Sunday, 27 March 2011

John Colquhoun

A vital component of the re-emergence of Hearts as a major force in Scottish football in the mid 1980s was John Colquhoun. The Stirling born forward began his career at his hometown club Stirling Albion before Celtic paid £60,000 for his services in 1983. However, his first team opportunities at Celtic Park were limited somewhat due to the established presence of winger Davie Provan and in May 1985 Hearts manager Alex Macdonald paid £50,000 to bring Colquhoun to Tynecastle.

Macdonald had a reputation for bringing the best out of players discarded by the Old Firm and Colquhoun blossomed into one of the finest Hearts players of a generation. ‘JC’ as he was affectionately known was equally effective playing on the wing or through the middle and along with John Robertson and Sandy Clark formed a Hearts front three that caused problems to any defence. Colquhoun was a goalscorer too; his two goals at Ibrox in a 2-0 win over Rangers at Christmas 1985 followed a month later by his memorable winning goal at Pittodrie against reigning champions Aberdeen spring to mind as well as a spectacular volley against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden later that season.

JC won two Scotland caps during his time at Tynecastle, both coming in 1988 against Saudi Arabia and Malta. Joe Jordan replaced Alex Macdonald as Hearts manager in 1990 and less than a year later, Colquhoun moved to Millwall for £400,000. He spent a year in London before Sunderland paid £220,000 for his services but his time at Roker Park wasn’t a particularly happy one and having sold JC two years earlier, Joe Jordan brought him back to Tynecastle in 1993 as part of the deal which took midfielder Derek Ferguson to Wearside.

Colquhoun’s second spell at Tynecastle was equally impressive and he scored Hearts only goal in the Scottish Cup Final defeat to Rangers in 1996. At the end of the following season Colquhoun, now aged 34 joined St. Johnstone for a brief spell before retiring from the playing side of the game and beginning a career in sports journalism. He was a regular guest on the now sadly missed Scotsport show on Scottish Television. He was also chairman of the Scottish Professional Footballers Association and Rector of the University of Edinburgh.

Today, John Colquhoun runs the sports management agency Key Sports Management, which he helped set up in 1999 and includes the likes of Theo Walcott, David James and Steve McClaren among its clients.


  1. If memory serves, a very young JC first ran out for the Hoops on a cold Saturday in December against the Hearts. I'm sure he wore the number seven shirt, but I cannae be 100% sure. A nice guy by all accounts.

  2. I think you're right, Jimmy - I remember him giving Brian Whittaker (another former Celt, now sadly no longer with us) a torrid time at Celtic Park...

  3. Yea Mike you could have at least put up a picture of him in a Heart top... say the silver one lol

    Loved JC, I had a thing for the wee players... JC, Scott Crabbe and some other player... scored a lot of goals... ach what was his name... lol

  4. Ah yes, I remember THAT goal as if it was yesterday - when in fact it was 18th January 1986 - JC homing in on the Beach End goal after spring the offside trap - all us Reds hissing
    'miss, miss, miss ye wee b******' before he slotted it home.

    Like a dagger in the heart (pardon pun) and this truly was a watershed moment, as it effectively dethroned Aberdeen as the last non Old Firm top dogs in Scottish Fitba (pity about Albert Kidd and all that!) and was the first downward stumble towards being today's surreal comedy act of a football club.

    It also marked the first instance of Mrs Fitlike taking the piss out of me over an adverse fitba result.

    Seeing my distraught condition, she sat me down and offered to make me a cup of tea.


    'would you like a jam tart with it?'

    ha bloody ha.