My Euro 2016 plea? Please don’t let it be them!

Stuart Barber.
Stuart Barber.

Who would bet against the Stade Veledrome, Marseille, becoming one of the favourite grounds in the world for Scots fans 71 days from now and Russia being toasted in pubs around the country after they have delivered the UEFA Euro 2016 result we are all praying for?

The event in France is unfortunately yet another top tourney we will not be involved in.

But in my view that doesn’t mean we can’t lend our support to those who have made it – the first three that spring to mind for me being Russia, Wales and Slovakia.

Saturday, June 11, Thursday, June 16 and Monday, June 20, 2016 could be dates that will rank right up there with Saturday, April 15, 1967, the famous day Scotland manager Bobby Brown’s Wembley Wizards grabbed the unofficial Champions of the World crown by beating the official World Champions on their own pitch.

Totally predictably, last Saturday’s friendly win over Germany is already being taken as the excuse to crank up England’s chances of actually winning the thing.

In the face of such nonsense – and this has nothing to do with the fact we won’t be there – I’m encouraged by what happened that spring day all these years ago when the underdogs took on the top dogs and ‘sent them home (okay they didn’t have to travel far) to think again!’

Russia, Wales and Slovakia don’t have a Dennis Law or Jim Baxter – but they have talent enough to earn our appreciation for years to come.

As the clock ticks down towards the match, I for one am endorsing the message used by Camelot to promote their National Lottery – “Please, don’t let it be them!”