From the Steeple to Stuttgart – Tartan Army diehard pays homage to Hibs hero as he heads to Euros in pimped-out VW campervan

Falkirk’s John McIntosh has rebranded his VW campervan in honour of ex-Scotland star John Blackley ahead of a week-long trip to reach Germany for the Euros (Pictures: Ben Kearney)Falkirk’s John McIntosh has rebranded his VW campervan in honour of ex-Scotland star John Blackley ahead of a week-long trip to reach Germany for the Euros (Pictures: Ben Kearney)
Falkirk’s John McIntosh has rebranded his VW campervan in honour of ex-Scotland star John Blackley ahead of a week-long trip to reach Germany for the Euros (Pictures: Ben Kearney)
A diehard Tartan Army fan from Falkirk is travelling to Germany in true style – with the aid of pimped-out Volkswagen camper van.

And John McIntosh’s mode of transport pays homage to former Scotland star and Westquarter resident John Blackley, who helped the national team to a 2-0 win over Zaire at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany – 50 years to the day that the Euros kick-off in Munich next Friday night.

Nicknamed the ‘Sloop John B Express’ after The Beach Boys’ 1960s hit of the same name, the VW classic, which has had its Tartan Army rebrand from being called Elvis, will hit the streets of Munich, Cologne and Stuttgart as realtor McIntosh – and a select group of pals – make the most of big occasion.

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“I’ve owned Elvis for 18 years now, and driven all over Europe with him,” McIntosh explained.

Falkirk’s John McIntosh has rebranded his VW campervan in honour of ex-Scotland star John Blackley ahead of a week-long trip to reach Germany for the Euros (Pictures: Ben Kearney)Falkirk’s John McIntosh has rebranded his VW campervan in honour of ex-Scotland star John Blackley ahead of a week-long trip to reach Germany for the Euros (Pictures: Ben Kearney)
Falkirk’s John McIntosh has rebranded his VW campervan in honour of ex-Scotland star John Blackley ahead of a week-long trip to reach Germany for the Euros (Pictures: Ben Kearney)

"When we qualified, and got the draw with the opening game against Germany, I knew I was going to head over, and I started watching documentaries from yesteryear as you do. My pal Colin Inglis managed to put me in contact with John and that was it, I just went out and made it happen.

"I’ve known of John and it was just an amazing story that he’s from the area and played 50 years to the day for Scotland against Zaire, and it is even more amazing that the match was in Germany too. That Scotland team was full of real legends.

"He is a total icon of the game and such a humble man – I wanted to pay homage to him and the van has turned out brilliantly. His nickname was Sloop John B and Elvis has now had a wee rebrand.”

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Tartan Army-daft McIntosh added: “We’re often seen as glorious failures but that Scotland team back in 1974 were the only unbeaten team in the tournament. They lost out on going through by a single goal.

"John is one a select few to have played for Scotland at a World Cup and he is well worth honouring. It was brilliant to meet him and have a chat.

"It is a one way journey for now – I think we will make it out of the groups and surprise a few, and I’ll be there with the van for it. It is a one way ticket for me just now.

"France 98 was the last real time the Tartan Army had this sort of trip, the amount of going will be bigger than the quoted figures, we’ll take over the place.

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"I have to thank Callum and the guys at Appeal Media for helping sort out the VW’s design.”

Hibs icon Blackley, who was famously one of Turnbull’s Tornadoes who won the 1972 League Cup, admitted the van came as shock.

"It’s certainly tasty,” he joked. “It is a nice story and I know John is looking forward to his trip. The van looks great and I am hoping that he gets there and back safely!

“Looking back to that time 50 years ago, I was preparing for a World Cup, and that is amazing to think about now. It was so special to play in that game against Zaire – I didn’t actually think I was going to be invovled.

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"I’m with John, Steve Clarke’s a great boss – we have a real chance of getting through. I think we can surprise a few. The fans deserve it.

"The first game against Germany brings extra pressure but I think our guys will relish it and settle into the match.

"Defensively we are strong and that is probably overlooked a wee bit at the moment. That makes a difference against strong teams like Germany.”