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I couldn’t write about Edinburgh without putting together a quick article about our visit to Murrayfield Stadium.
After all, it was the main reason we were in the city in the first place!
Becca and I had headed up on the old Flying Scotsman train route from London, and dad had arrived in the city from South Africa via Glasgow.
He had managed to secure last minute tickets to see Scotland vs England in the Six Nations rugby, and this was going to be a weekend of firsts:
- My first time in Edinburgh.
- The first time I’ve seen a Six Nations game with my Dad.
- The first time I’ve seen England play in the Six Nations.
- And (unfortunately) the first time England have been beaten by Scotland in 10 years!
Murrayfield is an impressive stadium, in an even more impressive city.
But there were two things about the game that were far more memorable:
There are many reasons I love going to rugby game, the foremost of which is rugby fans. That can’t be many other sports where you can mix in with supporters of the opposition and, not only not have any trouble, but actually meet people who make the experience even better..
Dad and I were sandwiched between two Scotsman, with very different experience of rugby.
To my right I had a couple who had made their way down from Arbroath for their first ever rugby game. He was an avid follower of the Scottish football team, but had never been to the rugby.
Beside my dad, was a far more committed Scotland rugby fan, He has been to every Calcutta Cup match in the last nine years, but was yet to see Scotland win. Watching his tears smudge the Scotland flags off of his cheeks as the final whistle went, was an experience I’m not going to forget in a hurry.
Probably the most memorable part of the day though was hearing the 65,000 Scottish fans belt out ‘Flower of Scotland‘. Whilst Scotland technically has no official national anthem, Flower of Scotland is used at rugby events.
And, as has become the custom, the band fell silent after the first verse, leaving the crowd to bash out the remaining words without any accompaniment. It is a truly awe-inspiring moment, that left even the most optimistic of England supporters worried for the fate of our boys. It certainly stirred the Scottish players, who came flying out of the blocks, and left England completely shell-shocked.
Scroll my video below to 38 seconds to experience the breathtaking power of the anthem!
This was the official coverage of the day. Right from the start, with the piper on the roof of Murrayfield, you can see how much it meant to both the players and fans.
So there we have it, an unforgettable afternoon out at one of the world’s great rugby stadiums.
A passionate and good-humoured group of supporters and a committed and creative group of players, made for the kind of spectacle you only see in sport.
And (whisper it),
I think the experience may actually have been better for seeing Scotland win.
Now how does it go?…..
“O Flower Of Scotland….”