Just occasionally a book comes along that demonstrates such a total command of what it covers that you know that no-one else will ever be able to write about the subject without referring to it. The Encyclopaedia of Scottish Football by Phil H. Jones & David W. Potter is just such a book. Scotland has long offered books regarded as bibles by those interested in its castles or its mountains or its islands: now it has the definitive book for anyone with any interest in its football. And if there's one thing that a large number of Scots are passionately interested in, it's our football.
The authors first became interested in producing an encyclopedia after a tour of every Scottish football league ground in the 1980s, but it took until 2008 before "An Encyclopaedia of Scottish Football" was published. The current book is billed as a Second Edition, but "The Encyclopaedia of Scottish Football" offers a great deal that's new beyond a small but highly significant change of title. With entries ranging from "Abandoned Games" including the ill tempered Scotland match against Austria on 8 May 1963 to "Zaire" (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) who Scotland beat 2-0 during the World Cup Finals in 1974, this really is a stunningly comprehensive book with something for everyone with even the most passing of interests in the beautiful game.
The second edition includes an entry for every club that has ever taken part in the Scottish League; for each club in the Highland League, East of Scotland League and South of Scotland League; and also covers long defunct teams such as Glenbuck Cherrypickers, Inverness Citadel, Tarff Rovers and Vale Ocoba. The second edition also includes an expanded cast of great players, managers and personalities. All of Scotland's international matches, Scottish Cup finals and Scottish League Cup finals are detailed, as well as Scottish caps, regional trophies, amateur leagues and the record of Scottish clubs in Europe. Also covered are the origins of the game in Scotland, goalscoring records and women's football: as well as less palatable aspects of the game such as disasters, violence and sectarianism. You can even find out which Scottish footballer won an Oscar (no, not for a penalty area dive) and read about the occasion when Scottish football was affected by an eclipse of the sun.