AS A YOUNGSTER, he was stopped from going to watch his legendary dad at Wembley and, as a player, Scot Gemmill never made it onto the pitch to face England at Euro 96.
However, the Scotland under-21 boss is hoping he can relish the latest encounter with the Auld Enemy after getting a ticket to ensure he takes in Friday’s eagerly-anticipated game.
Gemmill’s immediate focus is on his under-21 side’s friendly against Slovakia on Wednesday evening but he admits to being as gripped as the rest of the nation by the full team’s mouthwatering World Cup qualifier in London.
The 45-year-old’s dad Archie, immortalised by his famous goal against the Netherlands at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, was not too keen on the young Gemmill joining the Tartan Army in the stands at Wembley.
But that is exactly where Scot found himself during Euro 96 when he was left on the bench for the 2-0 defeat to a Paul Gascoigne-inspired England, and where he intends being again as the current sides renew their hostilities in the oldest international football fixture.
“I’m really looking forward to Friday’s game and that’s shown by how hard I’ve worked to get a ticket!” said Gemmill.
“It’s a huge game. I’m biased, but I think that every time the full squad plays. We’re going down hoping to cause an upset.
“It was always a huge game. I was in my usual spot – on the bench – in Euro 96. I enjoyed watching it, as usual!
“It’s an unbelievable atmosphere. My highlight of the day was getting to warm up on the pitch at half-time and getting to listen to the Scotland supporters.
“We all know how big a game it is. It’s a huge ambition when you’re growing up to be involved. I’m sure it’s the same with the current players.
“When the [World Cup] draw was made everyone started to talk about this game. I’ve even heard people talking about the home game next year, which is a reminder of how big an occasion it is.
“I don’t think anyone else expects anything other than a full-blooded games.
“There aren’t many other international fixtures that have that history, whether it’s a friendly or a World Cup qualifier.
“As soon as the whistle goes, it is what it is and that’s why we’re all looking forward to it so much.”