Going to Hampden for a Scotland match should be a pilgrimage in a way, whether you’re travelling 500 miles or like me 500 yards. There should be a sense of the occasion, a sense of history and the shared legacy of it.
At Celtic Park, there’s quite a few statues including Jimmy Johnstone, Jock Stein and the newly unveiled Billy McNeill. I imagine quite a few Celtic fans take their sons, grandsons etc. and show them the statues before the game and tell tales of days gone past. I’m sure others do likewise with John Greig’s one at Ibrox and indeed Billy Bremner’s down at Elland Road, home of Leeds United. Although, I was in Barrow-In-Furness once and saw Emlyn Hughes’ statue and just thought “ Aye, yer still a dick.”
So what do we have at Hampden? Nothing, not a sausage, although I do admit to liking the big pictures on the concourse walls, although I was a bit confused when I was at the Gibraltar game to see two of what looked like a Peru goal from Argentina on show. However, we don’t have that icon that we can say to our sons etc. “Aye, he was a great player” to. Isn’t about time we did though?
So who could we have? Well, Denis Law is probably the most likely, in that one arm raised salute holding his collar by the cuff pose. I suppose we could have Billy Bremner in that iconic moment when he has just missed the opportunity to score against Brasil with his hands to his head. Or what about Jim Baxter playing keepy uppy at Wembley. Then there’s Archie Gemmil’s nonchalant pumped fist in the air when he has scored the greatest goal ever, ever.
Then there’s also WGS in Mexico ’86 when he pretends to jump the barrier. Or in the modern era what about James McFadden as he has just hit the trigger to score that great goal in France. Joe Jordan with his teeth out is always a classic pose.
Given our penchant for shooting ourselves in the foot, maybe one or two showing our less celebrated moments could be apt. What about Jinky on a rowing boat or even Jinky given the two fingers up to the press a couple of days after the boat incident. Chris Iwelumo missing against Norway. Alan Rough, Asa Hartford et al with perms! Barry Ferguson rubbing two fingers against his nose at Hampden after Boozegate. Willie Johnston holding out two pep pills.
Maybe we could have a surreal faceless Ally McLeod holding two Janus masks, one his happy ebullient self and the other that face of abject misery in Argentina where he seemed to age years in minutes.
Or what about a dedication to the Tartan Army with three foot soldiers in regalia, arms around each other with the two outer characters arms, also out so we can pose either side and have our photos taken. Of course they could all have sporrans to drop money into and raise funds for the Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal.
It goes without saying that about ten yards away there should be a lonely anorak reading his programme and I’m sure Robert Marshall would volunteer to model for it. It would also make an apt place for us to sell the Epistles magazine, rather than saying we will be on Somerville Drive selling the magazine, we can say, buy from the anorak at the Anorak.
It goes without saying that as long as it’s not Rod Stewart badly done like that Michael Jackson one at Fulham, a few years back.
At the very least let’s have some of the stands named after some of our greatest players, that way I won’t get East and West mixed up with North and South.
First posted on Facebook May 25th May, 2015