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Who are the Tartan Army? Best Euro moments from Scotland fans

Fans always play a pivotal role in driving a team to the highest level of success. So, Scotland's Tartan Army is a perfect illustration of loyalty and dedication to a team.

It is often said that fans are the 12th player, so who are the Tartan Army and is it the best supporters travelling club in Europe?

This post is about reliving the best Tartan Army moments in the European Championships, so dive in as we explore Scotland's loyal fanbase.

What is the Tartan Army and why is it so popular?

Who are the Tartan Army
Scottish ‘Tartan Army' soccer fans – Photo by Icon Sport

Tartan Army is a reference to the Scotland National Football Team and also denotes a supporters club that can go to the end of the world and back, supporting their country.

With the EUFA EURO 2024 just around the corner, focusing on the fans' clubs that will make their national teams stand out from the pack is paramount.

And that is where the Tartan Army comes into focus. A name coined in the early 1970s, Scotland's fiercest supporters have gone to extremes for the honour of their flag, sticking with the national team through thick and thin.

The popularity has not been limited to their unwavering support for the Scotland National Team but also reflected in the fan awards they have won over the years. Known by their symbolic national dress code when attending matches, it is always easy to spot the Tartan Army from the other end of the pitch.

They are fearsome and the popular Tartan Army chants have also earned them admiration and hate alike across the divide.

But even with the colourful songs and dressing, the Tartan Army have not been spared of accusations that cut across football hooliganism to obscenities.

Scotland Supporters Club – reformed Tartan Army

In the 21st Century, the Tartan Army has won many more awards, including the Fair Play Award from the Belgian Olympic Committee in 2002 as well as prizes from world leaders.

In 2005, Scotland Travel Club was renamed to Scotland Supporters Club albeit a quest of who are the Tartan Army always reigned supreme. And even today with at least 35, 000 members, Scotland's most loyal support remains unshaken.

Consistency and loyalty have been the hallmarks of the Scotland Supporters Club and it is always the perfect answer to the question of who are the Tartan Army.

Who are the Tartan Army
Scotland manager Steve Clarke and assistant John Carver during a training session. Photo by Icon Sport

Memorable Euro Tartan Army moments

With the above overview answering the question, of who are the Tartan Army, let's now shift focus to the best Euro moments of the Scotland Supporters Club.

Euro 1992: heartbreak and Fair Play Award

Despite failing to secure a knockout place in the Euro 1992, UEFA awarded the Tartan Army supporters in the championship. The award came on the back of a troubled decade during which they faced accusations related to football hooliganism. There was an army of 5,000 supporters in the Euro 1992.

Another award in the 1998 FIFA World Cup may not have been related to the European Championship, but it affirmed the changing face of a supporters club that was always known for being unruly.

Euro 2021 – rains and a goalless Auld rivalry

While the Euro 2020 clash with England was less inspiring as rains and Covid ruined a good football match in the Auld rivalry, a goalless draw was important for the Scottish visitors.

Scotland failed to progress to the knockouts yet against but the Tartan Army cheered their side to a deserved point and that went down to the history books as something worth celebrating. It is never easy to beat The Three Lions at Wembley, so sharing the spoils gave Steve Clarke's side some bragging rights.

1977 – Wembley pitch invasion by the Tartan Army

The Wembley pitch invasion in 1977 by Scottland fans after a massive 2-1 victory is probably the fondest moment for the Tartan Army in the Auldy rivalry. It marked the start of a supremacy battle between the Great Britain nations. The visiting fans even entered the pitch, bringing down the goalposts under their weight in the melee.

Kenny Dalglish and Gordon McQueen were the goalscorers for Scotland in that famous Wembley clash. This is not an isolated case but the 1977 event forced the Sports Minister in Scotland to apologize. A creation of the Scotland Supporters Club followed.

Following arrests of Tartan Army members after the 1977 Wembley incident, the Travel Club was formed in the hope that it would cure football hooliganism. A calmer behaviour was witnessed in the 1982 FIFA World Cup and Euro 1992 during which the once Tartan Army was recognized as the best Supporters Club, going on to win an award in the 1998 World Cup.

The colourful appearance of the Scotland Travel Club in the Frace 1998 World Cup made them the highlight of the event according to a report by BBC.

Okello Steve

Okello Steve is a seasoned Sports and travel writer with over 10 years of experience in the journalistic enterprise. Steve honed his writing skills from a tender age and went on to study communication at the University and chose to pursue a writing career as an independent journalist crafting engaging content for the web on sports, casino gaming and travel.

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