Actually to be honest I was going to do another piece but I’m just off the phone to Robert Marshall and it’s depressed me so much I thought I use this photo to cheer me up.

Okay, so we have scored fifteen goals against France in our time and I’m far too lazy to research them all but I’m pretty sure this must be number two in the all-time goals against France list. Although, we did score against them in a 1958 World Cup game with Sammy Baird providing the finish but we got beat 2-1 in that game so it’s discounted from the top two.

I remember this one so well. Walter Smith was in charge and we had made a good start to our qualifying campaign for the Euros in 2008. We had beaten the Faroes quite convincingly 6-0 at Parkhead but had anyone else but Mikkelsen been in goal that day I doubt it would have been as many. We followed that up with a 2-1 win in Lithuania and so it was the visit of France to Hampden next; who were beaten World Cup Finalists earlier that year losing to Italy who were also in our group.

It was my son’s 16th birthday the day before the game and I remember getting up early a few weeks before and walking down to Hampden to queue for tickets. Of course even getting there at seven that morning the queue was still pretty big. Like a lot of people I miss the banter and camaraderie of the queue and it would sure make selling fanzines a lot easier . I would get the wife to make up dozens of rolls and chopped pork and go along the queue shouting “Scotland fanzine £3 and a free roll n chopped pork.” Sold out in no time.

I was speaking to my son about the game the other day and he reckons it to be one of his most cherished memories, just being at Hampden that day as the atmosphere was electric. Not just the magical moment that Gary Caldwell prodded the ball home but the tension and bowel loosening stages when the French threw everything at us and couldn’t score and then the final release as the whistle was blown for full time. I think we sang ‘Rockin’ all over the world’ until we were hoarse or did we sit down emotionally sapped, dumbstruck or did we cry at the beauty of it. Who knows maybe a mixture of all three?

David Stuart

First posted on Facebook September 19th, 2015