The Waverley Shopping Centre, now Waverley Mall, looked very different in 1996.The Waverley Shopping Centre, now Waverley Mall, looked very different in 1996.
The Waverley Shopping Centre, now Waverley Mall, looked very different in 1996.

Here's how Edinburgh looked the last time Scotland played at the Euros

When the Scottish national team last played at the Euros, the world was a very different place – and so was Edinburgh.

We should all know by now that it’s been 23 long years since Scotland last appeared at a major tournament, but it’s been even longer since we graced the stage of the European Championships.

At the Euros in 1996, Scotland narrowly missed out on place in the knockout stages.

With the tournament being held in England, Scots were practically on home turf, and it showed in our performances.

A respectable 0-0 draw with the Netherlands and a comfortable 1-0 victory over Switzerland book-ended a disappointing 2-0 loss versus Auld Enemy England at Wembley, and it left us missing out on the next round by a narrow margin on goals scored.

Regardless, it was magic watching our lads strut their stuff on the European stage – and even better now to see them return to where they belong.

To demonstrate just how much has changed in the past 25 years since that last Euros appearance, we thought it’d be fun to take a walk down memory lane right here in Edinburgh.

So, for those who weren’t there, or were just too young to remember, what was Edinburgh like in 1996?

First off, the city’s world-famous Hogmanay street party was at its peak.

A free event back in those days, there were serious safety concerns, however, at the increasingly large crowds congregating on Princes Street year-on-year.

In 1996, it’s fair to say that social distancing was far from the minds of New Year’s Eve revellers.

Celebrations that year were recognised by the Guinness Book of Records at the world's largest New Year party, with about 400,000 people in attendance.

A young Stephen Hendry was in his pomp. The snooker pro, a local lad, was crowned world champion for a sixth time.

Hendry received the Evening News’ sports personality of the year award in 1996, which we’re sure takes equal pride of place with his various professional snooker accolades above his fireplace.

Elsewhere in sport, Hearts FC were shaping up well under new boss Jim Jefferies. The Gorgie side would finish fourth in the league and secure a place in the Scottish Cup Final.

Unfortunately for the Jambos, the final would prove to be a step too far, with a rampant Paul Gascoigne and Brian Laudrup-inspired Rangers side running out 5-1 winners.

Without much further ado, let’s take a look at 25 photos that will bring memories of Auld Reekie in 1996 flooding back.

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