FORMER Scotland manager Gordon Strachan used to fear trips to Greenock - but he is looking forward to a return leg later this month to discuss his glittering football career.

Strachan will take to the stage at the Beacon Arts Centre on January 29 with local broadcaster Gerry McDade to look back on his trophy-laden time on the pitch playing for the likes of Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds and successful spells in the dugout at Celtic, Southampton and Hampden.

He expects it to be a stark contrast to when he and his Dons team mates would dread an away day at Cappielow to play Morton during the club's golden era in the 1980s, winning European and domestic titles under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Strachan told the Tele: "Usually I used to go to Greenock and play football and this is probably the first time I'm looking forward to going to Greenock!

"Nothing against Greenock, it was just the football team and the pitch.

"I don't think the whole team were fans of going to Greenock to play. "In those days there was a right good Morton side and a real horrendous football pitch. "I know for a fact the pitch has got better because I used to train there with Scotland. "We used to go there and train a couple of times and the guys looked after us there.

"We feared the ability of one or two players like Jim Tolmie and Andy Ritchie and we were just basically in fear for our lives with people like (Bobby) Thomson, Drew Busby, (George) Anderson at centre-half, (Davie) Hayes, so there was fear for our lives and fear for our football ability."

While the all-conquering Aberdeen side came under fire on the pitch, they also felt the heat off it.

Strachan said: "There was also the fear of burning your backside because there used to be in the away dressing room a kind of old-fashioned coal heater that you used to forget about and occasionally if you brushed against it you'd burn your backside.

"It's not there now because I was in the dressing room recently with Scotland and had to explain to the lads about this heater, all the boys who play down in England and pampered and used to the best designer gear must've thought I was 120-year-old."

The ex-Scotland boss, who is now technical director at Dundee, says he can't wait to share plenty more entertaining stories with the audience in Greenock.

Strachan said: "I'm looking forward to it.

"I love talking football and I love having a laugh and that's what we'll do. "I usually end up basically laughing at myself."

'An Evening With Gordon Strachan' takes place at the Beacon on Wednesday January 29 at 7.30pm.

For tickets, visit or call the box office on 723723.