One of the many disappointments relating to Scotland’s 21st century wilderness years is our non-appearance in the associated Panini stickers albums for the World Cup and European Championship finals.
France 98 was of course the last time that I was able to savour the primeval enjoyment of inserting head and shoulder images of the Scotland squad into a said album. How I miss our dodgy hairstyles, Village People moustaches and dour-faced defiance.
And so in 2016 I am now reduced to seeking crumbs from the successful qualifiers’ tables. And what tables they are, for in advance of the actual tournament collection being released, our celtic cousins Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have all been afforded collections of their own.
If only Scotland had qualified we too would have been allocated an album comprising 204 stickers of which 24 are ‘Shinies’. I’m going ‘Ally McCoist’ at the very thought of it!
Back to reality though and all I’ve got to cling to are the ROI stickers which feature match action scenes from the qualifying matches and in so doing include glimpses of some Scotland players. By way of a couple examples are snapshots from the Celtic Park game [which we won!] and which show Charlie Mulgrew in a tussle with Glasgow’s Aiden McGeady and Steven Fletcher being the meat in an Irish sandwich.
I tell you, it’s not easy being a Scotland supporting, anorak wearing, memorabilia collecting, former glam-rocker with a Bobby Charltonesque comb-over hairstyle. Now how’s that for a pen picture?