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The Portland Boys of Bo'ness
Field Notes Club Connections The Portland Boys of Bo'ness
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  • Jan. 4, 2011

Of all the towns and cities in the world, Bo’ness happens to be the hometown of two very important members of the Portland Timbers Football Club family: Stewart Scullion and Ian Joy.

Bo’ness, or more properly Borrowstouness, is a wee town in Scotland twenty miles west of Edinburgh and thirty-five miles northeast of Glasgow. Only 13,000 residents comprise Bo’ness, a town that has existed from at least the sixteenth century.

Stewart Scullion was a Scottish footballer that spent the majority of his playing career at Watford in England. Over 300 games and nearly 50 goals later, the winger went on loan to the North American Soccer League. Scullion’s first taste of football in America was at Tampa Bay Rowdies where he was the club’s second-leading scorer in 1975 and was a key part of the team that defeated Portland 2-0 in Soccer Bowl ’75.

After another summer in Tampa, Scullion moved to Portland in the summer of 1977 and immediately led the team in scoring with 11 goals. Though the Timbers struggled to a last-place finish in ’77, Scullion was a clear star. He scored two more goals over his final two seasons in Portland, ultimately scoring 13 in 63 in green and gold.

Ian Joy, the captain of the 2010 Portland Timbers, grew up in Bo’ness, the son of an NASL player who played against the Timbers in 1976, and was recognized at an early age as a fine footballer. He spent two years in the Manchester United academy and later played at smaller Scottish and English clubs Montrose and Kidderminster. In 2004, Joy moved to Germany for the first time and played for one season with the Hamburger SV reserves. The following two years he was an integral part of the promotion-winning side at St. Pauli, even scoring a goal in one of his 43 games at the Millerntor-Stadion. A spell in Major League Soccer with Real Salt Lake preceded Joy’s move to Portland ahead of the 2010 season.

Upon moving to Portland, the defender wore the captain’s armband and anchored one of the toughest backlines in the second division. Joy’s leadership on the pitch and in the dressing room made him a favorite among teammates, but his status as a cult hero among Timbers supporters has exceeded even his exploits on the field.

Bo’ness has largely lost its status as a center of heavy industry and coal mining in recent years. Perhaps its legacy can be known in footballing circles as a fine source for Portland Timbers Football Club. With two different generations of players finding their way to the Rose City, Bo’ness should be proud of the contributions of two of its most famous footballers.

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