Another football book for those of a certain age; 'Shades, the short and tragic life of Erich Schaedler' by Colin Leslie. A defender for Stirling Albion, Hibs, Dundee, Dumbarton and Scotland in the 1974 World Cup who tragically died at aged just 36 on Christmas eve 1985. He really made his name with Hibs as a tireless and ferocious defender who had the reputation of being one the fittest and hardest man in football. Shades was an early convert to the idea of hard work delivering dividends on the field. He was always first in and last away from training and regularly trained topless in all weathers. He would agreed that he was not blessed with natural skill but he was willing to put the work in to develop what skills he had to make him an invaluable player to have in your team. A man who you could look up to and rely on in a crisis on the field.
Pat Stanton, who knows a bit about footballers, played alongside and managed Shades and on first sighting of the youngster at Easter Road would never have played him in the group of players likely to go far enough to make the national side. However, he soon changed his mind as he saw Schaedler put in the hours to make him a must have in the first team. Schaedler was an expert at the long throw-in which was a potent weapon cultivated during his time as part of Turnbull's Tornadoes. Unfortunately it was a weapon of another kind which ended Schaedler's life. The report on 24 December 1985 was that he took his own life in the Borders with a shotgun. No note was left which begs the question was it really suicide? The book explores the life and death of a talented footballer who worked hard to polish his skills. Unfortunately, the answer to the key question will always remain unanswered.'Shades, the short and tragic life of Erich Schaedler' by Colin Leslie is published by Black and White publishing today priced £17.99, ISBN 978 1 84521 51 0