SCOTLAND supporters from across Inverclyde are on the march to Wembley for tonight’s big showdown with England.
More than 50 fans set off with the Gourock Tartan Army yesterday lunchtime for the eight-hour, 430-mile bus trip to London to watch the Auld Enemy face off in a crucial World Cup qualifier.
They left the Torpedo Factory Club decked out in kilts, Scotland shirts and armed with flags and banners to cheer on the national side.
As well as supporters from Greenock, Gourock and Port Glasgow, the club also has members from Dunoon – and as far afield as Dundee.
Gourock man Jim MacVicar, who runs the club, said: “People from all over travel here to go on our bus.
“There’s usually guitars and singing and it’s a good old jolly.
“I’m looking forward to the match but I would happily take a draw.”
Scotland have only played three games so far in the race to the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
A 5-1 win over Malta in September was followed by poor results against Lithuania and Slovakia last month – a 1-1 draw and 3-0 defeat respectively.
It means Gordon Strachan’s men already face an uphill struggle to qualify for the finals in two years time.
But Gourock Tartan Army fans are quietly confident the team can sneak a result against the odds at Wembley in international football’s oldest fixture.
Neil Lochiel, who works in Greenock and lives in Skelmorlie, said: “We’re definitely up against it, but with the backing of 13,000 fans desperate for a victory, we can cheer the team on to over-achieve against probably a better side.”
Fellow supporter Stuart Duncan, from Gourock, is also hopeful that the Scots can upset their bitter rivals – so long as they give it a go.
He said: “It depends how Gordon Strachan decides to play it.
“If he goes with the attitude shown in the Slovakia and Lithuania games then we will struggle.
“But if he decides that we have nothing to lose and sets the team up to try and win then it’s Scotland and England so anything can happen.”
The match is live on STV tonight from 7.15pm with a 7.45pm kick-off.