MY experiences of France 98 and France 2019 were completely different, although on both occasions the trips were for football, both for a World Cup and both concerned the national team of Scotland.

In 2019, from the word go the build-up to the match was totally different. Firstly, I was in a mixed fan zone where supporters from both sides mingled, taking the keepie-uppie challenge, trying to hit the bull’s-eye with football darts and generally enjoying themselves.

Some even wore England tops along with the Saltire on their cheeks, and vice-versa. We also had many men wearing the replica pink strip emblazoned with female players’ names.

Travelling to the stadium on the shuttle buses supplied, the real competition started and rivalry raised its head. The Scots, who were in the minority, on my bus at least, definitely held their own, with some quick and funny put-downs to the England anthem “Football’s coming home”. I would say that at the end of the journey, it was a draw in the singing competition. It finished with both sides singing their hearts out in a rendition of “ye canny shove your granny off a bus”. Spirits were high and the atmosphere was extremely friendly.

At the stadium the seating was mixed and supporters of the two teams sitting side by side shouting support and encouragement to their players, even although it was a classic meeting of the Auld Enemy. The result wasn’t in Scotland’s favour and we all felt the pain of missed chances and, of course, a dubious penalty.

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That feeling was to be replicated against Japan, when we were once again on the side of a questionable penalty decision, and also denied one of our own. However, to see our female squad carry themselves with confidence, passion and pride, representing their country on a world stage and being role models to the next generation of young girls, is an amazing feeling.

It was wonderful to listen to Shelley Kerr, who has been at the forefront of all the press attention, answering all questions patiently, honestly and with dignity, even although at one stage she was introduced as the England coach.

No matter how we finish on Wednesday against Argentina, I know that for me this has been a proud moment.