England may be on the brink of their worst performance in World Cup history following their defeat to Uruguay on Thursday night, but for one Scottish fan the South American side’s victory was reason to celebrate.
Dressed in a Scottish football strip, tartan hat and ginger wig, 41-year-old Mark McConville was seen on television waving a Saltire and cheering among a group of Uruguayan fans in Brazil, as Luis Suarez scored the winning goal against Roy Hodgson’s flailing side.
It emerged yesterday that Glaswegian Mr McConville has been doing charity work in Brazil, donating football strips from his favourite team, Celtic, to disadvantaged children.
His brother Damien took to Facebook yesterday to share the picture of Mr McConville celebrating and tell everyone about his charity work.
He said: “The Tartan Army fan partying with the Uruguayans is Mark McConville who brought lots of fitba strips for weans in the Amazon region.”
However, Mr McConville, who lives in Northampton and works for Mercedes Petronas, soon found himself subjected to heavy criticism as England supporters took to Twitter to lambast his decision to revel in their team’s misery.
One fan tweeted: “That Scottish fan supporting Uruguay. Made me so angry. Next time Scotland qualify for a major tournament I’ll be at the opposition end.”
Paul Hamilton, 28, whose sister is married to Mr McConville’s brother, said he wasn’t trying to make a political statement.
“It was just a bit of fun. He was trying to wind some people up. Obviously he’s quite a proud Scottish fan, but actually he lives in England at the moment,” he said. “He’d love the reaction. He’s quite eccentric, so he’s probably quite enjoying all of the publicity.”
Other Scottish fans praised Mr McConville, with some comparing his actions to those of First Minister Alex Salmond, who made the controversial decision to wave the Saltire at Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory last year.
One said: “The Scottish boy in the Uruguay end with the ginger jimmy wig on, Scotland strip and has flag has been immortalised up there with [William] Wallace.
“Immediate change to Scottish referendum. Now seeking full union with #Uruguay.”
However not all Scottish supporters were impressed with Mr McConville’s celebrations.
One person tweeted: “This muppet only shows us Scottish as a small bitter bunch, living in the past.”