Pattullo meets hero and grabs scoop in the process

IT is said the former Dundee and Spurs footballer, Alan Gilzean, has not given a major interview to the media for 40 years.

Indeed, his seeming reclusiveness prompted the writing of a book, In Search of Alan Gilzean, by The Herald’s James Morgan – published two years ago.

That all changed in yesterday’s Scotsman, thanks to a handsome double-page spread by the paper’s Alan Pattullo.

Pattullo begins: “They say your should never meet your heroes. When that hero is Alan Gilzean, there seemed little danger of that ever happening.”

Pattullo admits he was lucky. “[That he might be a prickly customer, nothing] could be further from the truth, although he is firm about one thing: he is only speaking to me because of a cricketing connection with my father and ‘we are from the same area’.”

He adds: “The silence [Gilzean] attributes to a few bad experiences with reporters, one dating all the way back to the season after he retired. ‘Spurs got relegated the season after I left and this reporter had me saying it is time [manager] Bill Nicholson left’, reveals Gilzean. ‘He was more than a manager to me, he was a friend.'”

Gilzean lives in Somerset.