Antagonism And Conflict Fuel England's Rivalry With Scotland
Zeeshan Mehtab 2 months ago Wed 16th June 2021 | 08:40 AM
London, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Jun, 2021 ) :When England face Scotland in Friday's Euro 2020 clash at Wembley, the first meeting between the rivals in four years will renew a bitter feud stoked by centuries of antagonism and conflict.
From Scottish fans swinging triumphantly on the Wembley crossbar in 1977 to Paul Gascoigne's virtuoso goal at Euro 96, the volatile relationship between England and Scotland has produced moments of anarchy and beauty in equal measure.
The enmity on both sides of Hadrian's Wall is fuelled by political posturing and ancient tales of William Wallace leading the Scots in the First War of Independence against England in the 13th Century.
Friday's showdown will be the 115th between the countries and despite England's superior talent pool, Scotland have managed 41 wins compared to 48 for the Auld Enemy.
"Historically, we've not always been the best of friends. They were great games to play in," former Scotland captain Graeme Souness said.
"You could never play at Wembley enough and Hampden was a special occasion as well because you had over 100,000 people who were going crazy for it." Iconic moments abound in the ancient rivalry, with one of the first coming in 1928 when Scotland's 'Wembley Wizards' thrashed England 5-1.
Arguably, Scotland's greatest victory came in 1967 when Denis Law inspired a 3-2 success that handed England their first defeat since Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup a year earlier.
Scotland mischievously crowned themselves unofficial world champions that day.
A 2-1 victory at Wembley in 1977 triggered a pitch invasion from thousands of Scottish fans who broke the goalposts and crossbars in the ensuing chaos.
England supporters grew tired of the invading hordes running riot and the annual end of season meeting between the countries became friendly in name only.
Matches were often ruined as hooligan gangs clashed in the blood-splattered streets around Wembley and Hampden Park.
The violence became so spiteful and the number of arrests so high that by 1989 football authorities decided to abandon the fixture.
They didn't play again for seven years until England won 2-0 in a Euro 96 group game at Wembley.
"I've never felt a buzz like it because it's England-Scotland. What I'll always remember is the atmosphere," said Jamie Redknapp, who came on for England at half-time.
"The fixture is like no other. It's just the fierceness of the rivalry." That was their only major tournament meeting until this week.
After 23 years in the international wilderness, Scotland fans -- forced to support 'Anyone but England' at tournaments since 1998 -- finally have a chance to turn the tables.
But ominously for Steve Clarke's side, England have lost only one of the last 11 encounters over a 35-year period.
Even that 1-0 defeat in a European Championship play-off second leg in 1999 wasn't enough to stop England qualifying on aggregate.
An attendance of only 22,500 due to coronavirus restrictions, just 2,500 of which will be supporting Scotland, won't stop the volume being cranked up and sparks are sure to fly on the pitch as the fierce rivalry resumes.