Football diary | Scotland, England and something worth winning: bragging rights

Colin Hendry on the pitch and Gazza in the dentist’s chair. Bruce Rioch kidnapped by the Tartan Army in 1977. Jim Baxter mocks the world champions by pulling stunts at Wembley in 1967. There are few things more sacred and pure in the world of sport than the rivalry between Scotland and England. This is, quite literally, the legacy of football and Tuesday friendly between the Auld foes, officially recognized as a heritage match, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the first-ever international meeting, one eye will be on the present and the other on the past.

And who better to promote this message of heritage and legacy than two of the most Victorian footballers you could ever imagine – Harry Kane and Andy Robertson – who appeared on Monday at Glasgow’s Hamilton Crescent Stadium (site of the famous goalless draw in 1872). appropriately decorated with limited edition T-shirts, along with original coats of arms – T-shirts that will later be auctioned for charity. Indeed, Kane and Robertson came close to looking like football’s early pioneers, with their teams apparently warming up at Hampden in retro threads before ditching them for tailored polyester.

Photo: Scottish FA/PA

It’s a shame, really, that both sides didn’t agree to play by the rules and equipment of the time, which is reminiscent of the thrill of watching today’s professional golfers play around St Andrews with hickory clubs. Why is there an exhibition match at all, if not to see how far Kane can drive the original pigskin into the crossbar from 12 meters? Wouldn’t it be funny to see John McGinn’s red face turn red after 90 minutes of wearing heavy cotton? Or watch Phil Foden try to run in big old shorts?

An opportunity was missed then, but it’s nice to end another sensational international break with something worth watching and winning: bragging rights. In an age of bloated tournaments, VAR, whatever, constant gambling advertising and Jordan Henderson’s moral gymnastics, there is still something good and pure about the Football Association, and the narrative behind Tuesday’s match in Glasgow reminds FIFA and UEFA that the game was invented by the people, for people, long before they appeared.


Join Rob Smyth at 7.45pm BST for MBM’s hot coverage of Scotland’s 1-1 vs. England, as Michael Butler takes on watchmaker duties for the Euro 2024 qualifiers.


“At the age of 26, I was left without a club. I didn’t know where to go, who to turn to, who I even was. I had no identity. It took me a long time to come to terms with it” – Steven Caulker, still only 31, knows what it’s like to be a professional footballer without a club. He tells Sam Dalling about his camp Behind the White Lines, where he offers a safe space and a possible second chance.

Re: Yesterday’s football diary. “I was horrified to read that the level of privilege and protection offered to Luis Rubiales may include him not knowing about Piers Morgan.” – Martin Clifford

Applause for the unique headline of the article about the confusion in Spain (yesterday’s Football Daily). Your use of colloquial Spanish expression was appropriate, precisely punctuated, and showed a worldly respect for others. It’s a pity your English isn’t always up to par” – Mike Wilner.

September 10 Tranmere’s Ian Dawes is led out through a door marked ‘Do One’ (yesterday’s Football Daily, full email edition). What’s missing is the ‘early Dawes’ joke – Declan Houton.

Send your letters to Today’s winner of our priceless letter of the day is… Martin Clifford.

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