A selection of stadium postcards from around the globe, from Amsterdam to Wrexham [but in reverse order!], venues where Scotland have shown the world how to play the game of football….
The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham – Scotland last played Wales at this venue in May 1977 [before the new main stand depicted was built] in a British Championship match when heroics from Alan Rough and Dai Davies helped ensure a 0-0 draw resulted. In 1973 Peter McCloy, Danny McGrain, Jim Holton,Derek Johnstone and Derek Parlane all made their international debuts at this stadium as Scotland won 2-0 in another British Championship match.
Dziesiciolecia Stadion, Warsaw – Scotland beat Poland 2-1 at this venue in front of a crowd of 70,000 in June 1958 on our way to the World Cup Finals in Sweden a week later. Celtic’s Bobby Collins scored both our goals.
Ernst Happel Stadium [formerly the Prater Stadium until 1992], Vienna – This magnificent arena has staged a number of big European Finals over the years as well as several Austria-Scotland internationals. This included Ally MacLeod’s last game in charge in September 1978 when Austria went 3-0 up in a Euro qualifier before Scotland pulled it back to 3-2 with 13 minutes still remaining and then the ball-boys disappeared….
Arosvallen Stadium, Vasteras, Sweden – This was the venue for Scotland’s opening match of the 1958 World Cup finals against the former Yugoslavia. Skippered by Tommy Younger in goals, Scotland earned a 1-1 draw in front of a crowd of just 9591 thanks to a late equaliser from Hearts’ James Murray.
Estadio Luis Casanova, Valencia – In February 1975 Scotland got a creditable 1-1 draw against Spain at this venue in a Euro qualifier. [Joe Jordan had given us the lead after 2 minutes]. Alas, a home defeat against Spain three months previous ultimately cost Scotland a place in the Quarter-Finals.
Rhein Park Stadium, Vaduz – In October 2011 Craig Levein’s Scotland threw caution to the wind to overcome Liechtenstein 1-0 in a Euro Qualifier. Craig Mackhail-Smith got the face-saving winner in front of a near capacity crowd of 5636.
Galgenwaard Stadion, Utrecht – The Netherlands beat Scotland 3-1 in May 1994 as they prepared to go to the World Cup Finals in the USA the following month. Aberdeen’s Duncan Shearer scored for Scotland.
Stadio Delle Alpe, Turin – On 20 June 1990 at the World Cup Finals, 62,502 turned up to see a Branco free-kick give Murdo MacLeod a serious sore head before Muller gave Brazil the winner 9 minutes from time.
The Vetch Field, Swansea – Scotland’s Swansea swan-song was a 0-2 defeat to Wales in the British Championship in 1981. Ray Stewart and Paul Sturrock made their Scotland debuts that day.
Vasil Levski Stadium, Sofia – The venue where Hearts’ Gary MacKay scored to give Scotland a 1-0 victory over Bulgaria and in so doing sent the Republic of Ireland to the finals of Euro 88.
City Stadium, Skopje – venue for Scotland’s first visit to Macedonia, for a World Cup qualifier in September 2008. Macedonia won 1-0.
Estadio Benito Villamarin, Seville – The venue where in June 1982 at the World Cup Finals, a goal from Scotland’s David Narey provoked tournament favourites Brazil [Zico, Socrates, Falcao et al] into peaking too early and winning 4-1.
Estadio Nacional, Santiago – Scotland beat Chile 4-2 at this stadium in the first match of their South American tour in June 1977. The venue had hosted the 1962 World Cup Final but notoriously in the mid-1970s was used as a prison camp and torture facility by the military regime.
Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint Etienne – Scotland’s third group match at the France 98 World Cup Finals took place at this venue where Michel Platini once strutted his stuff. On 23 June however Scotland lost 0-3 to Morocco, Craig Burley was sent off and we all went home early to wait for our next appearance at a major finals…and wait, and wait, and wait…..
Olympic Stadium, Rome – This was the venue for Craig Brown’s first game in charge of Scotland albeit on a caretaker capacity following the resignation of Andy Roxburgh. Scotland lost 1-3 to Italy in a meaningless [to us] World Cup qualifier but Brown passed the audition.
Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro – Scotland have twice played Brazil in the southern hemisphere’s answer to Hampden Park. In July 1972 Brazil overcame the Doc’s Dazzlers 1-0 in their Independence Cup tournament. In June 1977 the host nation somehow managed to beat Ally MacLeod’s Galacticos 2-0 in the third match of Scotland’s South American tour. Willie Donnachie, Martin Buchan and Asa Hartford played in both matches.
Daugava Stadion, Riga – Scotland first visited Latvia in October 1996 for a World Cup qualifier and won 2-0. Monaco’s John Collins and Darren Jackson of Hibs got the goals.
Laugardalsvollur Stadion, Reykjavik – Our first visit to Iceland in May 1985 saw Scotland snatch a 1-0 victory in a World Cup qualifier against Iceland with Jim Bett netting four minutes from time.
Sparta Stadion, Prague – Holy heartbreak, Batman. This was where Craig Brown’s Scotland went 2-0 up in a Euro qualifier against the Czech Republic in June 1999 before somehow contriving to lose 2-3.
Stade Colombes, Paris – Scotland played France on four occasions at this stadium- winning three times, in 1930, 1932 and 1950 and losing once in 1948. The stadium was portrayed in the film ‘Escape to Victory’ starring Michael Caine and John Wark.
Parc des Princes, Paris – Where Scotland beat France 1-0 in a Euro Qualifier in September 2007 thanks to James McFadden’s wondergoal. Allo! Allo! Zee knobs were flashing that night – so to speak.
Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo – There have been several Norway-Scotland matches at this venue and two 4-0 victories spring to mind. In 1979 Jock Stein’s Scotland did the business in a Euro qualifier with goals from Joe Jordan, Kenny Dalglish, John Robertson and Gordon McQueen. In a 2009 World Cup qualifier it was Norway’s turn to triumph by that scoreline -aided and abetted by the Chuckle brothers, Gary and Steven Caldwell.
Idrottsparken, Norkopping- This Swedish stadium hosted Scotland’s second and third group matches at the Euro Finals in June 1992. In the second match Andy Roxburgh’s Scotland lost 0-2 to the jammy Germans to be effectively eliminated from the tournament. In the final game however Scotland destroyed the fragmenting Soviet Union [who were cunningly disguised as the C.I.S.] by three goals to nil.
Luzhniki Stadion, Moscow – In March 1995 Craig Brown’s Scotland earned a vital point in a Euro 96 Qualifier by drawing 0-0 with Russia in this stadium. Russia had Andrei [Andy] Kanchelskis in their ranks but we had Colin Hendry!
Stade Louis II, Monaco – The venue for the infamous February 1997 ‘re-played’ World Cup qualifier between Estonia and Scotland which ended goal-less. The match should never have taken place – back in October 1996 Estonia failed to turn up in Tallinn at the agreed re-scheduled kick-off time and so Scotland should have been awarded all three points. Shame on you FIFA, SHAME! SHAME!
Dynamo Stadion, Minsk – Scotland first visited this venue in June 1997 for a World Cup qualifying match against Belarus and came away with a 1-0 victory thanks to a Gary McAllister penalty.
Stade Velodrome, Marseille – In June 1984 Scotland helped the hosts of Euro 84 with their final preparations by fielding an experienced side – only Maurice Malpas made his debut that day. France led by Michel Platini won 2-0 and went on to lift the Euro crown.
Stadio Meazza [aka San Siro], Milan -Scotland played their first match under the stewardship of Walter Smith at this stadium in March 2005. Unfortunately Andrea Pirlo didn’t read the script and he scored both of Italy’s goals in that World Cup qualifier.
Estadio La Rosaleda [The Rose Garden], Malaga – Scotland played their first and third group matches here during the 1982 World Cup Finals. In the first game we beat New Zealand 5-2 and in the third match we drew 2-2 with the now dismantled USSR. The overall end result was that Scotland were eliminated from the World Cup Finals on goal difference for the third successive time!
Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid – in April 1988 only 15,000 turned up at this great venue to see Spain and Scotland draw 0-0 in a friendly. Another friendly match at this venue in June 1963 saw Scotland triumph 6-2! 40,000 saw that one.
New Wembley Stadium, London- Scotland lost 2-3 to England in an entertaining friendly match at the re-built greyhound stadium in August 2013. We might as well wait until the competitive fixtures come along before we start racking-up some new memorable victories.
