John Gibson: Looks like a green and white Xmas

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They nicknamed him “the Mad Kraut”. Undeniably Erich Schaedler, son of a former German prisoner of war, was a crowd pleaser on and off the pitch. One of an illustrious string of Hibernian full-backs.

Colin Leslie’s biography, Shades, of this exceptional footballer is in the shops in good time for green and white stockings for Christmas and, more importantly, besides being an absorbing read, it reopens the mysterious and still questionable circumstances surrounding Eric’s alleged suicide in 1985 at 36.

A truly classic “cold case”. As meaty as anything Agatha Christie threw at Hercule Poirot. Have the publishers sent a copy to the BBC’s crime specialists?

Frontline bairns

I’m not what you’d call a holy man. But I’m wholeheartedly with the Church of Scotland on this one. They’re part of a campaign urging the Ministry of Defence to raise the armed forces minimum enlistment age from 16 to 18.

Child Soldiers International says youngsters, mere bairns, are being sent to the front line. The Kirk’s Sally Foster-Fulton has a point: ‘‘Youths can join the army while not being considered old enough to play the Call of Duty game on their computers.’’

Presumably she doesn’t include Salmond in her prayers. He’s still out to snatch votes from kids not long out of the cradle.

Afterwords . . .

. . . A shocker. “World’s Oldest Fossil Discovered” blazed the headline in a national paper. No, not your columnist. But it was wearing a green and white jersey.