FOUR future Lisbon Lions combined to work their magic in one of the most memorable days in Scotland international history.
On April 15 1967 at Wembley, Ronnie Simpson, Tommy Gemmell, Willie Wallace and Bobby Lennox lined up with their team-mates to face world champions England who went into the game on the back of a 19-game unbeaten run.
“We were told we were no-hopers,” admitted Gemmell who played right-back on the memorable occasion. “Oh, yeah? We had a lot to prove that afternoon.”
It’s in the history books now that debut boss Bobby Brown saw his team overcome Sir Alf Ramsey’s so-called global kings 3-2 with goals from Denis Law, Lennox and Jim McCalliog, the Sheffield Wednesday midfielder who was making his international baptism at the age of 20.
Remarkably, keeper Simpson was also taking a bow at this level – SIXTEEN years older than the matchwinner.
LISBON LION LASHES LEVELLER…Tommy Gemmell thunders in the sensational equaliser with Celtic on their way to history.
Twelve days later in Lisbon, Gemmell, who thundered in the unforgettable equaliser, the veteran netminder, Wallace and Lennox became the first UK club to conquer Europe as they overcame the mighty Inter Milan 2-1 to lift the European Cup.
Tonight at Wembley, Steve Clarke will be hoping dreams can come true for his current Scotland side as they take on Gareth Southgate’s men in their vital Euros confrontation.
The visitors already face an uphill challenge to qualify from Group D after their disappointing 2-0 reverse against Czech Republic in Glasgow on Monday while tonight’s rivals relied on a solitary striker from Raheem Sterling to overcome Croatia at Wembley.
The Auld Enemy have not come face to face since the 2-2 World Cup qualifying stalemate at Hampden in 2017 where Leigh Griffiths thumped two spectacular free-kicks beyond Joe Hart.
Those strikes gave Gordon Strachan’s team a 2-1 advantage going into the closing stages, but victory was snatched from their grasp when Harry Kane beat Craig Gordon in the last minute following some dreadful defending at a free-kick.
Of the 114 previous matches played between the Auld Enemy, Scotland have won 41 to England’s 48.
ONE…Leigh Griffiths curls in the first of his free-kick goals in the 2-2 draw with England at Hampden in 2017.
TWO…Griffths delivers another killer deadball to put Scotland ahead.
CHEERS…Griffiths celebrates with Kieran Tierney racing to catch up.
Clarke’s players have the opportunity to add another win tonight and give their Euro hopes the kiss of life.
CQN turns the spotlight on 10 of Scotland’s most stirring triumphs over their neighbours in the world’s oldest international fixture which could inspire Callum McGregor and Co this time around.
1999: ENGLAND 0 SCOTLAND 1
CRAIG BROWN’S side had lost 2-0 to a double strike from Paul Scholes in the first leg of the Euro 2000 qualifying play-off at Hampden, but were in a determined mood in the return at Wembley.
Manfully, they took the game to Kevin Keegan’s side and Don Hutchison scored with a towering header beyond David Seaman to pull back a goal. Late in the game, Christian Dailly powered in a header that hurtling towards the net before the English keeper threw up a hand to divert it to safety. The game was the final meeting of the nations to be played under Wembley’s famous twin towers.
1985: SCOTLAND 1 ENGLAND 0
AFTER the demise of the British Home International Championship, the Rous Cup was initially established to continue the traditional annual game between the two sides.
It poured with rain all day as Scotland stuck to their tsk and they received their reward in the 68th minute when skipper Richard Gough leapt magnificently to get his head to a left-wing cross from Jim Bett to divert an effort high past the helpless Peter Shilton.
RISE AND SHINE…Gordon McQueen leaps above the English defence to power in the first goal in the 2-1 win in 1977.
1977: ENGLAND 1 SCOTLAND 2
A 10-YEAR wait for a Scotland win over England came via a flashing header from Gordon McQueen and an opportunist effort from Kenny Dalglish as new boss Ally MacLeod celebrated a memorable debut.
Unfortunately, it all unravelled a year later during the World Cup Finals in Argentina, but an unforgettable goal from Archie Gemmill helped in a 3-2 win over Holland which was at least some consolation. For the second successive competition, following West Germany in 1974, Scotland lost out on goal difference.
1967: ENGLAND 2 SCOTLAND 3
DEBUTANT Jim McCalliog was the matchwinner when the Sheffield Wednesday midfielder rifled the winner past Gordon Banks.
In a rousing encounter, Denis Law snapped up the opener and Bobby Lennox whipped in a second. Jack Charlton pulled one back before McCalliog’s timely intervention at the other end. A reply from Geoff Hurst in the fading moment could not prevent the world champions from losing their first game in 20.
THREE CHEERS…Jim McCalliog celebrates his winning strike in 1967 with Denis Law about to congratulate him.
1962: SCOTLAND 2 ENGLAND 0
JUST a year after a humilitaing 9-3 flop at Wembley, Scotland gained revenge in blistering fashion at Hampden.
Davie Wilson, the flying left-winger, and Eric Caldow, a classy left-back, were the men who got the goals in real team job. Denis Law tormented the English defence all day and set up the crucial opener for Wilson. Caldow made certain with a penalty-kick past Ron Springett in the second-half.
1963: ENGLAND 1 SCOTLAND 2
JIM BAXTER scored two goals in three first-half minutes to give the Scots a memorable return to Wembley.
The flamboyant midfielder left Gordon Banks helpless at his near post with the first in the 29th minute before the visitors were awarded a penalty-kick shortly afterwards. The Fifer nonchalantly sent the keeper the wrong way to put the Scots on the way. Bryan Douglas netted a late consolation for the home side who were well beaten over 90 minutes that unfortunately saw Eric Caldow carried off with a broken leg early in proceedings following a clash with burly centre-forward Bobby Smith.
1964: SCOTLAND 1 ENGLAND 0
IT was another rainy day in the south side of Glasgow, but the home fans were singing in the rain as they watched their country beat England for the third successive game – still seeking vengeance for the 9-3 x-certificate result.
The game was scoreless when the Scots forced a corner-kick on the left in the 72nd minute. Davie Wilson floated the ball into the crowded penalty box where Dundee’s Alan Gilzean leapt in superb fashion to thunder a header beyond the stranded Gordon Banks.
1928: ENGLAND 1 SCOTLAND 5
JUST under a century ago, the team that became known as the Wembley Wizards ran amok against their bewildered opponents.
The English could not cope with with the wiles of the Scots with Huddersfield’s Alex Jackson claiming a sizzling hat-trick while Preston’s Alex James notched the other two. The Scots were unstoppable as they put the opponents to the sword. Many within the 80,868 capacity crowd commented that the visitors should have scored more as they took the bragging rights back across the border.
1878: SCOTLAND 7 ENGLAND 2
A RUNAWAY triumph in Glasgow was one of many thrashings Scotland inflicted upon England in the 1880s.
With a reported 15,000 fans in attendance at the first Hampden Park, the home nation raced to victory as John McDougall fired in a hat-trick with Henry McNeil (2), John McGregor and William MacKinnon adding the others to obliterate the visitors who were happy to hear the final whistle.
1882: SCOTLAND 5 ENGLAND 1
CAPTAINED by Andrew Watson, Scotland’s first black footballer, a team made up of players solely from the country’s then top amateur side Queen’s Park put in a dominant second-half performance saw the visitors collapse under constant pressure.
Goals from Geordie Ker (2), William Harrower, Robert McPherson and John Kay made certain of victory.