Old Wembley Stadium, London – The so-called ‘Venue of Legends’ where Scotland recorded many famous victories with 1967, 1977 and 1999 readily springing to mind. In a parallel universe however this is where Scotland won the 1966 World Cup Final with both Denis Law and Willie Wallace scoring legitimate hat-tricks against the Auld Enemy.
Estadio da Luz, Lisbon – Scotland lost all four Euro/World Cup qualifiers played at the Stadium of Light in the latter half of the 20th century. Our worst defeat was a 0-5 gubbing in a WCQ in April 1993 when manager Andy Roxburgh said it was the night a team died – and my arse collapsed…
Olympic Stadium, Kiev – The former Republican Stadium hosted several of the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games football matches as well as the 2006 Euro-qualifier between Ukraine and Scotland before extensive improvements rendered the venue fit to host the Final of the 2012 European Championships.
Ninian Park, Cardiff – The now demolished stadium was the venue for numerous Wales-Scotland matches with the last one being that fateful World Cup qualifier in September 1985 when Scotland manager Jock Stein collapsed and died at the end of a 1-1 draw.
Villa Park, Birmingham -where Scotland played their first and third matches at the finals of Euro 96 – drawing 0-0 with the Netherlands and beating Switzerland 1-0 thanks to a strike from Ally McCoist. Some dodgy goalkeeping from David Seaman in England’s match against the Netherlands meant Scotland were eliminated on goal difference however. OK so it wasn’t all his fault…..
Ullevi Stadion, Gothenburg – not a happy hunting ground for Scotland. At the finals of Euro 92 we lost our opening group match here, 0-1 versus the Netherlands. We also lost a World Cup qualifier here, 1-2 against Sweden in April 1997. Scotland did manage a 1-1 draw at this venue in a friendly game against Sweden in April 1975 with Ted MacDougall grabbing our equaliser four minutes from time.
Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa – scene of two contrasting group match performances by Scotland at the 1990 World Cup Finals. On 11th June we crashed 0-1 to Costa Rica, then 5 days later we roared back to defeat Sweden 2-1 with goals from Stuart McCall and Mo Johnston.
Wald Stadion, Frankfurt – Scotland played their second and third group matches here during the 1974 World Cup Finals. On 18th June we drew 0-0 with defending champions, Brazil and four days later we drew 1-1 with Yugoslavia. We should have won both matches then gone on to lift the trophy – everybody knows it…..
Philips Stadion, Eindhoven – In preparation for the Mexico 86 World Cup finals Scotland played the Netherlands [who weren’t going to the finals] in Eindhoven and drew 0-0. Ally McCoist and Robert Connor made their Scotland debuts that day.
Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton – In June 1983 Jock Stein’s Scotland went on a three-game tour of Canada. Scotland won all three matches scoring a total of seven goals and conceding none. In the second game, Scotland won 3-0 in Edmonton with goals from Charlie Nicholas, Richard Gough and Graeme Souness.
Estadio Boca Juniors, Buenos Aires – The second match of Scotland’s three-game tour of South America in June 1977 took us to the Argentine capital and a stadium nicknamed Bombonera [The chocolate box] because of its shape and its flat stand. A Don Masson penalty gave Scotland the lead which was cancelled out by an penalty-spot equaliser from Daniel Passarella. Willie Johnston received another one of his ‘unfair’ red cards.
Westfalen Stadion, Dortmund – In June 1974 this was the venue for Scotland’s first ever success at a World Cup Finals, a 2-0 victory over Zaire. Leeds United duo Peter Lorimer and Joe Jordan got the goals whilst Denis Law won his 55th and final cap.
Idraetsparken, Copenhagen – Tommy Docherty’s Scotland beat Denmark 4-1 in a World Cup Qualifier at this venue in October 1972 with Aberdeen’s Joe Harper netting on his debut. It was also the venue for Billy Bremner’s final game for Scotland- a 1-0 win over Denmark in a Euro Championship Qualifier in September 1975 with Joe Harper [then with Hibs] scoring his second [and final] international goal.
Slaski Stadium, Chorzow – In May 1965 Scotland got a creditable 1-1 draw in a World Cup qualifier against Poland in this stadium with Denis Law on target for the visitors. 67,462 attended the game.
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff – Wales thrash Berti Vogts’ Scotland 4-0 in our first visit to the Millennium Stadium in February 2004.
Ninian Park, Cardiff – venue for numerous Wales v. Scotland British Championship matches and where, sadly, we lost Jock Stein at the conclusion of a World Cup qualifier in 1985. George Burley, Alan Hansen, Paul Hegarty and John Wark all made their international debuts there in May 1979.
