SCOTT Brown, the Hill of Beath Primary School pupil who went on to captain the Scottish football team, has decided to call time on his international career.

With the national side beginning its World Cup qualifying campaign in a few weeks time in Malta Scott's announcement yesterday (Friday) took a lot of pundits by surprise.

The former Beath High School pupil made his debut in 2005 and won his 50th cap in March against Denmark, but a run of injury problems made him take a decision he described as 'the toughest of his career'.

The 31 year-old has had some awkward injury problems over the past few years and it made him consider his international future.

He said on Friday: "Given the importance of this qualifying campaign for Scotland and the challenges that lie ahead at Celtic, I simply felt that I could not keep up both commitments without either my performances or recovery time being affected."

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan totally understood where Scott was coming from and paid tribute to him: "Scott is one of the most wholehearted players I have encountered and someone who puts the team ahead of himself.

"We will miss him as a player and a person too because his popularity around the squad was integral to all that we did as a  group."

Scott, who followed Jim Baxter from Hill of Beath into becoming a Scotland player, will now focus on captaining Celtic.