Scotland fans light up Euros return but Schick brings the fireworks: 2021’s top ‘I was there’ sporting moments

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

After the best part of a year without fans in stadiums, the chance for Scotland supporters to descend on Hampden Park for Euro 2020 always felt like it would be a special occasion.

The country had waited 23 long years to play in a major tournament and the fact their comeback was coupled with fans returning to grounds seemed like a perfect fit.

Government guidelines meant that Hampden could only have around 10,000 fans there, but if you shut your eyes and listened to the noise you’d swear it was more.

Perhaps it was the fact fans had been gone for nearly a year, but the atmosphere before kick-off was spine-tingling. Supporters belting out the 70s pop classic ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’, which became Scotland’s anthem for the tournament, with gusto is something I’ll never forget.

After a miserable year or so of restrictions, the moments before kick-off were just pure joy and a reminder of how vital fans are to the game everyone loves.

As if the atmosphere wasn’t enough, the Czech Republic made sure it was a day to remember with one of the most outrageous goals you’ll ever see.

Striker Patrik Schick saw the ball fall to him just inside the Scotland half and, seeing goalkeeper David Marshall off his line, he let fly.

The ball flew over Marshall, who ended up in a heap in the goal, and into the net. It was struck from just under 50 yards, a record for the Euros, and for once Hampden was silenced.

No one in the ground could believe what they’d seen and, on this most joyous occasion, it was always going to take something special to silence the fans.

 (PA)
(PA)

The Czech Republic went on to win the game 2-0 but, as they left Hampden, the mood of Scotland fans was not one of utter deflation. Instead, they continued to sing songs and wave flags as they headed into Glasgow to drown their sorrows.

It was not the occasion many had been hoping for, but nonetheless it had been a day no one would ever forget.

Locals in Glasgow have often said how the atmosphere in Hampden can be poor, quite quiet, even on big occasions. That theory, however, was blown out of the water at Euro 2020 and the connection between the Scotland team and their supporters was strengthened.

After a tragic year or so, this was a day of joy and one that’ll live long in the memory - even if the result wasn’t what Scotland fans wanted.

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