A KNUTSFORD-based former Scotland footballing hero has been belatedly rewarded for reaching an appearance milestone.

Ex-Manchester United and Burnley winger Willie Morgan, 77, has now received an award to recognise achieving 25 caps for his country between 1967 and 1974.

Morgan, a familiar face with his grandson Alex Morgan at Mere Golf Cub where he is an honorary member, was presented with his award at Hampden Park on September 24, the night Scotland beat Republic of Ireland 2-1 in the Nations League.

During the 1960s, Scotland only awarded international caps for matches against the home nations.

Now, games against Israel, Australia and Canada during a close-season overseas tour have been reclassified as full internationals.

Morgan played in each of those matches, which included three games against Australia, and so his cap tally has been increased from 21 to 26.

He also scored against all three of those nations, meaning his official goal tally for Scotland has now been increased to four – having also scored against Denmark in a 4-1 win in 1972.

Morgan, who hails from Sauchie near Alloa but has lived in Knutsford for the past seven years, moved to England at the age of 15 to pursue his football career with Burnley.

He made his first-team debut against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in 1963, while his maiden Scotland appearance came against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in Belfast in 1967.

Morgan signed for United in the 1968-69 season and stayed at Old Trafford until 1975, after which he returned to Burnley for a season.

He then had spells at Bolton and Blackpool with loan periods in the NASL for Chicago Sting and Minnesota Kicks.

Morgan is remembered for the key part he played in getting Scotland to the World Cup finals in 1974.

In a thrilling qualifier against Czechoslovakia at Hampden on September 16, 1973, his cross found the head of striker Joe Jordan for the 2-1 winner.

Morgan’s last appearance for Scotland was in the final group stage game in the World Cup finals in West Germany, where the Scots drew 1-1 with Yugoslavia in Frankfurt, to exit the tournament on goal difference after also drawing 0-0 with Brazil and beating Zaire 2-0.