How would you like to view this page?  
Home colours (striking white on navy) Away colours (bigger navy text on a white page - easy read version)

January 2009

1. First home and away matches?

My first ever Scotland game was at Wembley in 1988, where Peter Beardsley scored the only goal and there was a riot on the terraces at half-time; a character-building experience for a 12 year old!

Following that, my first home match wasn’t until 9-and-a-half years later, at home to Latvia in the game that clinched qualification to the World Cup… and my first “proper” away game, against Norway in Bordeaux.

2. Best away trip?

There are so many that have been absolutely superb, and the best result (1-0 against France, Sept 2007) is never in question, but in terms of the trip itself, it would probably be one of:

  • Poland in 2001 – a whole week in Poland, and so many different experiences;
  • Belarus 2005 – another week, and one where my fledgling Russian skills came in handy;
  • Austria 2005 – Graz was an amazing party destination and a laugh from start to finish;
  • Japan 2006 – complete culture shock from start to finish

I’d love to say France 98, which was great, but I was probably too young and naïve to appreciate it fully at the time, having that “we’ve got this to look forward to every 2 years” idealism at the time! I also had a surprisingly good time in Moldova, but due to food poisoning and other stories, that’s not a view shared universally by the NATA members who were present…

3. Best foreign stadium visited?

Tricky one this – there’s been so many! Again, I’d need to narrow it down from one of the following:

  • Stade de France
  • Yokohama (big, but too far from the pitch)
  • Busan World Cup Stadium
  • San Siro (great from the outside, facilities are absolutely shocking though!)
  • Olympiastadion in Munich, for its sheer iconic status
Back to top

4. Best foreign pub/club visited?
Well, my favourite pub in the world is Schumacher Stammhaus, Oststraße 123, Düsseldorf, but technically I’ve not been there on Scotland duty (except when passing through the ‘Dorf en route to somewhere else). As a pre/post match boozer with the Tartan Army, I’d plump for the over-40’s singles bar in Graz for before the game, due to the tolerant clientele and the free jukebox, and the Playboy Bar in Kobe for afterwards, for its cosyness (only 16 of us could fit in – the rest went away thirsty!) and it’s amazing flush-cum-handwasher toilet.  

5. Describe your usual match-day attire
From the ground up, Caterpillar boots (either desert boots or my dark brown hobnail-looking efforts), my lucky blue saltire kilt hose, McGregor Hunting Modern kilt, semi-dress sealskin sporran, belt with wallet pouch, a cotton t-shirt of some description (possibly with my lucky light blue “Slovenia away” diadora jersey) and occasionally a baseball cap.

I’ve owned two glengarries in the past – one fell in a taxi in Heidelberg ahead of the B game in Mannheim, and the other developed an unusual odour having been worn in the humid Japanese heat.


6. Is there anywhere you have seen Scotland play that you would like to go back to?
Germany – can’t wait for us to play a game there, preferably a midweek friendly I can bookend with Fortuna games either side! Would also love to go back to Belarus, Czech Republic (again!) and Japan or Korea, albeit with a little more advance warning this time! Back to top

7. Where have you have seen Scotland play that you would NOT like to return to?
Having been to the Faroes twice, Lithuania three times and Norway twice with a third visit pending, a break from any of those is fine with me. Of course, the only real answer to this question for me is ITALY.  

8. And where do you want to go to (but haven't yet)?
Specifically, Düsseldorf in Germany to see Scotland play a friendly (less pressure!). On a country basis, within Europe I’ve never been to Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Montenegro, Northern Ireland, Russia or Serbia, so any of those would be another pin in the map.  

9. Who's the best Scottish player that you have actually seen?
I’d honestly now say James McFadden, when he’s on form. Failing that, Barry Ferguson has for years been our most consistent top-level player, Darren Fletcher has shown touches of class and Ally McCoist was an icon in his day. I’m also genuinely excited about some of the potential young talent we have on the horizon. Back to top

10. Who's the best opposing player you have actually seen?
Zinedine Zidane in 2002, when France beat us 5-0. Also, Paul Scholes was the main reason England beat us to Euro 2000.  

11. Favourite Scottish home and away kits of all time?
My favourite home kit is, without question, the Italia 90 top with the tartan button up collar. I was also a big fan of the first Fila kit (which itself was derivative of the 1982 top). I’d have to plump for the recent Diadora sky blue short with the white and navy bands – I know it’s not universally popular, but it reminds me of a Barcelona kit from the mid-80s; this pushes the 1986 yellow shirt into second place.  

