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'The noise, that din, I'll never forget it' - Chivers on England-Scotland

Posted on 9 June 2017  - 15:00

Martin Chivers was the scourge of the Scots in the early 1970s.

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Our legendary former striker - third in our all-time goalscoring list - played against 'The Auld Enemy' four times in his 24 caps.

He won all four and scored three times between 1971-73.

Martin quickly made his mark with two goals in his fifth cap in a 3-1 win against Scotland in the old British Home Championships* at Wembley in May, 1971.

Next up, a 1-0 win at Hampden Park in front of almost 120,000 fans in May, 1972.

Then, a famous 5-0 win at Hampden Park after England were invited to celebrate the Scottish FA's centenary! Martin scored again and set up England's third for Mick Channon with one of his trademark long throws.

A couple of months later and back at Wembley, Martin earned his 18th cap in a 1-0 win in the Home Championship.

Below: Goal! Martin fires home against Scotland at Wembley - May, 1971

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These were great days for 'Big Chiv' as, back at Spurs, he helped us win the League Cup in 1971 (scoring both goals in the final against Villa), the UEFA Cup in 1972 (scoring twice in the first leg of the final) and the League Cup again in 1973.

As England - including Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker - prepare to face Scotland again at Hampden Park, this time in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday (5pm), Martin has been reflecting on those international derby days.

"I guess you could say I was very lucky against Scotland, they would certainly like to say so!" said Martin, now 72, scorer of 174 goals for us between 1968-76.

"I never lost a game against them. I used to love those matches."

Martin will never forget running out in front of 119,325 fans at Hampden Park in 1972.

"People always ask me ‘do you hear the crowd’ and you don’t really hear people in the crowd as such, it’s just a din, a constant din ringing in your ears, you feel it in the airwaves, the noise, I'll never forget that," he recalled.

"The build-up was always huge to these matches, two weeks leading up to what was often the last game of the season. Alan Ball and Billy Bremner would always have plenty to say in the newspapers beforehand. 'Bally' loved to antagonise them!

"Billy McNeill was marking me in 1972. He was like a God up there, a Celtic legend, European Cup winning captain. He was strong, physical, but we all knew it was going to be that way, every game against Scotland was physical!

"The year before we beat Scotland 3-1 at Wembley and luckily, I managed to have a very good game and scored a couple of goals, so they were determined to stop me on that day. They did that - but it didn’t stop us from winning!

"The one I really remember is the game where they were celebrating the Scottish FA’s centenary, and we beat them 5-0!

"The pitch was frozen the day before but they put straw down overnight, cleared it and the game went ahead. You always knew you were going to get kicked up in the air and to say it was physical was an understatement!

Below: Martin pictured in August, 2015

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"We went out and played brilliantly in the conditions. I managed to score that day as well and we went 3-0 up in 15 minutes, we couldn’t believe it!

"The atmosphere was always incredible in these matches, home and away. You'd see so many Scottish fans down at Wembley, they took over! They were great days."

Turning the clock forward 45 years, Martin is confident England can follow up November's 3-0 win at Wembley. "I was at Wembley and it was a comfortable result in the end," he added. "I just think England will have too much quality this time around as well."

*The Home Championships was an end-of-season international tournament between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The championships were held annually for 100 years, 1883-84 through to 1983-84.