The Scottish Sun emerged beaten but unbowed at the conclusion of its provocative campaign to persuade Scots to back underdogs Croatia in Euro 2004.
England’s 4-2 triumph over Croatia to earn a place against Portugal in the quarter-final was greeted with the headline “Oh sod it!”.
This was a deft piece of wordplay on its pre-match “Lucky Sod!” splash on a wacky stunt that added insult to injury for the Auld Enemy by recalling a famous Scottish win at Wembley.
The paper pulled off a PR masterstroke intended to boost the Croatian side’s confidence – by flying a piece of Wembley turf to Lisbon.
The turf was donated to the paper by Tartan Army foot soldier Alex Torrance, who helped himself to it in 1977 – minutes after he was pictured sitting on top of the bar at Wembley as Scottish fans poured onto the pitch to celebrate a 2-1 win against England.
The Sun handed the turf, decked with St Andrew’s and Lion Rampant flags, to Croatia manager Otto Baric at the team’s base in Couro. Striker Dado Prso, who is bound for Rangers, promised to place it in the goal before the CroatiaEngland clash as a good luck charm.
The turf stunt prompted the not so prophetic front-page splash “Lucky Sod!”.
By Hamish Mackay