, and he ended up becoming an actor.

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 8 Charlie Adam

Charlie Adam
3
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: December 10, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fintry, Dundee Fintry, Dundee, Scotland

Initially representing teams such as the Rangers and Blackpool, Charlie Adam later gained fame as a midfielder for teams such as Liverpool, Stoke City, and Dundee. He also won a League Cup with Liverpool and was a UEFA Cup runner-up with the Rangers. His father, too, was a footballer.

 9 Oliver Burke

Oliver Burke
3
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: April 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy, Scotland

Scottish footballer Oliver Burke, who is now a well-know striker/right winger for Sheffield United, had joined his first local club at age 8. While he grew up in Leicestershire, England, he was eligible to play for England as well but chose to represent Scotland, the country of his birth, instead.

 10 Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan
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Famous As: Scottish football manager
Birthdate: February 9, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

Gordon Strachan is a Scottish football coach who has managed teams like Southampton Football Club, Middlesbrough Football Club, Celtic Football Club, and Scotland. A former player, Strachan represented his team in two FIFA World Cups. He also played for popular clubs like Manchester United.

 11 Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser
3
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: February 24, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland

Scottish footballer and Newcastle United winger Ryan Fraser began his career with Aberdeen at age 16. He has previously been part of teams such as AFC Bournemouth and Ipswich Town but has often been criticized for his lack of will to represent the Scottish national team, for withdrawing due to injuries.

 12 Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke
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Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: August 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saltcoats,Scotland

Hailing from the small town of Saltcoats in Scotland, footballer Steve Clarke later grew up to play for teams such as Chelsea and St. Mirren. Post-retirement, he has coached teams such as Newcastle United and Liverpool, part from the Scottish national team. He is known for his no-nonsense, reserved nature.

 13 Ryan Gauld

Ryan Gauld
3
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: December 16, 1995
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aberdeen

Scottish footballer and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Ryan Gauld has also played for various Portuguese clubs before moving to the Canadian MLS club. Known as the Scottish Messi for his attacking style and short stature, he has also had a successful youth career at Dundee United.

 14 Alan Hansen

Alan Hansen
3
Famous As: Former Football Player & Football Analyst
Birthdate: June 13, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Alloa

Alan Hansen is a former footballer who played as a defender for popular clubs, such as Liverpool. He was also one of the important members of the Scotland national football team. After retiring as a player, Hansen became a football pundit and is known for his honest views. In 2006, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.

 15 Duncan Ferguson

Duncan Ferguson
5
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: December 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stirling
Starting his professional football career with Dundee United, Scottish footballer/coach Duncan Ferguson later moved on to clubs such as Everton, Newcastle United, and Rangers. With the Rangers, he received a record transfer fee. His aggression on field later spilled on his off-the-field life, leading to multiple convictions for assault.

 16 George Graham

George Graham
3
Famous As: association football player, association football manager
Birthdate: November 30, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow

One of England’s most successful footballers, George Graham has also been one of his country’s best coaches. Nicknamed Stroller, he won a Football League Cup with Chelsea and an FA League Cup with Arsenal, as a player. He has earned an FA Cup and three League Cups as a manager, too.

 17 Scott Arfield

Scott Arfield
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Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: November 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Livingston

Scottish-born footballer Scott Arfield has not only gained fame as a Rangers midfielder but has also been a promising player of the Canadian national team. He began his senior career with the Scottish club Falkirk and then represented clubs such as Burnley and Huddersfield Town. He has also captained Canada.

 18 Jock Stein

Jock Stein
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Famous As: Football Manager
Birthdate: October 5, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burnbank, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: September 10, 1985

Scottish football player and manager Jock Stein guided the Celtic football club to win their first European Cup in 1967. He also guided the team to nine successive Scottish League championships. Beginning his career as a football player, he became a manager upon his retirement and had a brilliant stint in this position. He died of heart disease in 1985.

 19 Liam Cooper

Liam Cooper
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Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: August 30, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull

A Leeds United center-back, footballer Liam Cooper also plays for the Scottish national team. Apart from winning an EFL Championship with Leeds United, he has also been part of the 2014 Football League Trophy final with Chesterfield. He now also owns a football academy for children aged 4 to 14.

 20 Jordan Rhodes

Jordan Rhodes
3
Famous As: Football Player
Birthdate: February 5, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oldham, United Kingdom

Scottish footballer and Huddersfield Town striker Jordan Rhodes had begun his career with Ipswich Town. The son of a professional footballer, he followed in his father’s footsteps and later won honors such as a EFL Championship win with Norwich City. He was also named the 2007-08 Ipswich Town Young Player of the Year.

 21 John Fleck

John Fleck
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Famous As: association football player
Birthdate: August 24, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow

Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck was a 16-year-old prodigy when he began his senior career with Rangers. In late 2021, he collapsed on field during a game versus Reading, sparking rumors that the mishap was due to the COVID vaccine that he had taken, though scientists debunked the vaccine claim later.

