Scotland v England

Evan McKemon University of Aberdeen, Scotland


November 24, 2014

This past week has been an absolute cracker of a week. The Auld Enemy came north of the border for the first time since 1999 and it definitely formed one of the best memories I’ll keep with me forever.

The Scotland v England happened on 18/11 and was at Celtic Park in Glasgow. With plaid, pipes, and pints everywhere it truly was a dream come true. 2 ½ hours later, as we’re pulling into Glasgow, the piper breaks out his pipes and starts playing ‘Flower of Scotland’, the national anthem of Scotland, backed up by the train singing, then ‘We’ll Be Coming’-the theme song of the Tartan Army (well worth the Youtube search), and other famous songs on the way.

The piper leads us off the train and pipes into the pub as we’re chanting throughout the Queen Street station. An absolute brilliant site, the police officers standing guard for the fear of fights breaking out between the Scottish and English fans-especially since Glasgow voted 54% Yes to 46% No in the referendum two months back. We walk past Georges Square and one of the best times of my life was behind a two wooden and brass doors.

I was donning my Balmoral Hat and Scotland Football scarf as I walked into the pub where there were over 200 kilted, saltire waving Scottish fans. I befriended 8 of them and we all hung out for 4 hours, having more pints, and starting Scotland FC chants.

We'll be coming, We'll be coming,
We'll be coming down the road.
When you hear the noise of the tartan army boys,
We'll be coming down the road.

I met up with one my friends from high school, had a smashing time in the time pub singing more chants. The atmosphere was beyond words because everyone was ecstatic to see Scotland face the Auld Enemy-the oldest rivalry in football starting in 1872. I even had the honor of starting one of the chants and the whole pub was yelling at the top of their lungs!

When we all got to Celtic Park, it was brilliantly loud, blue and white, and proud! However, the England fans were loud as well and when they scored, about 3-5 people stormed the pitch and the peelers took care of them. The police were dressed in yellow and there was one of them on every step blocking off the away section from the home and about 50 of them on standby next to the pitch.

The best insult I heard from one of the fellas sitting next to me was “Shut your mouths you dirty English bloody poonin’ hounds! Before we kick your heads in!” It was justified in my opinion, they were loud and annoying. When Scotland scored their only goal and put us within 1 goal reach, the stadium went mad. You could’ve heard us from Edinburgh how loud we were. People jumping up, shouting, kissing the person next to you on the cheek and dancing for a good 2 minutes. We started singing Loch Lomond, O Flower of Scotland, then England scored their 3rd goal and put us in the dust.

Despite the 3-1 loss, it was a brilliant atmosphere and hopefully next year when we head south of the border, we’ll give ‘em a good roughing up.