Wednesday, October 13, 1999 Published at 18:29 GMT
A history of fierce football rivalry
Scotland were sunk by Gazza at Euro 96
Scotland versus England matches have represented all that is good and all that is bad about football since the fixture began in 1872.
But a bitter rivalry and a thinly-veiled feeling bordering on hatred has often led to scenes which ultimately saw the annual fixture abandoned in 1989.
Inevitably, in the days when drinking at football matches was as common as a half-time pie and Bovril, emotions ran high and often spilled over onto the streets.
In the 1970s, supporters' over-exuberance reached a new level, though football authorities took a much more relaxed view of such activities than in recent times, accepting that a match steeped in centuries of history would be played out in an atmosphere somewhat short of being friendly.
The most remarkable scenes were those at Wembley in 1977. A 2-1 victory for Scotland was reason enough for thousands of Scots fans to invade the pitch following the final whistle.
Though such actions were not violent in nature, they marked the beginning of a period in which many supporters' behaviour became increasingly moronic, with every fixture bringing fresh fears of running battles between both sets of fans.
A ban on alcohol in football grounds did little to quell the violence and, in 1989, despite a great deal of protest, the countries' football authorities decided to discontinue the annual fixture.
Throughout the 1990s, various attempts were made to resurrect the match but it was 1996 before the countries met again, in the group stages of Euro '96.
The game will be best remembered for Paul Gascoigne's superb solo goal as he lobbed the ball over Colin Hendry and volleyed past Andy Goram.
Such moments have littered Scotland-England matches over the past century, providing fonder memories than those evoked by battling fans.
Resounding English victories in 1955 and 1961, 7-2 and 9-3 respectively, brought Scottish goalkeepers an unwanted reputation as second-rate, a tag which has been difficult to shake off.
But the Scots got their revenge in 1976 when a Kenny Dalglish shot squirmed between the legs of England goalkeeper Ray Clemence as Scotland sealed a 2-1 win.
Whether one remembers these matches for the passion that they ignite, the football they produce, or the bitter rivalries they prolong, they are always games which provoke debate.
Since both nations qualified for the European Championship play-offs, the public and the media have been consumed by speculation that the two would be drawn together.
Interest in the fixture is as high as ever, and the roar of anticipation which will have gone up in workplaces around Scotland and England bears testament to that.
Safety and crowd control at football matches is now far stricter than in previous years and it is to be hoped the coming matches will be played out in an atmosphere where the action is on the pitch.