My first experience of Scotland Low Crowd Syndrome [ie a home crowd of under 15,000] came about in December 1975 when I was one of only 11,375 who attended Hampden for a Euro qualifier against Romania. The match was meaningless by then [with Bruce Rioch scoring in a 1-1 draw], and it was a cold, wet ,miserable evening just eight days before Christmas but I took a perverse pride in being able to say that I was there, that I had suffered for the cause! A number of my classmates were less than impressed however and said I was just a complete tosser who wasted his money. Even my Mum thought I was daft.
My ‘Personal Best’ though was achieved on a bright May evening in 1989 when three days after losing 0-2 to England at Hampden in the Rous Cup only 9,006 returned to Mount Florida to see us defeat Chile in the same competition and by the same scoreline. Our reward for attending was witnessing Alan ‘Rambo’ McInally score his first goal for Scotland.
I thought a combination of Berti Vogts, New Zealand and Tynecastle in May 2003 would have been enough to get me a new ‘record’ but no, as the crowd crept up to 10,016 and we were treated to a 1-1 draw. I’ll be very surprised if the forthcoming Qatar match at Easter Road doesn’t zip past that figure.
Away trips have brought lower crowds but to the 7,483 who attended Hampden in May 1969 to see Scotland draw 1-1 with a Northern Ireland side that included Pat Jennings, Derek Dougan and George Best – I SALUTE YOU!
First posted on Facebook 29th April, 2015