FRANZ Beckenbauer or Bobby Moore? Richard McBrearty of Football Memories Scotland holds up two red cards ‘defender’ cards to the group, prompting a lively but light-hearted round table debate.

After a show of hands – and bearing in mind the participants are all Scottish – the German former Bayern Munich player is declared superior.

The bright and colourful Top Trump style cards are part of a new set created for the 60th anniversary of the European Championships that will be shared amongst more than 250 football reminiscence groups across Scotland, from Stornoway to Stranraer.

The 60-deck of ‘European legends’ includes the 55-times capped Denis Law and Celtic legend Danny McGrain and is designed to stimulate memories of golden moments from some of the greatest Uefa championship matches from 1960 to 1990.

They were launched yesterday at Hampden Park, which due to host Uefa Euro 2020 matches in June, and will enhance what is already offered through the Football Memories Scotland project.

A partnership between the Scottish Football Museum and Alzheimer Scotland, it is the oldest football reminiscence programme in the world and other countries are now replicating the idea.

While many of the volunteers leading the reminiscence groups are likely to be football fans themselves, and in some cases former players, the cards are designed in such a way that it’s not essential to have an in-depth knowledge of the sport, widening the opportunities for their use in care homes, libraries and even hospitals.

The A5-size cards were designed by Luke McCarthy and according to Richard can be used in a variety of ways to stimulate memories and conversations about football. Players are colour co-ordinated depending on position.

He said: “You could create a dream team or they could be used to create a quiz. We are delighted to have this fantastic resource. These cards will help people with dementia and people facing social isolation and we are very lucky because they have been designed in such a way that you can be a football fan but you don’t need to have much knowledge of football.”

According to those involved in the project, the groups are not just beneficial for those suffering from dementia but experiencing other forms of memory loss or loneliness, depression and social isolation.

Roy Mills, 80, from Burnside, suffered memory loss after a stroke two years ago. Every month he drives his friend, Niall Hopper, 84, to a local group. The former Queen’s Park player who went up against Celtic at Parkhead in the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup on March 11, 1967, is affected by dementia.

Like the other men in the group, Roy says Niall “comes alive” during the sessions but says he draws as much benefit himself.

He said: “Niall looks at the Queen’s Park team and he can tell all the names. It’s the same with any group...the men, you mention football, Celtic and Rangers and they come alive.

“He benefits and helps me.”

Robert Harvey, who played for Clyde in the 1970s and whose mother had dementia, is regional coordinator and volunteer for the Glasgow groups. He says the cards will be a welcome addition to football memorabilia used in sessions. He said: “The recurring thing is that people with dementia are surprised about what they can remember.”

Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA President, said the cards would allow more people to “unlock memories and share their love of the beautiful game.”