Rod Liddle

On England versus Scotland

On England versus Scotland
(Photo: Getty)
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I found this shaggy dog story on the MillwallOnline site, posted by a mate called Life With The Lions.

‘It is just before the start of the Scotland vs England game, at Wembley stadium, in the Euro Championships 2020.

Harry Kane goes into the England dressing room to find all his teammates looking a bit glum. “What's up?” he asks Raheem Sterling.

Sterling replies, “Well, we're having trouble getting motivated for this game. We know it's important but it's only Scotland. They're rubbish and we can't be arsed.”

Kane addresses his fellow teammates. “Well, I reckon I can beat these Jocks, all on my loansome. Why don’t you lads go to the pub and enjoy yourselves?”

“If you’re sure, Harry?” asks a surprised Phil Foden.

Kane nods his head and the rest of the England players head off to the pub. Kane leaves the dressing room and walks out onto the green Wembley turf, where the Scotland team are already waiting. To a man, the Scots players are both amused but worried that Kane is all by himself. The ref blows his whistle and the game begins!

At the pub, the England players are already downing their first jars, when Sterling says, “I wonder how Harry is doing?” He gets up and goes over to the landlord, exchanges a few words with him, and the landlord turns on the pub’s radio. He adjusts it to BBC Radio 5 Live, in time to hear the commentator say, “And for those of you just tuning in, Harry Kane put England 1 nil up in the 10th minute!”

A big cheer goes up in the pub, as all the patrons celebrate England taking the lead. The England players order another round of drinks, and these are followed by another round, and then another, until the game is forgotten! Then, suddenly, Jordan Pickford looks at his watch and says, “Bloody hell, the game finished ten minutes ago!” He shouts out to the landlord who is behind the bar. “Hey, landlord, what was the England-Scotland result?” The landlord shouts back, “It was a draw. Kane scored in the 10th minute, and the Scots equalised in the 89th minute.

The England players can’t believe it! Though upset about the result, they are proud and in awe of Harry Kane single-handedly getting a draw against Scotland. They stagger back to Wembley stadium and find Kane in the dressing room, still in his gear, but with his head in his hands, not looking at them. All the players start congratulating him for a marvellous performance, but Kane suddenly shouts out, “I’ve let you down! I've let England down!”

“Don't be daft,” said Sterling, putting a consoling arm round Kane’s shoulders. “You got us a draw against Scotland, all by yourself. And they only scored at the very, very end.”

Kane, his head still in his hands, repeats, “No, No, you don’t understand. I have let all of you down!”

Sterling asks, “But how have you?”

Kane raises his head. His eyes, red and puffy from constant crying, looks at his fellow England players, and says, “I got sent off after 12 minutes!”’

It will all come back to haunt us, won’t it?