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Over the ball

Among the more bizarre ‘Yes’-linked stories this morning is one which suggests that the FA, the SFA and (sic) Strathclyde police, are worried about the prospect of trouble between supporters at the November Scotland – England friendly at Celtic Park. If history means anything, they need not fash themselves.

My memory goes back to the days when our nations played each other annually . . . and yes, I was at Wembley, although not on the pitch on the day that our over-enthusiastic support took most of it home with them as souvenirs. (There was some excuse for that non-angelic behaviour; the hospitable people of London Transport decided to go on strike that weekend leaving thousands of their city’s guests with no option but to walk to Wembley from central London, on a baking hot May day, naturally refreshing themselves en route.)

Back then every game was like a home match for Scotland. While the Tartan Army went south in battalion strength, the English simply did not head north in any significant numbers, so there was never any significant trouble. Yes, there was one occasion when a hooligan group turned up and made their presence felt; they were removed from the ground for their own safety. Soon after that, the fixture disappeared from the calendar, because the FA chose to play elsewhere.

According to the author of today’s piece, the usually sensible Henry Winter, the ‘security alert’ was triggered by English fans in Basle on Monday chanting ‘F*ck off Scotland’ we’re all voting Yes.’ I only wish they had votes.

Tickets sales the forthcoming game will be controlled by the two Associations involved, and the visiting side will have a limited allocation. Whatever the result on September 18 there is as much chance of trouble at the match as there is of me walking into the Telegraph office tomorrow and hitting Henry Winter with a deep-fried Mars bar

Categories: Politics, Sport
  1. Montaltoman
    September 10, 2014 at 10:22 am

    See the strange exotic nightlife down in Park Street
    or the Carnival of Flowers in Watsonville
    you can go and take a look
    at the fashions in Craigneuk
    or imbibe our tonic waters if you’re ill
    Are there sights in far Bengal, like the Brandon Street brick wall
    or the colours of The Loaning in the Fall
    with the red sky every night from Colville’s northern lights.
    The Hairy Mans Bar parrot, the amber and the claret
    Johnstone Kilmarnock & Shaw, I still recall them a’
    Andy Paton, Redpath, Aitken -Wilson Humphries on the ba’
    A’m jist an exiled Steelman efter a’ !!

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