On this day in 1974 Scotland played their first game after the 1974 World Cup; a crowd of 39,445 turned up to see Scotland take on East Germany in a friendly. Scotland would win 3-0 with goals from Tommy Hutchison and the two Kennys; Burn and Dalglish.
So how else have those first home games after the World Cup from ’78 gone down the years?
Scotland’s first home game after the 1978 Finals saw a crowd 65,372 turn up to see them play Norway. After a disastrous World Cup campaign and even an opening defeat in their Euro Qualifying games to Austria, Hampden drew a large crowd turn out to see Scotland beat Norway 3-2 thanks to a Dalglish double and an Archie Gemmill penalty. Why so many? It was Jock Stein’s first game in charge.
After, the ’82 World Cup, 40,355 turned up to see Scotland take on East Germany once more, this time in a Euro Qualifier. Once more Scotland were victorious winning 2-0 through goals by John Wark and Paul Sturrock.
’86 saw a new Manager in Andy Roxburgh in place and after a disappointing World Cup a disappointing 0-0 draw with Bulgaria was played out in front of a crowd of 35,070. Truth be told it was overall a poor Euro campaign that time round too.
After Italia ’90 a mere 12,801 turned up to see Scotland start their 1992 Euro campaign in September of that year. Scotland would win 2-1 against Romania with goals from John Robertson of Hearts and Ally McCoist and would then follow it with a victory over Switzerland that would eventually lead to qualification to Sweden ’92.
After France ’98 a mere crowd of 4,000 was in evidence in Vilnius, Lithuania as Scotland started their Euro 2000 campaign with a 0-0 draw. Their first home game was against the mighty Estonia where Scotland scraped a 3-2 win. 16, 930 turned up to see Scotland and a late double from substitute Billy Dodds either side of an own goal saw the crowd go home happy . . . mostly.
September, 2018 who will be playing? Will the crowd be a massive 50,000 or a disappointing 12,000? Only time will tell but here’s hoping it’s after a World Cup Finals for us!

October 30th, 1974 Graeme Souness made his Scotland debut.

David Stuart