I ALWAYS smile when I see English fans, God bless ‘em, chanting “Football’s coming home”. Researchers acknowledge that Scotland is the sport’s home as Alex Orr noted in his letter yesterday.

I quote, for example, from The Every Day Book by William Hone: “On Tuesday the 5th of December, 1815, a great foot-ball match took place at Carterhaugh, Ettrick Forest (a spot classical in minstrelsy), betwixt the Ettrick men and the men of Yarrow; the one party backed by the Earl of Hume, and the other by Sir Walter Scott, sheriff of the forest, who wrote two songs for the occasion…”

READ MORE: Football as we know it can only come ‘home’ to Scotland, not England

One is titled Lifting the Banner of the House of Buccleugh, at the great Foot-ball match, on Carterhaugh. I won’t copy the entire verse, but here is an excerpt:

When the southern invader spread waste and disorder,
At the glance of her crescents he paused and withdrew
For around them were marshal’d the pride of the border,
The flowers of the forest, the bands of Buccleugh.

Then strip lads, and to it, though sharp be the weather,
And if, by mischance, you should happen to fall,
There are worse things in life than a tumble in heather,
And life is itself but a game of foot-ball!

Then up with the banner, let forest winds fan her,
She has blazed over Ettrick eight ages and more;
In sport we’ll attend her, in battle defend her,
With heart and with hand, like our fathers’ before.

PS: I wish the England team well at Euro 2020 – their manager and players seem to be both talented and decent human beings.

David Cairns