Duncan Ferguson: Pig-headed decision not to play for Scotland is biggest regret

PA Sport Staff

Duncan Ferguson has admitted his “pig-headed” refusal to play for Scotland is the biggest regret of his career.

The former Dundee United and Rangers striker won seven caps from 1992 to 1997 and never played again beyond the age of 25 following a goalless draw against Estonia at Monaco.

Ferguson refused to play because of a major disagreement with the Scottish Football Association.

He had been banned for 12 matches for headbutting Raith Rovers' John McStay while playing for Rangers in 1994 before being jailed for three months for the incident.

Ferguson was initially unhappy with being punished by the SFA before the court case and then for being told the football suspension could not be served during his jail term.

“Absolutely my biggest regret is not playing for Scotland,” the Forest Green manager told the BBC's Tony Bellew is Angry podcast.

“I thought it was a total injustice what happened to me. Not just about prison but when I came out of prison, the SFA asked me to serve another 12-game ban.

“I had been in the jug, I did the seven weeks out the three months, came out and the SFA asked me to serve another 12-game ban on top of what I had already done.

“I had to then go to the courts to fight my case and say ‘look, this is like double jeopardy, or whatever it's called'.

“I had been to prison, done a bit of bird, lost a lot of games and they wanted me to come out and do another 12 games on top.

“I actually won my case and never served the games. But I got the hump.

“I regret it now because I should have played 200 times for Scotland.

“They asked me every year for 14 years. Every year up to when I was 34. Ally McCoist called me up at 10 o'clock one night saying ‘come back big man, we're playing Italy, you'll play'.

“When Walter (Smith) was the manager I was tempted, because I loved Walter, he was a great man and it's unfortunate he is not here with us. Walter was a lovely man, a great fella and I really thought about it then, and obviously with Ally being there as well.

“But I was just pig-headed. I'd put the line in the sand and that was it.

“So that was my biggest regret, not playing for my country.”