Tartan Army gather in Stuttgart as Scots pray for 'William Wallace moment' at Hungary clash


Thousands of Scots who have gathered in Stuttgart ahead of our do-or-die clash against Hungary are praying for a "William Wallace moment" this evening.

Tens of thousands began congregating near the large Schlossplatz fan zone in the city centre from as early as 10am on Sunday. Supporters decked out in kilts and national team strips have been singing and drinking beer in the sunshine before lucky ticket holders head to the game and others settle into nearby viewing areas.

Scots know a win tonight should seal qualification from the group stage of a major tonight and most of the hopeful Scots at the square think tonight is the night.

Fans gather in Stuttgart ahead of the match
Fans gather in Stuttgart ahead of the match -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Alex Ritchie, 56, a window cleaner from Gardenstown in Aberdeenshire, had gathered with pals as they carried a large washing basket full of beers.

Allan Ritchie with son Scott, 9. Also pictured are Lesley and Brian Gibb with Michael Ritchie, John Wiseman and Neil Smith
Allan Ritchie with son Scott, 9. Also pictured are Lesley and Brian Gibb with Michael Ritchie, John Wiseman and Neil Smith -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Most of the supermarkets in the town are shut on a Sunday, but Alex said: "They are closed today but not a Saturday. We thought ahead and got the beers in yesterday and Lesley here came up with the washing basket idea.

"The atmosphere here is brilliant. It has been a week and a half of just magic. We've waited 25 years for this and you can see it - half of Scotland is here.

"It's a nervous atmosphere but we can make history tonight. This could be like a William Wallace moment if we get through to the next round. I think it will be a cagey 1-0 win for Scotland."

Alex Anderson, 51, a teacher from Carnoustie, was soaking up the atmosphere with his brother Graeme and their pal Colin McCulloch.

Alex Anderson with Colin McCulloch and Greame Anderson
Alex Anderson with Colin McCulloch and Greame Anderson -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

He said: "It's an amazing atmosphere. Everyone is buzzing. The place has been jumping. We're hoping there might be a bit of march to the game but it's a bit of a distance from here.

"I think we're going to create history and get a 1-0 win. We will be coming back next week if that happens. We've been travelling home and away all our lives. We were there in France 98 and it feels like this is going to be the one."

While a win should secure qualification, it's possible a point will be enough if other results go our way between Monday and Wednesday - but that could mean an agonising wait until Wednesday night before discovering our fate.

Germans drink with Scots ahead of the game
Germans drink with Scots ahead of the game -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

At one bar area Scotland fans were drinking with a group of Germans who held placard with 'No Scotland, No Party' written across them.

Despite previous fears over the main fan zone in the city showing the Germany game tonight, a large viewing area has been set up at the nearby Stadt Garten showing the Scotland match which could hold up to 25,000 ticketless fans.

One of those will be Beth Keen, a 31-year-old hairdresser from Dundee, who said: "The atmosphere is absolutely brilliant. It's really good.

"We're arrived from Frankfurt this morning and came straight down here. We're just going to have a few drinks then head down to the fan viewing area to watch the game. I'm going to settle for a 0-0 and hope the other results go our way."

Chloe Wilson, 25, and her partner Fraser Walker, both from Cumbernauld, were down by the fan zone too.

Chloe Wilson and Fraser Walker from Cumbernauld
Chloe Wilson and Fraser Walker from Cumbernauld -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Compared to the pre-match scenes in Munich and Cologne this were fairly calm in Stuttgart and Fraser, 27, said: "It's a really friendly atmosphere out here. We've seen all three cities, three takeovers, and we've seen some of the same faces, some new faces - it's all been great.

"This is probably the most subdued of the three so far. Munich was the wildest. But I'm sure this will ramp up as the day goes on. I'm going to be optimistic and say 2-0. Both teams need to win so I'm hoping we can get an early goal and kill the game off."

Chloe said: "There's a lot of anticipation of what the game is going to be like. We've got tickets for today and we're a bit nervous but I'm hoping for a win.

Nearby Richard Gray, who works in politics, was enjoying a pre-match beer with his wife Jenny, who is 52 and works in banking.

Richard and Jenny Gray from Peebles
Richard and Jenny Gray from Peebles -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Richard, 53, said: "We got here at 11.30am and it's been mobbed all day. There's still seven or eight hours until kick off so you can only imagine what it will be like later on.

"We're just going to have a few drinks then head off to the stadium at about 5pm. We're going to get the win and make history tonight. I think it will be 2-0. "

As we spoke to Scott Cameron, who is a plumbing office manager from Rothes and was taking everything in with the Sons of Scotland Tartan Army, bagpipes began ringing out around the area fans had gathered.

Scott Cameron from Rothes with the Sons of Scotland Tartan Army
Scott Cameron from Rothes with the Sons of Scotland Tartan Army -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

The 46-year-old said: "It's been brilliant so far. I've just met all my pals here and we're having a few beers before heading to the match. I'm really excited for the game tonight. The atmosphere has been incredible down here. The hospitality from Germany has been incredible.

"We're going to have a few beers here then we've got a booze cruise organised after that and the boat will take us down to the game. I've got a bit of excitement a bit of nerves a bit of everything but we never do it the easy way so I'm just hoping we can get the result tonight. I think it will be 2-1 to Scotland. McTominay and McGinn."

Gary Connor and Ross Mackie
Gary Connor and Ross Mackie -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Gary Connor, 42, who works offshore in renewables, said: "It's been absolutely brilliant. We got up this morning. Had a bit of breakfast, then got straight on the beers - we're two deep already just after 12pm and we're looking forward to enjoying the game.

"We've been here for the whole tournament. The Germans have been amazing and it's been a great Euros so far. We're just hoping we're out here for a bit longer.

"The atmosphere has been magic down here today and it will just get better and nosier as we get closer to kick off. Hopefully the boys can do it today and get those three points that we need to create history. That's what we are here for today."

Josh Quinn,13, Dylan Jack, 12, Josh Frampton, 13, and Zac McWhinnie with dads
Josh Quinn,13, Dylan Jack, 12, Josh Frampton, 13, and Zac McWhinnie with dads -Credit:Ross Turpie / Daily Record

Elsewhere Edinburgh youngsters Josh Quinn, 13, Dylan Jack, 12, Josh Frampton, 13, and Zac McWhinnie, 12, were playing football when they were approached by the Record.

Dylan said: "The atmosphere is really good. It's brilliant. We're going to try and get to the stadium early today. I think we're going to do it tonight. We're going to get the win. Come on Scotland!"

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