I remember being incredibly excited. I could remember the previous World Cup, but had never been all that interested. Over the four years since then, I’d developed such a passion for football. My dad had taken the day off work and my mum had come home early. I returned from school to find the Saint Andrew’s Cross hanging up in the front window and rushed straight inside.
It was the opening game of France 98 and the television was filled with a sea of jubilant Scotland supporters samba dancing with the beautiful Brazilian women. What a sight, what a game. Scotland vs Brazil. I couldn’t really believe it and it was such an amazing spectacle to watch our boys in blue running out against the might of Ronaldo and co.
Within minutes we were silenced. Brazil were ahead and it felt awful. I had that feeling of dread and just wished that it wouldn’t be a whitewash, but we somehow managed to keep them out.
As the game moved on, Scotland started to move forward and we all started to think maybe we could actually get back in this game.
There it was, what we had been waiting for. We had a penalty. My whole family went crazy and my sister ran out of the room as she couldn’t bear to watch. I remember John Collins stepped up to take it and I wondered what would be going through his mind and what a terrible pressure he must feel. I needn’t have worried, as he calmly smashed it into the net and we all went wild. I could not believe it. The whole world was watching and there we were, level with Brazil.
At half time my mum’s friend came round. She said she didn’t have the nerves to watch and had taken a visit into Glasgow city centre instead. I remember her comparing Sauchiehall Street to a ghost town as everyone was at home cheering on the team. She had no idea what the score was and could not believe it when we told her it was one each.
As the second half started it continued in the same vein. I really did think we were going to take something from the game and there was part of me that even believed we were going to win . As the clock ticked on this feeling only increased until 15 minutes from the end, when I was left heartbroken by an own goal. We tried everything to get back in the match, but it just wasn’t to be.
Although we never won, I was so proud of the team and so proud to see the tartan army so glorious in defeat. What a wonderful day to be Scottish. The samba dancing continued into the night and to this day I still maintain that even though we didn’t win, we still scored more goals than Brazil. Does it really matter if one of these goals was in the wrong net?