Sunday, 18 March 2012

Scotland's Twelfth Man.

"The follaein piece kythed in the Scots Independent in October, 2007 an wi the Scottish fitba team facin some mair fykie matches in the upcomin months, A thocht noo wis the time tae recruit as mony 12th Men for the side as oo cuid get haud o. It micht help an aw gin the Scottish fitba commentators mindit whan tae haud thair wheeshts on the wireless an the telly."

Bein brocht up in a fishin faimly an in a fishin community, ye suin got tae ken there wis juist the twa kinna fowk in this warld; fisher-fowk an treds-fowk. Gin a body wisnae fisher, they wurnae “yin o oo”.

Howanever, bein fisher brocht its ain responsibeilities an fae an airly age ye aye haed drummed intae ye the things ye cuidnae dae or cuidnae say an whare an whan. A wrang word or a wrang deed at the wrang time cuid suin chynge guid luck intae a richt sair weird. There wis nae yuiss a fishin yole gaun oot tae sea gin a meinister haed setten fit abuird it that day for awbody kent a meinister abuird a yole wis richt sair luck an sic a boat wisnae like tae come ower e’en a single fish tail.

In the same kinna wey there wis certain words ye juist daurna say an maist particlar on a Sunday. Shae or shuin wis ne’er heard an got replaced wi “dinnae mentions” or “dinnaes” for short. Rats wis aye kent as “lang-tail fellaes” an salmon wis turnt intae “rid fish” or “riddies”. Coontin yer chickens wis bad luck an aw sae that celebratin a guid haul afore the fish wis abuird the yole wis juist temptin fate an shuir as guns a raip wad brek an the catch wad be tint. Whiles gin ye heard a body coontin awbody’s chickens that wey, ye micht cuid undae the damage bi crossin yer fingers an touchin wuid.

Coorse, some fowk will never lairn an fitba commentators on the wireless or the telly is juist aboot the warst o the lot. Hou aften hiv oo been watchin Scotland playin in a fitba international wi the score staundin at 1-0 for the boys wi a hauf oor tae gaun when the commentator comes oot wi, “Scotland are playing out of their skins an if they can keep this up, they’ll easily qualify for the finals!”? Coorse oo aw ken whit happens next. The words is nae suiner oot his mooth whan the ither side scores the first o three goals an Scotland’s chances is oot the windae. Talk aboot temptin fate!

On the 12t September A watched Scotland playin France at the Parc-des-Princes in Paris, on the telly.  Efter beatin thaim 1-0 at Hampden, the pundits wisnae giein the Scots muckle chance in Paris an the odds wis on a French victory but howanever, if Scotland managed tae haud thaim tae a draw, thon wad be a bigger victory nor thair win in Glesca.

Aw throu the first hauf, A haed a grip o the wuiden coffee table at the side o ma chyre wi ma fingers crossed, willin the boys tae haud oot for juist anither meinit - an then anither - an then anither till the hauf time whustle blew an A cuid relax wi the score at 0-0.

A yaised the same tactics in the saicont hauf an efter aboot quarter o an oor the commentator stertit gettin a wee bit mair cocky an sayin that if Scotland cuid only haud oot for anither hauf oor it wad hae a guid chance o qualifyin.

“Man o man wull ye stop temptin fate that wey!” A shouted then grippit the edge o the table wi twa sets o crossed fingers. It wis a braw guid job A did that for the neist thing ye kent, Craig Gordon haed taen a goal kick an the ba endit up at Jimmy McFadden’s feet. He birlt roond an blootered the ba intae the French goal fae aboot thirty yairds. The goalie managed tae get a haund tae it but the ba juist aboot taen his haund aff on its wey tae the back o the net. Whit a goal! 1-0 tae Scotland!

A wis still enjoyin the moment whan the commentator went an spylt awthin bi threapin, “Now if only Scotland can hold on to that score for another twenty-seven minutes they will have achieved a momentous victory over the World Cup finalists.”

“Ach no man! Will ye shut up?” A shouted then grabbed the table wi twa sets o crossed fingers an willed Scotland tae hing on for anither meinit - an then anither meinit - an then anither.

Whan the final whustle blew the hail country loupit three feet in the air then A noticed hou numb ma fingers wis. But ach! For Scotland, it wis weel worth the bother. Mind you, A think the neist time A micht watch it wi the soond turnt aff.

Whan Alec McLeish wis bein interviewed efter the match he wis richtly fou o praise for aw his players but coorse he widnae ken aboot me an the pairt A’d taen. Then he apologised tae the Sky viewers for yaisin thon Scots word, “gallusness” which, he explained juist meant a cheeky kinna confidence. Ay, it wis that aw richt.

Gaun yersel Scotland!! 

Bob Fairnie.