Scotland fan, 20, completes gruelling 1,000 mile walking challenge from Glasgow to Munich ahead of Euro 2024 campaign and celebrates with a bottle of champagne – as thousands of fans arrive in city for country’s curtain-raiser opening match with Germany

A kilt-clad Scotland fan has celebrated with his countrymen after he successfully walked 1,000 miles from his home to Germany for the start of the Euros.

Craig Ferguson, 20, was given a hero’s welcome when he arrived in Munich’s central square on Thursday as hundreds of Scots showered him with applause and champagne.

The waiter from Paisley in Renfrewshire made the gruelling journey to raise money for Glasgow male suicide prevention charity Brothers In Arms.

His feat of endurance comes just ahead of his country’s curtain-raiser opening match against the host nation on Friday.

Mr Ferguson’s entrance in Munich was celebrated by his fellow Scottish fans who have travelled in their tens of thousands to Germany ahead of the match. 

The waiter from Paisley in Renfrewshire, pictured here with five-year-old nephew Aedan Ferguson and niece Orlaith Ferguson, eight, began his trek at Glasgow’s Hampden Park

While he acknowledged the celebrations, hundreds of fellow Scots belted out their national anthem the Flower of Scotland while the bagpipes played. 

Like most Scots making the journey, he didn’t have a ticket for the match, but following his £50,000 fundraising effort, he was handed a ticket by Euro 2024 sponsors Peoples BYD.

He said: ‘It’s just been a bit of adrenaline that’s carried me over the finish line. I’d be lying if I said that this hasn’t been the hardest thing I’ve ever done

‘I think while entering Germany I just used the adrenaline and the motivation of almost being at the finish line to just really carry me over.

‘It’s been hard. It’s been up, it’s been down.

‘All of that, I would not change it for a second. Every last bit of this journey, the good, the bad has led me to here.

Scotland's players have arrived in Munich ahead of their opener against the hosts on Friday

Scotland’s players have arrived in Munich ahead of their opener against the hosts on Friday

A Scotland fan in the fountain at Marienplatz central square in Munich on Thursday

A Scotland fan in the fountain at Marienplatz central square in Munich on Thursday

The Tartan Army were making the most of the sunny weather in Munich on Thursday

The Tartan Army were making the most of the sunny weather in Munich on Thursday

A Scotland fan leaps into the fountain as the fans prepare for the opening match against Germany

A Scotland fan leaps into the fountain as the fans prepare for the opening match against Germany

Scotland fans sing songs while brandishing colourfully decorated scarfs

Scotland fans sing songs while brandishing colourfully decorated scarfs

Scotland have the honour of opening the tournament by facing Germany in the first match tomorrow, and supporters have already made their presence felt in the Bavarian capital

Scotland have the honour of opening the tournament by facing Germany in the first match tomorrow, and supporters have already made their presence felt in the Bavarian capital

A group of Scotland fans pose alongside a saltire in the centre of Munich

A group of Scotland fans pose alongside a saltire in the centre of Munich 

A pair of Scotland fans in high spirits as they drink steins in Munich

A pair of Scotland fans in high spirits as they drink steins in Munich 

There was a festival atmosphere on Marienplatz today ahead of tomorrow night's game

There was a festival atmosphere on Marienplatz today ahead of tomorrow night’s game 

An aerial photo showing the huge crowds gathered in the square

An aerial photo showing the huge crowds gathered in the square 

A piper leads Scotland fans for a singalong in Munich this afternoon

A piper leads Scotland fans for a singalong in Munich this afternoon 

Craig Ferguson, 20, has walked 1,000 miles from Scotland to Germany for Euro 2024

Craig Ferguson, 20, has walked 1,000 miles from Scotland to Germany for Euro 2024

‘We’ve raised over £50k for charity for such an important topic. I wouldn’t change it for the world and I’m so glad we’ve managed to make it.’ 

Meanwhile, other Scots have been making the journey to Munich in a touch more style.

More than 150 Tartan Army fans flew out to the Euros from Inverness on Thursday after an enterprising publican hired a plane and told the carrier to double their beer stock.

Don Lawson teamed up with local firm SJ Travel to charter the private jet for £90,000.

They then put together Tartan Army hotel and ticket deals for Scotland football fans living locally.

Such has been the popularity of the venture, Mr Lawson, 62, who owns Johnny Foxes and Jimmy Badgers in Inverness, said he could have filled ‘two or three planes’ given enough notice.

Scotland fans will be hoping their side can pull off a surprise result against Germany tomorrow

Scotland fans will be hoping their side can pull off a surprise result against Germany tomorrow 

Fans were in good spirits ahead of the clash

Fans were in good spirits ahead of the clash 

A Saltire-wearing fan holds two steins of beer in Munich today

A Saltire-wearing fan holds two steins of beer in Munich today 

Scotland fans have taken over most of the square in the centre of Munich

Scotland fans have taken over most of the square in the centre of Munich 

A man carries a crate of beer back to his friends

A man carries a crate of beer back to his friends 

National coach Stevie Clarke’s team head for the finals in buoyant mood after beating Spain and Erling Haaland’s Norway en-route to their second consecutive Euro finals.

But with prices soaring on all exit routes from the UK to Germany, Mr Lawson was keen to ensure local Tartan Army foot soldiers could have their heads up in the clouds as well.

A veteran of a great many Scotland football travel adventures over the years, Mr Lawson, knew there would be high demand for in-flight refreshments as the chartered Polish plane departed Inverness airport for Munich.

‘So I suggested that they stock up with four cans per passenger – otherwise they would run out by row three or four,’ he said.

‘Unfortunately, aviation rules mean our Tartan Army guests would not be able to bring their own carry-outs on board.