Heysel Sadium, Brussels – scene of several painful Scottish defeats, however in May 1951 a hat-trick from Aberdeen’s George Hamilton helped Scotland to a 5-0 victory in a friendly international against Belgium. Yes, really!
Weser Stadion, Bremen – In April 1999 Craig Brown’s Scotland defeated Germany 1-0 on their own soil thanks to a goal from Everton’s Don Hutchison. Pity it was only a friendly match.
Nep Stadion, Budapest – Scotland have played Hungary three friendly matches at this venue in 1955, 1960 and 1980. Our best result was a 3-3 draw in June 1960 thanks to goals from Willie Hunter [Motherwell], George Herd [Clyde] and Alex Young [Hearts]. At the end of that game the threesome had a total of six caps between them.
23 August Stadium, Bucharest – Willie Ormond’s Scotland went behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ in June 1975 for a Euro Championship Qualifier and came home with a point after skipper Gordon McQueen netted an 89th minute equaliser against Romania.
Tehelne Pole Stadion, Bratislava – Back in October 1973 this venue was in the former Czechoslovakia. Then the hosts defeated Scotland 1-0 in what was a meaningless World Cup qualifier as we had done the business against them at Hampden three weeks previous and were headed for West Germany the following summer.
Parc Lescure, Bordeaux- In June 1998 this was the art-deco masterpiece of a venue for Scotland’s second group match at the World Cup Finals. The game against Norway ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a Craig Burley equaliser.
Wankdorf Stadium, Berne – Scotland have played Switzerland on several occasions at this wonderfully named venue including a Euro qualifier in September 1991 when we fought back from being two goals down to get a valuable 2-2 draw. Gordon Durie and Ally McCoist got our goals.
Estadio San Nicola, Bari – Scotland lost 0-2 at the home of Santa Claus in a Euro qualifier against Italy in March 2007. Luca Toni was the man who got a couple of gifts from the visitors.
Gelredome Stadium, Arnhem – Euro 2000 was a tournament too far for Scotland but in April of that year we helped the co-hosts The Netherlands with their preparations as Neil Sullivan and Edwin Van Der Saar did their jobs well in a 0-0 friendly match beneath the retractable roof.
Amsterdam ArenA – aka The Theatre of Humpings [0-6 in a Euro Play-off in November 2003 and 0-3 in a World Cup Qualifier in March 2009 both against the Netherlands].
And of course there’s the greatest stadium ever! (although not as great as she could be)
April 1908 – 121,452 see Scotland draw 1-1 with England in a British Championship match.
April 1921 – 85,000 see Scotland beat England 3-0 in a British Championship match.
April 1966 – England win the British Championship decider 4-3 in front of 123,052.
February 1968- 134,000 see Scotland draw 1-1 with England in a British Championship match which doubled as a Euro qualifier. England went through to the quarter finals but the attendance that day remains a European Championship record.
Early 2000s- ‘New’ Hampden was officially inaugurated in March 2000 when World Champions France beat Scotland 2-0. Attendance 48,157.
And let’s not forget those other Scottish stadia which have hosted full international matches, including-
Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen [1990s] – Kenny Dalglish made his international debut here in 1971 in a Euro qualifier versus Belgium. In September 1997 it was the venue for Scotland’s vital 4-1 victory over Belarus on the road to France 98.
Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh [1990s]- Notable scalps taken at this venue include Canada [3-1 in 2002], Trinidad AND Tobago [4-1 in 2004], Australia [3-1 in 2012] and Qatar [1-0 in 2015].
Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh [1990s]- Scotland drew 1-1 with New Zealand at this venue in 2003 – another one of Berti’s friendlies which didn’t quite go as planned.
Celtic Park, Glasgow [1990s] – In October 1997 Scotland sealed qualification to the France 98 World Cup Finals by defeating Latvia 2-0.
Firhill Stadium, Glasgow [1990s] – a wee bit of a cheat this one as Firhill’s only Scotland game came about in 1928 when Ireland won 1-0 in front of 55,000 spectators. The main stand dates from 1927 however.
Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow [1990s] – In the early 1990s Ibrox hosted World Cup qualifying matches against Portugal,Italy and Malta as well as a friendly against Germany as Hampden underwent another one of its facelifts.