Scotland football team have got me thinking of the days when we took on Pele and Eusebio – Steve Cardownie

The Scotland game against Serbia last Thursday threw up the usual highs and lows normally associated with our national team’s attempts to qualify for a major tournament which, at one point, seemed to be destined to fail once again.

By Steve Cardownie
Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 7:00 am
Steve Cardownie watched the great Pele play against Scotland in the 1960s (Picture: Steve Ellis)
Steve Cardownie watched the great Pele play against Scotland in the 1960s (Picture: Steve Ellis)

But so it did not prove. Despite being on top for the whole of the game, a goal was conceded in the 90th minute and extra time beckoned. The rest is history and when the game went to penalties Scotland came out on top 5-4.

This prompted me to cast my mind back to my very first international in 1966, when, at the age of 13, I made my way from Leith with my friend, Billy, through to Hampden Park to watch Scotland take on the Auld Enemy in the then British Home Championship.

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A 4-3 defeat before a crowd of 123,000 did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm and I went on to witness Pele and Eusebio turn out for Brazil and Portugal respectively against Scotland later that year.

Now that we are to compete in the Euro 2020 finals, I hope to take the opportunity to attend as many games as I can and I hope that all the young fans will be able to serve up such memories as I can when I saw Scotland for the first time – Ferguson, Gemmell, Greig, McKinnon, Baxter, Bremner, Johnston, Johnstone, Murdoch, Law and Wallace, with Jimmy Johnstone netting a brace and Denis Law scoring with a trademark header.

I remember just like it was yesterday. C’mon Scotland!

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