When I was growing up in Belfast (too young to have noticed Northern Ireland’s heroic progress to the World Cup quarter-finals in 1958) I would lend my support to ANY of the countries from the British Isles.
So, when England won the World Cup in 1966, it was ‘my’ victory as well and I also enjoyed watching Scotland progress in tournaments during the 70s. I thought everyone was like that around here. Then, when I started working permanently in England during the early 80s, I discovered I was wrong.
I couldn’t believe the animosity of too many Scottish and Welsh football fans towards anything English. It made me understand why colleagues in the English media were indifferent towards the teams from across the borders and why they, for example, chuckled hearing how Liechtenstein had taken the lead at Hampden Park.
Scotland fans booing the ‘opposing’ anthem last Tuesday night rather sums it up. Why: because it’s the same tune as ‘God Save The Queen’? It was pathetic. They should be ashamed of themselves.