No doubt the SFA High Command will be contacting us soon regarding re-newing our now biennial membership of the Scotland Supporters Club. As well as enabling access to match tickets and including a membership card that features a photograph of a rapidly agingand often broken man I always look forward to receiving some goodies.

The goodies tend to fall short of the pre-Oscars trinkets and in 2012 included a keyring with mini-Scotland jersey attached, a circular enamel badge depicting the S.F.A. crest, a drawstring bag and a tartan scarf. The badge and keyring were attractive little collectibles but the scarf irked me some seeing as it was made in China. As we were in the middle of a recession would it have hurt that much to buy in bulk from the Edinburgh Woolen Mill?

I seem to recall that at one time only new members were afforded freebies – either a tie, scarf or beanie hat. This millennium however the giveaways have become a bit more varied and interesting. In 2005 the official membership pack included a T-shirt, pin badge, car/window sticker and discount voucher booklet. The discounts could be applied to sportswear, entry to the Scottish Football Museum , coaching courses and physiotherapy treatment!

For the 2006/2007 renewal there was a ‘Limited Edition’ gift box from the sponsors Whyte & Mackay whisky blenders containing a supporters club keyring and a booklet comprising a roll of honour of those Scottish players to have made at least 50 international appearances plus a statistical analysis of the records of all of Scotland’s international team managers. There was also a DVD showing someone’s choice of top ten Hampden goals over a thirty year period as well as some behind the scenes footage of the Scotland squad at training, enjoying some R & R as well as match day rituals which for some included taking time out to the read the programme. There was also the entire ninety minutes of Scotland’s 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in the 1st leg of the play-offs for Euro 2004. Fortunately there was no room left on the DVD to include anything from the 2nd leg.

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For 2008 to 2009 the goodie box contained a kilt-pin and a set of six badges commemorating the twelve matches played in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign. In addition there was the official Scotland CD – fifteen tracks that is a mixture of old World Cup songs and more relatively recent crowd pleasers from Deacon Blue, the Proclaimers and the Fratellis. It also includes Shang-a-lang by the Bay City Rollers. Superb……

To help commemorate 30 years of the supporters club in 2010 we all received a souvenir v-neck jersey. Nostalgia can be a painful experience though, for I seem to recall that when I joined the club back in the 1980s I considered size XL to be an alien concept, reserved purely for fat bar stewards. If I make it to the 50thanniversary I have visions of me heading for Hampden in a dark-blue Demis Roussos style ‘smock’. The diet starts Monday….

Another occasional and somewhat quirky S.F.A. produced collectible were the fold-up, pocket sized travel guides that were provided for supporters heading to away games. They were formulaic but helpful including as they did a city map/stadium location plan; some recommended restaurants, pubs, and night clubs; useful tips on transport, health, safety, security etc as well as some suggestions on things to do and see [ie castles, cathedrals and museums etc and notshebeens, bordellos and knitwear shops]. My one criticism was that within the section on useful foreign words and phrases there has been a tendency to include local translations for stereotypical scenarios such as ‘My mate is a bit crazy but he’s harmless’ and ‘I am drunk please let me into my hotel room.’ Then again maybe I’m just an over-sensitive ex-lush!

Anyway, I’m damned if I can remember what goodies we got for our 2014 to 2015 membership so to help fill a void I would be obliged if someone could help me out – it’s annoying the ‘Daffy-Duck’ out of me if you will pardon the expression. Cheers.

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook August 19th, 2015