We're on the march we're Stevie's Army
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HERE we go, here we go, here we go!
After 23 years of hurt and a vast abyss in terms of major championships in which Scotland has participated, we finally get to go through the emotional ringer yet again; the hope, expectation, optimism, anticipation, longing, excitement.
In the past, those emotions have always given way to disappointment, despair, frustration, hopelessness, regret and longing - longing to do it all again soon.
I am old enough to remember Argentina 1978 (if you are under the age of 40 Google Ally MacLeod’s Tartan Army and all will be revealed).
As a bright-eyed 10-year-old I was even more gullible and naive than I am now, and bought into the ‘Scotland can win the World Cup’ hype that swept a nation. Yes kids, there was a time when Scotland football fans dared to dream but, of, course dreams rarely come true.
We had some big name players - the toothless wonder that was Joe Jordan, the ruthless wonder that was Graeme Souness, the perma wonder that was Alan Rough, King Kenny, wing wizard Archie Gemmill, wing wizard Willie Johnston (yes we had two wing wizards) - I could go on but my memory is starting to fail me after all these years so best I stop now while the going is good.
Suffice to say a nation held its breath as we approached a major championship.
Fast forward a month and a nation was left gob-smacked as we witnessed a glorious Scotland failure, sucker punched by the boys from Peru, frustrated by the might of Iran and then triumphant against a bunch of cloggers, the eventual finalists Holland, but ultimately it was not enough and the Scots headed home with their collective tail between their legs.
Ah, I remember it like it was 43 years ago.
My son wasn’t even born the last time Scotland played at a major finals event (1998), but once again the nation dares to dream.
And only Croatia, Czech Republic and some other wee diddy team stand between us and the first step on the road to glory.
Let’s dream a while!
- You will find Saunderson's Euro-Vision in The Northern Scot print version every Friday during the tournament and online.