 22 Tony Watt

Tony Watt
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Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: December 29, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Coatbridge

Motherwell forward Tony Watt is best known for his successful stint with Celtic, with whom he played in the 2012-13 Scottish Premier League. He has also represented the Scottish national team. In late 2021, he signed a pre-contract deal with Dundee United, promising a 3-year stint with them in future.

 23 Alex Neil

Alex Neil
2
Famous As: association football player, association football manager
Birthdate: June 9, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bellshill

Former footballer Alex Neil began his career with the Airdrieonians and ended it with Hamilton Academical, even coaching the latter in his managerial career. He then took over the coaching of Norwich in his early 30s, and in his own words, made some recruitment errors, which led to his sacking.

 24 Brian McClair

Brian McClair
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Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: December 8, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Airdrie

Known for his almost 11-year stint with Manchester United and his 4 Premier League and 2 FA Cup wins, former footballer Brian McClair initially balanced his career at Motherwell with his university math degree studies. In late 2021, he stunned fans with a photo of his sporting a beard and long, gray hair.

 25 Jamie Gillan

Jamie Gillan
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Famous As: American Football player
Birthdate: July 4, 1997
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

Scottish-born Jamie Gillan, now an American football player for the NFL team Buffalo Bills, has previously played with the Cleveland Browns. He apparently got addicted to the game after moving to the US, where his RAF member father was stationed. Nicknamed The Scottish Hammer, he is known for his fun-loving nature.

 26 Lou Macari

Lou Macari
2
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: June 7, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Best known for his stints with Celtic and Manchester United, and his FA Cup win with the latter, Scottish former footballer Lou Macari was almost taken in by Liverpool but was wooed by a £200,000 deal from Manchester eventually. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he set up housing for the homeless.

 27 Derek McInnes

Derek McInnes
2
Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
Birthdate: July 5, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paisley

Former footballer Derek McInnes began his youth career as a teen with the Greenock Morton and then went on to play for clubs such as Rangers, Dundee United, and St. Johnstone, and even for the Scottish national team. Post-retirement, he has been managing teams such as Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.

 28 James McFadden

James McFadden
2
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: April 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow

Former football forward James McFadden, who played for teams such as Motherwell and Everton, had made his first-team debut at age 17. Now a coach, he has managed the Scottish national team, apart from Motherwell. The Glasgow-born sports star is known by various nicknames, such as the Cul-de-sac Kid.

 29 Kris Boyd

Kris Boyd
3
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: August 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Irvine

Former footballer Kris Boyd gained fame as a forward, known for his strike rate, for teams such as Kilmarnock and Rangers. He has also represented the Scottish national team. Following his brother’s unexplained suicide in his late 20s, Boyd launched a charity to help people discuss mental-health issues.

 30 Scott Allan

Scott Allan
2
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: November 28, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glasgow

Hibernian midfielder Scott Allan had started his youth football career with Dundee United at age 10. Not only was he diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in his youth, but he later also revealed that in late 2020, he was also diagnosed with a heart condition called Cardiomyopathy, which almost ended his career.

 31 Colin Hendry

Colin Hendry
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Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
Birthdate: December 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Keith

Once one of the most feared central defenders of Scotland, footballer Colin Hendry is best known for his Premier League win with the Blackburn Rovers. He later also won titles, such as the Scottish League, with Rangers. Post-retirement, he turned coach and managed teams such as Blackpool and Clyde.

 32 Steve Archibald

Steve Archibald
2
Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
Birthdate: September 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glasgow

Initially a midfielder for Clyde, Scottish footballer Steve Archibald later did wonders as a striker for Aberdeen, leading them to win the 1979-80 Scottish Premier Division. His career saw him win titles for Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona, too. He later turned coach for Airdrieonians and East Fife.

 33 Steve Kean

Steve Kean
2
Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
Birthdate: September 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glasgow

Following a decade-long playing career with teams such as Celtic and Bath City, Scottish footballer Steve Kean turned to coaching, managing teams such as Reading, Fulham, and the Spanish team Real Sociedad. In late 2021, he joined Hibernian as its academy director. He was once banned from driving for DUI charges.

 34 David Weir

David Weir
2
Famous As: association football player, association football manager
Birthdate: May 10, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Falkirk

Scottish footballer David Weir was initially scouted by the Indiana-based University of Evansville and was named an NCAA All-American. He later began his senior career with the Scottish club Falkirk and then moved on to Everton and Rangers. He has also coached Sheffield United, post-retirement.

 35 Alan McInally

Alan McInally
2
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: February 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ayrshire
Former Scottish footballer Alan McInally followed in the footsteps of his footballer father, Jackie McInally. Alan, nicknamed Big Mac and Rambo, played for teams such as Celtic, Aston Villa, and Bayern Munich. Post-retirement, he has gained fame as a Sky Sports analyst and a motivational speaker.

