A quarter of a century ago Scotland were preparing to go to Italia 90 – our fifth world cup finals in a row! As part of our preparations we arranged a game at Pittodrie [on 16 May] against fellow world cup finalists Egypt who as it so happened would be in England’s group in Sardinia/Sicily. Egypt also took part in the 1934 World Cup Finals in Italy because back then, unlike us numpties, they thought a global tournament might be a good idea. D’oh!

I remember wearing an Arab head-dress to the game partly because someone had told me that Aberdeen in May can be a bit Sub-Saharan.I was misinformed -Lawrence of Maryhill?-what a tosser… Alas I wasn’t the only eejit there that evening as a nervy, error-strewn performance by Scotland helped Egypt to a 3-1 victory. Former Aberdeen player Bryan Gunn made his debut in goals, Alex McLeish was captain, Ally McCoist netted for Scotland and Craig Levein didn’t come on until the 89th minute so we can’t really blame the future/former Scotland manager for that one. Pity.


I believe this match was the first time that an African nation had played us on Scottish soil [at full level] and I personally think it very disappointing that since then we’ve only had Nigeria [2002] and South Africa [2007] visit these shores. Co-incidently [or otherwise] none of them have rated an invite to Hampden. I’d love to see the likes of Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon or Morocco strut their stuff at Mount Florida. What about a benefit match to help raise funds to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa or does no-one do that kind of thing anymore?

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook May 14th, 2015