It’s coming hame.
The clever change of one letter from Scotland’s kit manufacturer was all it took to make England’s 1996 Three Lions anthem to strike a chord with the Tartan Army.
Forget those cries of ‘football’s coming home’ which seemed to be everywhere the last time Scotland played in the Euros, the sight of the national side taking to the field today – at Hampden no less – for their opening game against the Czech Republic promises to be an emotional one.
While England dream of winning tournaments before inevitably playing the blame game or looking for a fall guy when it goes pear-shaped, for Scotland supporters just being at the big show is enough to spark delirium.
Joni Mitchell said it best when she sang ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ and that has certainly been the case for every Tartan Army member old enough to remember the World Cup in France in 1998.
The players walking out in Paris in their kilts, which should be standard by the way, was enough to have the hearts of nation swelling with pride at seeing our team taking on the big boys, the world champions Brazil, before a ball had been kicked.
That’s what makes being a Scotland fan so unique. Yes, we want to win but what we really want is to be part of the party. That’s what following Scotland is. Representing your country, making friends wherever you go, singing your hearts out and inevitably drowning you sorrows as you reflect on what might have been.
But always, no matter what, retaining that belief next time will be different.
We were spoiled back then. World Cup trips to Argentina in 1978, Spain in 1982, Mexico in 1986, Italy in 1990. A first trip to the Euros in Sweden in 1992 was followed by Euro 96 in England and then back to the World Cup in France in 1998.
Heady days, glorious in fact in comparison to what has followed since then.
But now is not the time to dwell on our own 23 years of hurt. Scotland are back. Older fans will shed a tear no doubt and rightly so. It has been too long.
Then there is the new generation, those who have had to make do with spending those wilderness years listening to family members regale them with tales of trips gone by or street parties when a Scottish player scored a goal to give us hope this time we were going through.
It feels as if it some mythical other world which has been spoken about but now, finally, the entrance to Scotland’s wonderland has opened up once more for them to experience for the first time.
Some, regardless of age, will dare to dream this is our time, our moment to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time. Others will be more pragmatic, perhaps even realistic about our prospects.
But all will celebrate the purest joy of seeing their nation compete on the big stage again.
It has been too long but make no mistake the wait will feel as if it has been more than worth it by the time 2pm comes round at the National Stadium comes round today.
No longer is it a case of ‘we’ll be coming.’ We’re here.