Football: Vox Pop: Six celebrity partisans air their views on next week's Battle of Britain
Sunday 07 November 1999
LEYTON ORIENT CHAIRMAN
One of the saddest things in the British football market is the death of the Home Inter-national series - not just the matches against Scotland but the ones with Wales and Ireland too. It stopped because of crowd trouble, but I don't think that will be a problem this time. There will be plenty of passion, especially from Scotland in the first game at Hampden. I think they will give us all sorts of problems for a half up there, but then England will sneak through in the end. It will be a draw there and a single-goal win at Wembley.
I'll be there. My family are members of the travel club, and because we went to the match against the Czech Republic in Prague, we were given priority tickets for the play-off at Hampden. I do enjoy watching Scotland even though they can play like a drain sometimes. I think this will be more of a spectacle than anything else. I just hope that everybody defies expectations and behaves really well; in the real spirit of entente cordiale. We have a great opportunity of proving that we are ready to host the World Cup in 2006.
RADIO ONE DJ
I'm always a bit torn on these occasions because I'm three-quarters English and a quarter Scottish. Also most of my favourite players have been Scots. The likes of Shankly, Dalglish and Liddle. In fact, when I was a kid, I used to support Scotland, although I suspect that was mainly to annoy people. So I plan to start the match as a neutral, although I have to say I'll probably end up supporting one side or the other by the end of the game. As for the outcome, it really is far too close to call.
EUROPE'S NO 1 GOLFER
I think we are in trouble this time. We need to at least get a draw from the Hampden game, but goal-scoring is our problem. My main memory, as for all Scots, is '77 when we took the pitch home. We felt sorry for the groundsman at Wembley but they ended up with a wonderful new pitch because they took the turf from the practice range at Ganton. Of course, there was the Euro 96 game, and if Gary McAllister had put that penalty in it might have been different. It was not a bad penalty, it was a good save.
It's going to be very interesting. This is one of those games when the form book goes out of the window. I've got a feeling that England will do it over the two legs, but it's going to be tight. Up at Hampden is going to be difficult, but if we can keep a clean sheet there, then I think we can do the business at Wembley. The Scots will be really up for this, especially as the underdogs. Don't forget how well they played against Brazil in the opening match of the World Cup last year. They'll be relishing the chance to beat us.
You have to go with the nation on this one. I'll be watching every minute of the game. And I will probably have a few quid on it as well. This is a great opportunity for the English footballers to bring back a little bit of pride to the country. Let's face it, our other two major sports, rugby and cricket, have been having a hard time of it recently. Those two teams have failed a bit so this is a chance to iron out a few of the creases they have created. I think that England will sneak through over the two legs, 2-1 probably.
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