They say a picture paints a thousand words and probably some of you will be glad I’m only going to write a few hundred and then let the picture speak for the rest.
The picture is of course from the 1992 European Championships in Sweden on June 12th and sees Ruud Gullit in the dark blue of Scotland celebrating with the crowd after the Dutch have beaten Scotland one nil and four forlorn shirtless Scotsmen trundling away. By the looks of it, my best guess is McCoist . . . maybe, who seems have gotten Gullit’s jersey with Dave McPherson, Gordon Durie and Captain Richard Gough.
This was Scotland’s first ever European Championship Finals game, which they had qualified for, coming out top in a group with Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria and San Marino. It should be remembered that only eight teams took part in the Euros that year and that the team that won it didn’t even qualify! Denmark replaced Yugoslavia, where war had broken out and eventually we would see teams like Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina appear.
Back to that day in 1992, where Scotland lost by one goal to nil with Dennis Bergkamp scoring in the 77th minute. If truth be told Scotland were second best and perhaps lucky to hold out for so long. The Dutch were rarely troubled; it’s not one of those games where you can point to a moment and say if only we had scored that one, there were a few tasty tackles throughout though.
Scotland would go on to play Germany and lose 2-0 before the final game and a win against CIS (no, not the Insurance group but the name the remnants of the USSR had taken up as the Commonwealth of Independent States) in Norrkoping where Scotland won 3-0 with goals from Paul McStay, Brian McClair and Gary McAllister.
The team that lined up for Scotland’s first ever Euro Finals game was as follows: Andy Goram, Stewart McKimmie, Maurice Malpas, Dave McPherson, Richard Gough, Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall, Brian McClair, Gordon Durie and Ally McCoist with sub appearances by Kevin Gallacher and Duncan Ferguson.
The Dutch were a little better with Ronald Koeman, Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit, Denis Bergkamp and Marco Van Basten among their numbers.