Graeme Broadley: 2008, Scotland v. Italy

Being a Scotland fan generally ends up in glorious defeat, and my memory concerns that. It was only a few years ago when we almost qualified for World Cup 2008. We had managed to beat France home and away, and hopes were rising that we could get through ahead of the French or the Italians...

The reason why this campaign is so memorable is that the whole country seemed to unite behind the team like never before. Usually the streets of Glasgow were nothing special on the day of a Scotland game, but for some reason everyone seemed to get right up for it.

Pubs were mobbed, kilts were everywhere and the atmosphere was always great. What was special was that I could only feel this way about football when it concerned my club team, but as great as that is, it didn't match the feeling I got when I could go out and feel the same as everyone else.

It all came to a climax when Italy beat us in the last game. I couldn't get a ticket but managed to get into the Church on the Hill pub not far from Hampden. It was absolutely mobbed, and we had to queue to get in. There was tartan everywhere.

The feeling was cautiously optimistic, even though we were playing the world champions. Songs were sung, drink was flowing and everyone was in great form. Being Scotland, it ended in defeat but the heavy rain didn't dampen the mood. Everyone continued to party, and we somehow or other managed to come away with a souvenir of a massive trophy from the pub. I hope they didn't miss it!

So really, that campaign showed just how great football can be at bringing people together. I had the chance to celebrate and commiserate with fans of rival clubs as, for once, we focused on the same thing. And it was great.

Memory added on November 18, 2011

1 Comment (Add your voice)

I was lucky enough to be at that game and can remember such a feeling of unity behind the team - it was amazing. Italy scored with the first kick of the ball but we clawed our way back and at the end of the first half a David Weir header was going in only to be cleared. Eventually Barry Ferguson grabbed an equaliser (a tad offside but who cared?) and for 20 minutes we had the World Champions on the rack - sadly Wee Faddy missed a great chance. We know the ending, but that wasn't the point !

– Cameron Thomson, January 1 2012 at 22:48

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