Scottish independence: Strachan’s men could aid Yes

THE resurgence of Scotland’s national football team under manager Gordon Strachan could reap vital support for the Yes campaign ahead of the independence referendum, according to a leading cultural historian.

Gordon Strachan , Scotland coach. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

In a sign of the influence of the beautiful game, an academic conference yesterday explored the wider political and cultural ramifications of the age-old Scotland versus England fixture.

Robert Colls, organiser of the event at De Montfort University in Leicester, said Scotland’s results could have a significant bearing on September’s vote, and that independence would revitalise the profile of international football’s oldest rivalry.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Colls, professor of cultural history at the university’s international centre for sports history and culture, said if Strachan’s team had defeated the Auld Enemy at Wembley in August the polls may have looked very different.

In the end, England twice came from behind to win 3-2 in a closely contested match.

Speaking to Scotland on Sunday ahead of the conference, Colls said: “A great Scottish trouncing of the English would have been a terrific thing for the SNP, but it was a one-off moment and it didn’t happen.

“I think the result sort of summed up the union in a way, with England shading a win.”