Last Wednesday was the 150th anniversary of Scotland and England’s 0-0 draw at Partick’s West of Scotland Cricket Ground. 

It was the first official men’s international football game, and a rivalry between the two sides has persisted ever since. 

Given that long-running animosity, many were surprised to see one famous Scot apparently cheering on the English in their match against Senegal on Sunday night. 

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Who are England?

Founded as a country in 927 AD, England has since provided the world with tutting and James Corden. 

And they have a football team?

Just as they shared a draw with Scotland 150 years ago, so the modern English side shares an identical record with their Scottish counterparts. Since records began in 1967, neither country’s national team has won a World Cup. 

Why were they playing Senegal?

Despite widespread coverage of the human rights abuses perpetrated in Qatar, England saw fit to not only attend, but actively participate, in a tournament that has been described as ‘sportswashing’. 

Scotland, notably, are not in Qatar. 

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But a Scot watched the game?

On Sunday night, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves tweeted a picture of Labour leader Keir Starmer watching the match. Despite Starmer being that rare politician who genuinely does enjoy football, his enthusiasm still looked about as convincing as Peep Show’s Mark Corrigan revealing his plan to ‘put one right in their goal hole, but no dice’. 

To his left sat Raith Rovers fan and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, sporting a significantly less exuberant expression than Starmer. One paper ran the headline ‘Gordon Brown looks gutted as England smash Senegal’ and claimed the 71-year-old was “slumped despondently in his chair at a hotel in Leeds surrounded by grinning English colleagues.”

This came as a shock to readers, who were used to seeing Brown as a bubbly, larger-than-life, almost overbearingly flamboyant presence. 

What was the score?

England won 3-0. 

What next?

They’ve qualified for a 3-1 defeat against France on Saturday night. 

What will Saturday night’s headline be?

‘Gordon Brown looks gutted as England fall to Mbappe masterclass’. 

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