Scottish football legend, Alan Rough, visited residents in Renaissance Care’s Croftbank House Care Home this week ahead of the Scotland v England game tomorrow (Friday 18th June).
Alan, who played in two World Cups and boasts 53 caps for Scotland, joined football fans in the Uddingston care home to discuss the Czech result and their hopes for the Scotland v England match. The residents were reminded of some of their favourite football memories from over the years as they tucked into pies, donated by Pie Sport, and washed them down with an ice-cold pint.
The visit from former goalie, known as Roughie to football fans across the nation, was a dream come true for resident Jim Kennedy (85) who has always followed Alan’s career, from his Partick Thistle days to his last match with England over 40 years ago.
Jim, who enjoyed a short career as striker for Partick Thistle in the 60s, enjoyed Alan’s stories from the 1977 Scotland v England game which saw Scotland fans storm the pitch after winning 2-1.
The game went down in Scottish football folklore, and Jim still counts it as one if his most memorable moments of all time. Jim said: “When I think of Scottish football, that game is still what comes to mind. Roughie was in goals and fended off the English side helping us win our first game in 10 years at Wembley.
“It’s been a difficult year and I know the team will be feeling the pressure on Friday, but we’re behind them all the way. I can’t wait for another pie and a pint on the night - it feels like being back in the stands when I was younger.”
Friday will mark the second time since last year that Scottish football fans can watch the game from a stadium, but for these supporters, it is the first time since lockdown that they have had a chance to create a truly authentic viewing experience complete with the classic fan favourite accompaniments to the beautiful game - pies and pints.
Care home resident Eddie Craig (75), who used to travel to watch games abroad, said: “The atmosphere at games is like no other. The smell of the fresh pork pies and a lager, teamed with the buzz of all the fans getting together can’t be beaten. Today has felt as close to that as you can get.
“Roughie has really lifted the spirits in the home and has got us all excited to see the team on top form on Friday.”
Alan, who has legendary status amongst Scottish football fans, has had an illustrious career. Now sitting on the board of directors at Partick Thistle, he plays a key role in the team’s Football Memories group, which aims to engage those with dementia by reminiscing about old games.
Alan said: “The result on Monday wasn’t what we’d hoped, but the beauty of the game is that it gives people of all ages, from across the country, something to bond and connect over.
“It was great speaking to residents about some of the old games I played in, and there’s nothing better than a post-game debrief with fans who know their stuff. The home did an amazing job putting all this together and getting the pre-game buzz just right.
“All the best to the Scotland team tomorrow. Hopefully this is one for the history books.”
Denise Mote, home manager at Renaissance Care’s Croftbank House Care Home, said: “All of the residents and staff have been getting right into the spirit of things since Roughie’s visit. We even had one of our very shy residents come through specially to meet his hero.
“Thank you to Roughie for taking the time to come visit us and to Pie Sports for their donation, it really made everyone’s week. Good luck to the Scotland squad, we believe in you!
Resident Annie Moffat (85) has relatives who played with Roughie at Celtic and Hibs and had a great time sharing stories with Alan of days gone by.