You know all that meticulous planning that goes into seeing Scotland abroad, getting tickets, making sure your passport’s up to date and thanking God you no longer have that photo with your Mohawk hairstyle. Yes, I said Mohawk not Mohican as anybody with any sense will tell you. Then there’s how to get there; flight, boat or bus and finally where’s my cargo and my lucky condom? Lucky? I’ve had it since 1989.
Anyway all that planning. I never need to do that as sadly I’ve never travelled to see Scotland but maybe . . . just maybe next year. Anyway it’s just as well because I couldn’t even plan my days off to watch the match on TV, never mind travel abroad. All last week I was blissfully unaware I had fucked up. For some reason I thought the game was on Friday, which was my day off and I planned to have a few beers and watch the game. But no, it was work and the radio for me. I tried to get a few shifts swapped but no someone had already got there, not to watch the match but to go to an 18th birthday party! FFS!
I did manage a few beers though, to my regret because come Saturday morning I was hungover and couldn’t sleep beyond 7.30am. So there I was down in Rothesay knowing I was getting the 12 o’clock boat to get to work at 2 and had a deadline to meet for an Epistles article. Saturday was Alan Hansen’s 60th birthday and I did all my research but could I write a word. Nope.
I lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself and totally ambivalent about Alan Hansen’s Scotland career and we all know why. Yep, June of 1982, him and Willie Miller have that ignominious moment of madness that allowed Shengalia to score for USSR and it was kapoot for another tournament for Scotland.
The funny thing was, that I struggled with the idea that Willie Miller was equally culpable and I’m a Jags fan. I think even at the time I blamed Hansen and I think it’s something in the Scotland supporter psyche. We hate players who seem to stroll through games rather nonchalantly as if their passion for the game is less because they don’t seem to break sweat, whereas Miller we never doubted his commitment to the cause. It was also, that Hansen was the darling of the English press and we were fed up being told we should build our team around him and that he was too good for us! Over the years that feeling hasn’t lessened with his appearances on Match of the Day and that tone of arrogance he displayed. Maybe now, he has retired from his punditry we will begin to forgive him. So Alan, Happy Birthday sorry I missed it.
As for Willie Miller, well we were the best of buds last night as I sat and listened to him on the radio. I’ve recorded his monotone voice to use on a loop next time I can’t sleep. I can’t even blame his dourness on an Aberdeen heritage as he was born in Glasgow. I loved the bit last night when instead of saying Scotland he said Aberdeen. Between him, his sycophant Liam Macleod and the dose of the scoots I had; not a great night was had. Yes I was more Scootish than Scottish last night. Mind you I’m not sure it was all those beers or was I shitting myself over our defending. God bless Shaun Maloney and his divine intervention again. As for today it’s Alan Brazil’s birthday and don’t get me started on him!

David Stuart

First posted on Facebook 15th June, 2015