by Kevin Williamson
They say you can’t turn back the clock. And for good reason. Time only flows in one direction. But tomorrow, at high noon, Saturday 1st December, a Scottish football team will reignite the glory days of the world’s oldest football international. A Scottish writers select (including yours truly) will take to the field to do battle with the auld enemy, England. This is the big one. Wembley 67, Lisbon 67, Tynecastle 73 all pale into insignificance compared to the resurrected Home International fixture that will kick off at midday tomorrow at West of Scotland Cricket Club, Partick.
Local MSP, Sandra White has tabled a motion of support in the Scottish Parliament. She explains to Holyrood, and indeed to the nation, what’s at stake:
S4M-5059: Scottish Writers FC vs English Writers FC
That the Parliament welcomes what it considers will be an extraordinary football match to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the first ever game between Scotland and England; notes that the tie, between Scottish Writers FC and English Writers FC, is scheduled to be played on 1 December 2012 at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick, Glasgow, the site of the original international; believes that such a unique game, between two teams of writers, has never been played before; considers that it will see brilliant examples of footballing talent, which will include Christopher Brookmyre and Kevin Williamson in the Scottish team, and hopes that the Scots’ literary prowess will overpower any fancy footwork from the English team.
It was very nice of Sandra White to mention the two pensioners in the Scottish team but there’s a dazzling array of talent in both teams. Household names alongside up and coming scribes. I may be biased but for me the Scotland Team has the edge. On paper.
An optimistic team coach, Allan Wilson, had this to say:
“The dismissal of Scotland manager Craig Levein sees the national side fall to their lowest position in the FIFA world rankings since the days of Berti Vogts. With World Cup qualification already looking beyond them, the Scots travel to Luxembourg on November 14 in search of a confidence-boosting win. However, many fans believe that hope lies not with the national team but with a group of Scottish Writers set restore national pride in a grudge game against England writers on December 1st. Duncan Thaw, a member of the Tartan Army, was today marching outside Hampden Park carrying a banner reading ‘There’s only one Alasdair Gray.’ When asked how he felt about the current situation, Thaw replied, ‘as long as the boys can go out and do it against England then I’ll die a happy man.’ Sky Sports can exclusively reveal that Mr Gray will not be taking part in the game.”
The stage is set. In 1872 the match ended in a scud all draw. Can the Scots go one better tomorrow in their inaugural match against an experienced English squad? If you’re in Glasgow tomorrow why not come down to West of Scotland Cricket Club at midday and see for yourself as 22 nimble (and not so nimble) writers chase after something a bit more substantial than the next book advance.
After the match, a literary death match will take place at 9pm. Details in the poster below.