Scotland prepare to take on England in historic Auld Enemy clash

A match 150 years in the making: Scotland prepare to take on England in historic Auld Enemy clash 

  • Steve Clarke’s men take on Gareth Southgate’s team in the oldest fixture in international football tonight 
  • Rivals first met 150 years ago at the West of Scotland Cricket ground in Partick – and resulted in a 0-0 draw 

POSING in front of the venue for a cricket club, you might wonder if these football stars have arrived at the wrong address.

However, Andy Robertson and Harry Kane made no mistake as they prepared for the 150th anniversary of Scotland’s first game of football against fierce rivals England – at the spot where it all began.

The pair, who are captains for England and Scotland respectively, were pictured at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick as part of the run up to their sides meeting at Hampden today (Tue).

Scotland host their rivals in a special friendly to mark the anniversary of the first ever international football match.

The Tartan Army first clashed with the Auld Enemy on St Andrew’s Day on 30 November 1872 at the cricket ground in front of between 2,500 – 4,000 spectators. Those watching paid a shilling each to see the birth of international football.

The match, which ended nil nil, featured a Scotland side mainly comprised of players from Glasgow side Queens Park players with others drawn from Granville and South Norwood.

Harry Kane and Andrew Robertson promote the game outside the West of Scotland Cricket Club

Scotland's Andrew Robertson reacts during training ahead of the 50th Anniversary Friendly between Scotland and England

Meanwhile, England fielded a team made up of players from nine different clubs, including Sheffield Wednesday, Cambridge University, Crystal Palace, and Notts County.

In contrast to the relatively small number of spectators that day, Steve Clarke and Gareth Southgate’s men are set to play in front of over 50,000 fans at Hampden with millions watching at home.

In a nod to England’s heritage Kane wore a shirt bearing the original crest from the first Scotland v England meeting in 1872.

The limited-edition shirts, designed by Nike, will then be put up for auction with all proceeds going to the FA’s official charity partner, Alzheimer’s Society.

Kane’s stoppage-time goal secured a 2-2 draw on England’s last trip to Scotland in 2017.

Scotland have 41 wins in football’s oldest international fixture with England victorious on 48 occasions while there have been 26 draws – including the last two times the Auld Enemy have met.

One of the most memorable moments in previous matches was the aftermath of Scotland’s 2-1 victory over England at Wembley on June 4, 1977.

As the final whistle sounded in the British Home Championship, hordes of jubilant Scotland fans stormed the pitch.

Andy Robertson (L) and Steve Clarke (R) during a Scotland training session at Lesser Hampden

England's Callum Wilson (centre) during a training session at Rangers Training Centre, Milngavie

Captain Bruce Rioch and his team-mates were carried shoulder-high, while patches of turf was ripped up and stuffed into pockets to be carried back north, and over-exuberant fans snapped the crossbar after clambering on top.

As a live television audience watched on, BBC commentator John Motson’s tone changed from describing scenes of undiluted joy turn into mindless vandalism as the stadium was wrecked.

The man that snapped the crossbar was 21-year-old Alec Torrance, who became something of a Scottish celebrity.

He later recalled: ‘Those were Bay City Roller days and I’m sorry to say that I was wearing a tartan shirt, brown flares and platform shoes.

‘I just started running towards the posts where the winning goal had been scored. Scots were climbing all over it, and I tried climbing up but it was difficult because of my platforms.

‘I was pulled up by some of those already on it and was just about to swing my legs over it when it snapped. I landed on my arse and then stood up and saluted the crowd.

‘It was sheer ecstasy. I then started digging up the Wembley turf. I handed out hundreds of little bits of the turf and I kept some for myself.’

Singer and Scotland fan Sir Rod Stewart was on the Wembley pitch that day and can be seen in photographs being lifted up by joyous fans.

The singer has said of the occasion: ‘I was at Wembley in 1977 – and it is a day I remember well.

‘At the end, I wanted to go on the pitch with the rest of the fans but I was there with my dad, who said “No.”

‘I said to him, “just try and stop me”. When I got to the pitch, police were trying to stop the fans going on. I lifted my hat to show my face.

‘And when the officer saw who it was, he said: “Oh alright, go on then.”


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