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Willie Bauld  Biography - Part 2

Before the end of that season he netted twenty four goals, and was already being idolised, tipped as a certainty for International Honours, and crowned 'King of Hearts'. International  Honours did not come easily to Willie, time without number when Willie would have played injury ruled it. out. It was 1950 that he made his debut for Scotland against England at Hampden Park when Billy Houliston of Queen of the South had to call off. It was a needle game, for the Scottish Football Association had decided that Scotland would only go to Brazil for the World Cup in Rio De Janeiro, if Scotland won the Home  International Championship. A draw would have been sufficient, (Oh so fatal words for Scotland!) and Willie always remembered the bitter disappointment when he had a chance of levelling the scores, only to see his perfectly timed shot crash off the bar and rebound upfield. He had earlier played for the Scottish League against the Irish League, at Ibrox (His Representative Debut) and scored a brilliant 'hat-trick'. In season  1958/59 Willie also hit the jackpot against the League of Ireland in Dublin when scored five goals in the Scottish win.

In all, Willie Bauld was Honoured sixteen times by the S.F.A. and the League, and it is strange to think that despite his amazing  ability he only received three full caps, one against England, one against Portugal, and one against Switzerland, all in one season 1949/50. He played four times against the English League in 1950, 54, 57 and 59, five times against the Irish League in 1950, 52, 54, 57, and 58, and four times against the League of Ireland in 1952, 55, 58, and 59. So instead of a glowing list of International Honours we have to record a dismal  catalogue of injuries which denied one of Scotland's greatest players, Scotland's greatest Honours. Somehow the soccer pundits never got round to calling Willie 'the unluckiest player in Scottish Football', a phrase  which has been liberally used throughout the years. From season 1952/53 to season 1955/56, Willie Bauld suffered no fewer than ten injuries which cost him nearly fifty matches with Hearts, at least half a dozen International Honours, and into the bargain probably cost Hearts a League Flag or two as well.

Willie's value to the team was underlined in 1952/53, when he missed eight vital league games through ankle injuries. Hearts were  struggling, but with Willie's return to full fitness came a change in fortunes, from the bottom half of the league they surged up the table to finish in fourth place, and they reached the Semi-Final of the Scottish Cup,  to lose to Motherwell. In 1953/54, vital League points were lost when Willie was sidelined for weeks with a troublesome back injury. That was the season when Hearts were knocked out of the Scottish Cup three-nil at  Aberdeen, and just for the record, Bobby Parker broke his jaw the day, Alfie Conn injured his back, and Jimmy Wardhaugh got a serious shin bone injury. That ended Hearts great challenge in the League too, they finished Runners-up to Celtic, and in the following season they were again in a strong challenging position when Willie Bauld got another succession of injuries which makes horrifying reading. First an old ankle injury, then both knees twisted, a broken nose, and finally an injured toe which not only sidelined him for most of that season, but carried on into the beginning of the next season 1955/56.

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Biography Part 1

Biography Part 3

Biography Part 4