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‘It was one afternoon, for all sorts of reasons, they won’t forget’: Pupils at Scotland star’s former school tune in to Euros

Pupils at Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen during Scotland's opening Euro 2020 match.
Pupils at Hazlehead Academy in Aberdeen during Scotland's opening Euro 2020 match.

While Stuart Armstrong was plying his trade for Scotland in the Euros, 140 miles away pupils at his former Aberdeen school were cheering him on.

The midfielder earned his 26th international cap with a starring role in the national team’s first major tournament appearance in 23 years.

Armstrong, who attended Hazlehead Academy, was part of the side which lost 2-0 to Czech Republic at Hampden on Monday afternoon.

The Groats Road secondary opted to screen the match into the school with the Euro 2020 encounter kicking off at 2pm.

Youngsters at Hazlehead Academy cheering on Scotland and former pupil Stuart Armstrong.

‘Easy decision’ to screen game in class

Scotland lost the match after a double from Patrik Schick put paid to their hopes of opening the tournament with a victory.

Now they face games against England on Friday and Croatia next Tuesday.

Hazlehead Academy’s headteacher James Purdie revealed why they decided to show the match to give pupils an afternoon pupils they “won’t forget.”

He said: “Everybody wanted to watch so we are only happy to allow them to see it in class.

“It was an easy decision to let the teachers allow their classes to watch and if any pupils didn’t they could get on with their work.

There was a real buzz in the playground and all around the school this morning. We had Scotland flags out and a few Scotland shirts on display.”

James Purdie

“There was a lot of talk about the game and there was a real anticipation before it.  I suppose the result shows the reality of being a Scotland fan.

“There was a real buzz in the playground and all around the school this morning. We had Scotland flags out and a few Scotland shirts on display.

“This is a big thing for young because they will have never have seen their team play in a major tournament.

“It was one afternoon, for all sorts of reasons, they won’t forget.”

Stuart Armstrong looking dejected during Scotland’s defeat to Czech Republic.

Aberdeen school has strong links with Scotland team

Hazlehead Academy is one of the Scottish Football Association’s performance schools which allows youngsters to be taken out of traditional lessons for training sessions.

James said it means that as well as Stuart Armstrong they have connections with the Scotland set-up.

He said: “From our perspective, we have links with the team with Stuart Armstrong as he was one of our pupils.

“We are also an SFA performance school so some of our boys have played in the national team with the likes of Billy Gilmour and Nathan Patterson.

“There are seven performance schools across Scotland and we already had some success with some of our boys going on to play for Aberdeen and join Wolves and Norwich City.”

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