It was the day Wembley turned tartan. As the final whistle confirmed Scotland’s 2-1 victory over England and their triumph in the British Home Championship, hordes of jubilant kilt-wearing, Saltire-waving Scots stormed the pitch.
That Wembley win on June 4, 1977 became the iconic moment – a Woodstock moment – for a generation of football fans from north of the border, the ultimate ‘I was there’ claim.
With just 3,500 Scots allowed tickets for their Euros clash against the Auld Enemy, there won’t be a repeat of these scenes tomorrow. Nonetheless, a Scottish win would be met with wild celebrations north of the border.
The victory in 1977 saw thousands of elated Scots leaped from the stands onto the pitch, before jumping onto the crossbar and snapping it in half. Even the hallowed turf itself was ripped up and stuff into pockets as souvenirs.
Covid rules will dampen the build-up this year, although up to 10,000 ticketless Scottish fans are expected to descend on the capital ahead of tomorrow night’s clash.
The Tartan Army traditionally congregates at Trafalgar Square before matches against England, but it is a fan zone for key workers only. Politicians including London Mayor Sadiq Khan have pleaded for them to stay away.
June 4, 1977: Scottish football fans invade the pitch and wreck the goalposts after beating England 2-1 in a Home International match. With just 3,500 Scots allowed tickets for their Euros clash against the Auld Enemy, there won’t be a repeat of these scenes tomorrow. Nonetheless, a Scottish win would be met with wild celebrations north of the border
1977: The victory in 1977 saw thousands of elated Scots leaped from the stands onto the pitch, before jumping onto the crossbar and snapping it in half. Even the hallowed turf itself was ripped up and stuff into pockets as souvenirs
1977: The majority of the Scottish support at Wembley rushed onto the field at the final whistle. Covid rules will dampen the build-up to tomorrow’s game, although up to 10,000 ticketless Scottish fans are still expected to descend on the capital
1977: At least two-thirds of the 98,103 crowd at Wembley that afternoon were Scottish, revelling in the excesses of what had become a biennial pilgrimage to London to see their heroes take on the Auld Enemy
1977: As a live television audience watched on, BBC commentator John Motson’s tone could be heard changing from describing scenes of undiluted joy turn into mindless vandalism as the stadium and the goal posts were wrecked
1977: The man that snapped the crossbar was 21-year-old Alec Torrance, who became something of a Scottish celebrity. He later recalled: ‘Those were Bay City Roller days and I’m sorry to say that I was wearing a tartan shirt, brown flares and platform shoes.’ Pictured are other fans outside Wembley carrying turf from the pitch
1977: When Torrance passed away in 2010, one of those who sent flowers was Rod Stewart. The singer and die-hard Scotland fan was on the Wembley pitch that day and can be seen in photographs being lifted up by joyous fans. Pictured is a wide view of Scottish fans on the pitch
1977: Scottish supporters celebrating their side’s first goal in the 2-1 clash, which has gone down in the country’s football folklore
1977: The Tartan Army traditionally congregates at Trafalgar Square before matches against England, (as seen in this image from 1977) but it is a fan zone for key workers only. Politicians including London Mayor Sadiq Khan have pleaded for them to stay away
1977: Scottish fans in one of the fountains in Trafalgar Square ahead of the historic clash. The square is the traditional gathering point for Tartan Army fans in London, but is off limits this year
1977: Fans in Trafalgar Square before the match. As many as 6,000 Scots are expected to descend on the capital by Friday, according to the Scottish Football Supporters Association – while other estimates put the figure at a massive 20,000. This is despite only 2,800 tickets sold to Scotland fans for the game
1974: Scotland beat England 2-0 in 1974. Pictured are members of the Tartan Army celebrating the win at Wembley Stadium in London
1975: Scottish fans arrive at King’s Cross Station the day before facing off against England on May 23, 1975
1975: Scottish fans in the Trafalgar Square fountain before their game against England, which that year saw the Three Lions thrash them 5-1
1975: Tartan Army members block the streets of London before their game. Scottish fans are always a major presence in the capital on their trips south
1975: Scottish fans leaving St Pancras to travel to Wembley. All 32 trains departing Edinburgh and Glasgow for the capital on Friday are fully booked, and southbound services from Manchester are also extremely busy
April 6, 1957: Good-humoured Scottish football fans await the kick-off of an England versus Scotland match at Wembley. Matches between the two sides have always been a matter of great national importance and used to be a regular fixture, eagerly anticipated by both sets of fans
1973: John Gardner, a Scottish football fan drinking a can of McEwan’s Export India Pale Ale whilst in London for a Home International Championship match between England and Scotland at the Empire Stadium in Wembley on May 19, 1973
May 24, 1975: Scottish football fans climbing all over the goal posts after England beat Scotland 5-1 at Wembley. Matches between the two sides have always been a matter of great national importance and used to be a regular fixture, eagerly anticipated by both sets of fans
1975: Eager Scottish football fans making their way to Wembley Stadium for the international match against England. Because of a Tube strike that year, they had to travel by lorry
1975: Scotland fans hold up tartan while sitting on the Trafalgar Square lion before a game against the Auld Enemy in 1975
1975: Fans travelling by truck because of a Tube strike. This week, ticketless Scotland supporters were urged to stay away from Wembley for the match – with Sadiq Khan performing a u-turn on Scottish fans travelling down to London
1979: Scottish football fans living it up in Trafalgar Square on the day England played Scotland at Wembley Stadium. England beat Jock Stein’s Scottish team 3-1
June 15, 1996: Scottish fans playing the bagpipes before the start of the England v Scotland Euros game in 1996. England won 2-0
In a more recent photo, taken on August 14, 2013, Scotland fans climb a fountain in Trafalgar Square before a friendly game
Trafalgar Square (where Scottish fans are seen in 2013) will be off limits this year because it has been reserved for key workers
After previously welcoming fans as a much-needed boost to the capital’s hard-hit hospitality industry, Sadiq Khan said they pose a ‘serious risk’ to spreading Covid. Pictured are Scottish fans in 2013