Sean Graham: 1985, Scotland v. England

As many fans look forward to this long awaited clash between England and Scotland at Wembley on Wednesday, I will just have to content myself with a seat in front of the TV and hopefully enjoy another Scotland win just as I did back in 1985 when I managed to get to my one and only clash between these two old rivals.
I remember growing up watching many of these matches on TV when I was growing up and just how big a deal that playing for Scotland was, especially against England but now it doesn't seem that way at all but maybe that will change come Wednesday !
So many things have changed over the years in football, the Champions League being one of them and I get the feeling that matches in this competition and all the riches that go with it, actually mean more to folk than going to watch the national side, no matter how good or bad they are.
As a schoolboy, I used to go and watch Scotland with my best mate Jeff and the rest of the boys, Greg, Dave, Andy, Maff, John, Jamie and Danny and we loved standing on those Hampden terraces cheering our country on.
If I am being honest, we all used to dream of pulling on the dark Blue as we watched these guys play many countries in all the years we watched Scotland during the eighties and this was perhaps my favourite era watching Scotland as we were watching guys that played for many of our club sides with a few who played down south too.
From an early age I was interested in football on both sides of the border as well as watching my country, so when you go and experience watching Scotland beating the likes of Spain at Hampden and various other countries it gives you a wee sense of pride in watching your country do well against some of the so called bigger nations.
Watching these games actually at Hampden was great but the one match we all wanted to see more than any other was a match against England.
I had never been lucky enough to actually get to one until the 25th May 1985 when England came to Hampden and sadly enough this was the one and only time still to date that I have saw both countries play each other.
I was never one of those guys who hated the English, it was rivalry for 90 minutes and that was it, I had English friends and I also admired some of the players who they had in their side, guys like Peter Shilton , Viv Anderson and Trevor Francis who had won European Cups with Nottingham Forest, Manchester United's captain marvel Bryan Robson, the mid-field talents of Glenn Hoddle and Ray Wilkins who would all play against the Scots at Hampden, this was an exciting time for me to be going to watch these guys live but the Scots had a talented bunch of players too.
The fantastic Jim Leighton and Willie Miller from Aberdeen, the talented Dundee United full backs Maurice Malpas and Richard Gough, Roy "The Bear" Aitken from Celtic and any midfield who had Jim Bett and Graeme Souness in it would be difficult to break down along with the talented wing wizard and now Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, added to that the hard working David Speedie and goal scorer supreme Stevie Archibald, I knew that on their day Scotland could be a match for anybody.
To say we were excited and perhaps nervous about this clash, would be an understatement !
There had been a lot of reports leading up to this game that there may be trouble in the city centre and surrounding areas, as some England casuals made their way to Scotland for the game.
During the eighties the casuals were a part and parcel of going to watch football, not the nice part I may add !
These rumours were true and several thousand of them made their way to Hampden....only to be escorted out and sent homewards to think again.
I would never say that the Tartan Army are angels, all clubs and all countries have an element of fans that they can do without but it was only a minority of fans that tried to ruin what was a great occasion at Hampden that day.
The game was a very tight encounter, we watched it from the enclosure under the Main Stand and we had a great view of the match and the England substitutes warming up...but I cannot repeat what Dave shouted to Kerry Dixon that day, at least the big man took it and just turned to smile at us all !
But Kerry and his team- mates would not be smiling for long as the goal which won the match would come from a man in a dark Blue jersey !
A fantastic cross from Jim Bett found the head of Richard Gough and his header beat Peter Shilton in the England goal to give Scotland a 1-0 win and the Rous Cup and send most of the 66,489 crowd inside Hampden home happy.
So my first and only Scotland v England match was a 1-0 win for the Scots, lets hope for the same result on Wednesday and no trouble, leave the goal-posts alone!
The two men in charge of their countries on that day were Jock Stein and Bobby Robson, sadly both have passed away but both remain as legends of the game at both club and international level , their memories will live on forever.

I am sure if Jock and Sir Bobby had their way, this won't be the last time we see this old fixture !

Sean Graham

Follow on Twitter @FeaturesSean

"I am just a guy who has over 40 years of memories of watching various clubs and matches since my Dad took me round the grounds in Glasgow each week before we went to meet my Mum after work and we always went to the Berni Inn where I had scampi and chips !

From watching Aberdeen, Celtic, Rangers, Partick Thistle, Maryhill juniors and Scotland as well as watching Everton and Manchester United, I have plenty of memories to share for fans to hopefully enjoy and remember."

Memory added on August 12, 2013


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