On the Road to Falkirk with Archie’s Army

Archie in 1985.
Archie in 1985.

It was 20 years ago today that the Scotland team taught its fans to pray... that we really could hope to qualify for a major football tournament.

That was “the Golden Age”, according to iconic sports commentator Archie MacPherson, who brings a hefty dash of tartan-tinged football nostalgia to the Falkirk Storytelling Festival tomorrow.

Iconic sports commentator Archie Macpherson is at the Howgate tomorrow.

Iconic sports commentator Archie Macpherson is at the Howgate tomorrow.

Expect a bitter-sweet, lingering look at the glory years - 1974 - 1998 - when (just about) anything seemed possible.

Archie’s Adventures in the Golden Age book, forming the basis of his jaunt down memory lane, promises to lift the lid on the managerial clashes, the “nocturnal antics”, the alleged shadiness of “FIFA’s spivs”, and - perhaps inevitably - the agony of that fateful “last evening in France” in 1998.

What went wrong? How can we put it right?

Archie, the elder statesman of Scottish football journalism, will give his own unique perspective on our troubled relationship with the game with the leathern sphere ... and maybe even tell us about his own early personal experience as an amateurs player with Queens Park,

Look back in anguish - former Scotland manager Ally McLeod in Argentina in 1978.

Look back in anguish - former Scotland manager Ally McLeod in Argentina in 1978.

More to the point, perhaps, he is certain to have some choice anecdotes about the 18 Scottish World Cup matches he narrated, and the larger-than-life personalities that carved a unique - hopefully not final - chapter in our nation’s sporting history.

Archie is at the Howgate Shopping Centre tomorrow (free event) between 1pm and 2pm.