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Scottish football has left its unmistakable mark on World Cups past . . .

June 21, 2014

ALWAYS loved museums. It is where, even as a child, I found fascination, consolation and, of course, my jokes. Museums, too, are now where one can find some presence of Scotland at a World Cup.

The Scottish Football Museum at Hampden has the ghosts of Jules Rimets past but they also have now a touch of tartan and a homage to Brazil in a new exhibition. There is a signed Santos jersey from Pele, a jersey from Zico and a signed Brazil shirt from Kaka. There are also souvenir pendants from some Brazil games and all the exhibits are mounted on a stark yellow and blue tartan created by Scottish fashion designer, Michael Lemetti.

The authentic Scottish football tartan is, of course, hypothermic blue on a chilled marble to denote that Caledonian skin hue. There should be splashes of red to signify the damage inflicted by ash pitches with just a dab of purple to indicate where the iodine, dabbed on by a wire brush, was applied.

This tartan should adorn the football museums of other countries where Scottish items have been left. Here are the 10 most popular Scottish exhibits in World Cup museums to commemorate our glorious participation in the tournament.

10The Berne exhibition has a collection of false teeth left behind the goals by Scottish players in 1954. One set contains the stains of an energy drink, labelled in the museum as Fast du Buck.

9The Mexico City collection boasts a collection of Scottish teeth left behind by Uruguay tackling in 1986.

8In contrast, the Mexico City 1970 section only has one Scottish item: it contains the mummified remains of a Scottish fan who feasted on deep-fried Aztec bars. (Like the normal Mars bar with just the hint of human sacrifice).

7The football museum in Preston devotes an understandably large chunk of its space to the England win in 1966. (Funny, they never mention it on the telly). The Scottish dimension has been nominated for a Turner Prize. It consists of a video loop of people claiming a ball never crossed a line, all England matches were played at Wembley and that it was all an Anglo conspiracy, though adding that it doesn't mean much to them anyway. These protestations are broadcast in accents so thick they could be auditioning for Big Brother and with an olfactory dimension that reveals the statements were made with the accompanying whiff of Irn-Bru burp and the tang of square sausage.

6Italia '90 contains a memorable artefact. It is the complete leg skin of my mate Scotty. He spent the morning on a beach and incurred sunburn so bad that he shed a layer of skin in the manner of a snake. He was thus carried into the ground by mates. They were later carried out of the game suffering from "a bit of a hangover" or acute alcoholic poisoning as the doctors wrote on the forms pinned just above their drips.

5The Berne museum also has a Scotland jersey that so reeks of sweat it would even bring a tear to the eye of a Swiss financier. It was worn by Tommy Docherty who in 1954 was told to mark Juan Alberto Schiaffino against Uruguay. Schiaffino was superb as Uruguay edged the match 7-0. When pressed about why he could only watch rather than tackle the Uruguayan playmaker, Docherty protested: "I couldn't get near him for people slapping him on the back and shaking his hand."

4The Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid now holds a seminal document from the 1982 World Cup. It is the insurance document in which Willie Miller and Alan Hansen claim for damages on a "bump for bump" basis.

3The boulevard to Iran's home for the Ayatollah Khomeinahaveago is lined with massive bushes in homage to the perm-filled Scottish defensive wall of 1978.

2A Dadaist museum in Berlin has a fabulous imaginary exhibition. The bare space signifies the amount of genius Scotland has supplied to the World Cup in the millennium, the amount of alcohol left in a Tartan Army pint glass and the imaginary ladder used by Gordon Strachan to climb over a hoarding in his attempt to celebrate his goal against West Germany in 1986.

1The Eiffel Tower bears a reminder of the presence of the Scots at the 1998 World Cup. There is a traffic cone on the top of it.


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Source: Herald, The (Scotland)


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