‘We knew there would be a bit of a party mood among our Highland Tartan Army travellers so we put in a request that the airline stocks up on double its usual amount of beer for the trip.”

Scotland's soccer team fans drink beer in 'Marienplatz' square next to the town hall

Scotland’s soccer team fans drink beer in ‘Marienplatz’ square next to the town hall 

An impromptu football game breaks out among the assembled supporters

An impromptu football game breaks out among the assembled supporters 

Scotland fans at Marienplatz central square on Thursday

Scotland fans at Marienplatz central square on Thursday

Packages for a one-way flight to the Bavarian capital started at £399, return flights at £795, with full match ticket, flight and hotel deals costing up to £4,200.

For those who have booked a return flight, it will leave on June 24 from Stuttgart Airport.

And there was a surprise for one ticketless fan on the flight.

‘I had a last minute cancellation from a guy who was ill, so I will pick a deserving fan on the flight. The ticket will be sold at face value. They are category one tickets costing Euros 600,” said Mr Lawson.

‘I think this will be the first Scottish team to qualify from the group stages and I think we will beat Germany 2-1. The Highland Roar will be heard in Germany for sure. If we reach the last four we will try and charter another plane.’

Mr Lawson, who also owns the Tartan Army trademark, will be among the crowd when Scotland take on Germany on Friday.

Scotland fans drinking beer in the main square of Munich today

Scotland fans drinking beer in the main square of Munich today 

Scotland fans enjoying cans of Euros branded beer in Munich central square

Scotland fans enjoying cans of Euros branded beer in Munich central square 

It was a beautiful day in Munich despite forecasts for rain

It was a beautiful day in Munich despite forecasts for rain 

Meanwhile, admirers have been praising Mr Ferguson online for his heroics in making the long journey on only two legs, with one fan posting: ‘Give him free tickets to any games he wants, and as much beer as he wants for free.’

And he was also told: ‘Someone better have a pint waiting for him when he gets to Munich – what a fantastic effort and a fantastic cause.’ 

He has also been backed by Scottish singing duo the Proclaimers, whose hits include I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and who posted a video message about him. 

They said: ‘We’re The Proclaimers and this is going out to Craig Ferguson on your fantastic endeavour in walking a thousand miles into Germany.

“All the very very best and congratulations on your effort. Well done.’

Mr Ferguson, previously described any chance of watching Scotland manager Steve Clarke’s men in action as ‘a bonus’.

He said of his trek: ‘It’s been the journey of a lifetime.

‘I’ve got a love for travel and exploring anyway, but on this journey going through so many different towns, cities and villages you meet so many amazing people.

Admirers of Craig Ferguson (pictured) have been praising him online, with one fan posting: 'Give him free tickets to any games he wants, and as much beer as he wants for free'

Admirers of Craig Ferguson (pictured) have been praising him online, with one fan posting: ‘Give him free tickets to any games he wants, and as much beer as he wants for free’

Another wrote: 'Amazing. Some people can't even walk 12,000 steps. Hope they get him a ticket for at least one of the matches'

Another wrote: ‘Amazing. Some people can’t even walk 12,000 steps. Hope they get him a ticket for at least one of the matches’

He has also been backed by Scottish singing duo the Proclaimers, whose hits include I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) and who posted a video message about him

He has also been backed by Scottish singing duo the Proclaimers, whose hits include I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and who posted a video message about him

Craig Ferguson was sharing videos of his progress during the trek on TikTok

Craig Ferguson was sharing videos of his progress during the trek on TikTok

He has raised more than £50,000 for male suicide prevention charity Brothers In Arms

He has raised more than £50,000 for male suicide prevention charity Brothers In Arms

He has described the walk as 'the journey of a lifetime'

He has described the walk as ‘the journey of a lifetime’

‘It really has been something so special so far.’

He began his walk at Scotland’s national stadium Hampden Park in Glasgow, where the side played their last pre-Euros match last Friday – a 2-2 draw with Finland. 

The mission has taken him through Scotland, England and on a ferry to the Netherlands, then Belgium and Luxembourg – with overnight stays in hotels to provide some much-needed rest.

He said: ‘It’s honestly amazing. You don’t realise how far you’ve come on a journey like this until you take a step back and zoom out on a map and go, “Oh God, I’ve come quite a distance”.’

Mr Ferguson was prompted to carry out the walk after losing family and friends who suffered mental health difficulties.

He said: ‘If I can spread a little bit of positivity and awareness of that cause throughout the challenge I’ll be dead happy with that.’

Brothers In Arms founder Dan Proverbs said: ‘Craig’s determination and passion are truly inspiring.

‘His walk has not only raised much-needed funds but also brought attention to the vital issue of men’s mental health.

‘The outpouring of support he has received shows just how much his story has resonated with people. We are incredibly proud of what he has achieved.’

Scotland face not only hosts Germany but also Switzerland and Hungary in Group A.

Craig Ferguson began his walk at Scotland's national stadium Hampden Park in Glasgow

Craig Ferguson began his walk at Scotland’s national stadium Hampden Park in Glasgow

He set off on the 1,000-mile trek to Germany on May 4 - waved on his way by enthusiastic fans

He set off on the 1,000-mile trek to Germany on May 4 – waved on his way by enthusiastic fans

Mr Ferguson said he was prompted to carry out the walk after losing family and friends who suffered mental health difficulties

Mr Ferguson said he was prompted to carry out the walk after losing family and friends who suffered mental health difficulties

They are taking part in only their second major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France, having previously competed in the Covid-delayed Euro 2020 finals. 

A bagpipe player provided a welcome at Munich airport for fans travelling over from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports ahead of Friday’s game.

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate’s England are in Group C – with an initial fixture against Serbia this Sunday evening.

They then take on Denmark on Thursday next week and Slovenia five days later. 

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