12. And your least favourite?

We’ve had some pretty minging kits over the years, including the much-feted Euro 96 tartan effort, but I’ll plump for the Fila pinstripes as my most disliked. The white away shirt with the “vomit” detail on the shoulder, circa 1996, wins it from the away choices.

Back to top

13. What is your favourite and least favourite Scotland chant/song?

I have to confess to still liking the silliness of Doe-A-Deer as well as the less controversial “walk a million miles”; the least favourite has to stand up/sit down if you hate England, as it’s a little tiresome (and does us no favours as a nation).


14. Which have been the highest and lowest points of supporting Scotland?

Aside from the euphoria of beating France in September 2007, the other biggest high is probably the Kirin Cup win, which saw Scotland become the first team from the British Isles to lift a regularly contested international trophy on foreign soil.

The lows include the 1999 play-off defeat to England, the 6-0 capitulation in Amsterdam in 2003, the near-miss in the last campaign thanks to a disastrous early goal from Italy, and paying £5 for a pint for Bruce in Norway, only for him not to drink it.


15. What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you on tour (that you're prepared to tell us about)?
All the details about the talc incident in Rimini are HERE Back to top

16. Best and worst toilets visited on tour?

Best: Japan had a vast array of cutting edge conveniences, none more so than the “transporter room” at the Asahi Brewery Restaurant. An honourable mention also to the Braveheart-themed bog at the Highlander Styrian Restaurant in Graz.

Worst: The portaloo at FC Dacia Chisinau stadium, which Ally had to come out of, fetch his camera and return to take a photo. Majori station toilets in Latvia were also pretty special.


17. Favourite domestic stadium?
Seeing as I live in England, the new Wembley is pretty spectacular and I’m looking forward to seeing Scotland there at some point (ideal scenario: 2018 World Cup Final with England nowhere in sight!). Really, though, my favourite current stadium, now The Dell has left us, is Woodside Road, home of Worthing FC: home is where the heart is!  

18. Best domestic match ever attended?

Southampton 3 Man Utd 1, Southampton 6 Man Utd 3 and Worthing 2 Crawley 0 are all up there, but really it has to be Southampton 3 Arsenal 2 in the last competitive game at The Dell, with Le Tissier coming on as a late sub and scoring the winner with his first touch!

Back to top

19. Favourite chant/song heard at a domestic match?
As sung to a rotund non-league keeper: “Have you ever seen a salad, Number 1?” followed by the second verse “Singing pie, pie, chippy, chippy, pie” – thanks to Ian for that one!  

20. Best domestic pub/club?
The Selden Arms in Worthing is a fantastic beer drinkers paradise with a very friendly atmosphere. Locally to me, The Station at the end of my road and The Garland in Redhill are also excellent, and in Glasgow I’d plump for the Allison Arms (nothing to do with the name – honest!) and The Station Bar.  

21. What are your pet hates?

Selfish inconsiderate commuters: we all have to travel the same way, so let’s be as considerate to each other as we can!? And people who say “yes, I’d like another £5 pint of lager”, then leave it undrunk for the barmaid to tip away at the end of the evening.

Also see Bruce’s list for some ideas…

Back to top

22. What makes you chuckle?
Bruce receiving calls from the Playboy Bar in Japan, with everyone singing “So Japan-easy, oh this is so Japan-easy”  

23. Best night out ever on a TA trip? (aka the "Tuesday Night in Graz Award")
That would be Tuesday night. In Graz.

24. You're stranded on a remote island in the Hebrides. Before the ship went down you managed to salvage some belongings (to help you pass the time until you're rescued) including...

1 book? A crime or spy thriller I haven’t read.

1 magazine? Something with “arty” pictures. For the stories, of course…

1 album? At the moment, it would have to be Alligator by an American band called The National.

1 film? A box set of Lost may provide some inspiration

1 beer? Schumacher Altbier.

1 spirit? Apfelkorn or Ossenkamper, both varieties of German schnapps that actually taste pleasant

And 1 famous member of the opposite sex? Lisa Snowdon, as she’d provide something soft and cosy for me to rest my weary head…

Back to top


Search NATA Online: powered by FreeFind

Copyright notice: All photographs on this site are the property of individual members of the Netley Abbey Tartan Army unless otherwise stated. The copyright of these images remains with the individual possessing the photographic negatives, and permission should ideally be sought before copying them. We are keen to prevent anyone from making financial gain from our copyrighted images, or bringing the reputation of the Netley Abbey Tartan Army into disrepute (as we are more than capable of doing this ourselves).
If anyone does wish to use these images and would like express written consent to do so, please e-mail Paul Allison using via the contact page.
© Netley Abbey Tartan Army, 2001-2008 (and beyond...)