 36 Jack Harper

Jack Harper
1
Famous As: Footballer forward position
Birthdate: February 28, 1996
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Málaga, Spain

Born to Scottish parents in Spain, Jack Harper began his youth football career with Fuengirola, before moving on to Real Madrid. However, he still continued to play for the Scottish international-level youth teams. It’s believed his parents moved to Spain on a camper van, after a 22-day road trip from Scotland.

 37 Steven Pressley

Steven Pressley
2
Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
Birthdate: October 11, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Elgin

Scottish footballer Steven Pressley, had a long career as a center back for teams such as Rangers, Celtic, and Dundee United. Post-retirement, he also coached teams such as Falkirk and Coventry City. He later became a prominent sports pundit and also joined Brentford as its head of individual development.

 38 Ethan Hamilton

Ethan Hamilton
2
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: October 18, 1998
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Scottish footballer Ethan Hamilton, who now plays for Peterborough United, began his senior career with Manchester United. Although he is in his early 20s now, Hamilton has already established himself as a skilled midfielder and has made significant contributions to the Scottish U-15, U-16, and U-19 teams.

 39 Paul Gallagher

Paul Gallagher
2
Famous As: association football player
Birthdate: August 9, 1984
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow

Glasgow-born former Scottish footballer Paul Gallagher represented teams such as the Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, and Preston North End. In mid-2021, it was announced that he would be assisting Preston head coach Frankie McAvoy. Gallagher also shows off his skills as a singer and a guitar player in his leisure time.

 40 Lawrence Tynes

Lawrence Tynes
2
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: May 3, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Greenock, Scotland

American football kicker Lawrence Tynes began his career with the Kansas City Chiefs and eventually played for teams such as the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The son of a US Navy Seal father and a Scottish mother, he grew up in Scotland till 10, before moving to the US.

 41 Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson
1
Famous As: World's first black person to play association football at international level
Birthdate: May 24, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Demerara, Guyana
Died: March 8, 1921

Widely known as Scotland’s first Black footballer, Andrew Watson was also the first Black player to play international association football. The son of a Guyanese woman and a Scottish plantation owner, he moved to Britain with his father as a child. He was also an engineer and a wholesale business owner.

 42 Graeme Sharp

Graeme Sharp
1
Famous As: Association football player, Association football manager
Birthdate: October 16, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glasgow

Graeme Sharp created history as the second-highest goalscorer for Everton and led them to win titles such as the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup. A club ambassador, too, he joined the Everton board as a non-executive director in early 2022. He has also worked for the press and the radio.

 43 Kevin MacDonald

Kevin MacDonald
1
Famous As: Coach
Birthdate: November 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

While he had a significant football playing career with teams such as Leicester City and Liverpool, Kevin MacDonald later gained fame as a coach for Swindon Town and Aston Villa. He was, however, suspended from Aston Villa in 2019, after allegations of bullying surfaced against him.

 44 Ewan Urain

Ewan Urain
1
Famous As: Footballer Forward position
Birthdate: March 10, 2000
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Durango, Spain

Born to a Spanish father and a Scottish mother, Ewan Urain grew up to make waves as a youth player for Bilbao Athletic. His senior career saw a brief stint at Basconia, after which he gained fame as a Bilbao Athletic forward. He uses his 6’4” frame to his advantage on the field.

 45 Ally MacLeod

Ally MacLeod
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Famous As: Football player, Football manager
Birthdate: February 26, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: February 1, 2004

Scottish footballer Ally MacLeod had an illustrious playing career with teams such as St. Mirren, Hibernian, and Blackburn Rovers, and played a significant role in the RoversFA Cup final against the Wolverhampton Wanderers. He later managed teams such as Aberdeen, Motherwell, and Ayr United. He died after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.

 46 Dougie Brown

Dougie Brown
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Famous As: Cricketer, Football player
Birthdate: October 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stirling, Scotland

Though he played youth football for Scotland initially, Dougie Brown later focused on cricket and established himself as an all-rounder. Apart from playing cricket for Scotland, England, and Namibia, he also coached the national teams of Namibia and UAE. He has also been the director of cricket for Warwickshire.

 47 James Grady

James Grady
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Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: March 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paisley, Scotland

Former Scottish striker James Grady is known for his stints with teams such as Dundee and Hamilton Academical. He not only won 3 Scottish First Division titles but is also a 2-time Scottish Cup runner-up. Post-retirement, he has managed teams such as Greenock Morton and youth teams such as St. Mirren.

 48 John Ogilvie

John Ogilvie
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Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: October 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Motherwell, Scotland
Died: May 2, 2020

After starting his youth career with Thorniewood United, Scottish footballer John Ogilvie had a successful senior career with clubs such as Hibernian and Leicester City. One of the quickest fullbacks of his time, he died at age 91, after contracting COVID-19 at a Leicester care home he was staying in.