The sound of the bagpipes echoed across Trafalgar Square as the Tartan Army flocked to the heart of London ahead of tonight’s clash with England at Wembley.
Scottish fans – sporting kilts, big grins and the odd ginger wig – covered walls with the blue and white Saltire flag in the shadow of Nelson’s Column.
Michael Connell, 48, a mechanic, came with a group of fans from the Armadale Sons of Wallace club in West Lothian and travels to as many Scottish internationals as he can.
“If we win, there will be a party. If we lose there will be an even bigger party but it will have been after 90 minutes of inconvenience,” he said.
“It would be sweet if we could get something, a win, over England. It would be the best feeling in the world.
“We are passionate and we like to party.”
Retired engineering company worker Roscoe Hendrie, 67, wore a knitted badge which declared “Proud to be Scottish” on his chest. He matched his Scottish national team shirt with a kilt and a flag bearing an image of Scotland’s sporting hero-of-the-moment, Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray.
He said: “It will take the lads working together and doing as they did against Croatia to win. We are behind them all the way.”
Mr Hendrie, who travelled from Armadale, said the fans had “Scottish passion” and now “the spirit of Andy Murray” to draw on in the battle against England.
He said: “He (Murray) has certainly given us a huge spur. Hopefully we have got the spirit of Andy Murray and that lad will encourage everyone to do their best in tennis and everything else.”
Around 25,000 Scottish fans are in London to see the game. Growing crowds of more than 2,500 had swarmed on the central London hotspot by lunchtime.
The fixture, a friendly to help celebrate the Football Association’s 150th anniversary year, is the first time the countries have met in 14 years.
The Scots are 50th in the Fifa rankings while Roy Hodgson’s side is in 14th.
But the visiting fans are convinced they can overcome the odds.
Nicola McLaughlin, a 29-year-old support worker from Aberdeen, said: “This is going to be my first Scotland-England game. It is going to be great and I could not miss it.
“Wayne Rooney (of England) is only half-fit, so we don’t do Wayne Rooney and anyway Scotland are going to win,” she insisted.
Amid the sea of blue and white football shirts and flags, one schoolboy who might have “got lost”, Mr Connell suggested, unfurled an England flag next to one of the Square’s famous lions.
He quickly pulled it down when it triggered a mass light-hearted chant of “What the f****** hell is that?” in his direction.
The steps of Trafalgar Square were filled by the Scots, some of whom had draped a Scottish scarf around the busts of the military heroes on display.
Oil worker Graham Johnston, from Aberdeenshire, said he was enjoying the “friendly and quite lively atmosphere” and he did not care if anyone feels the Scots are the underdogs.
He said: “We have heart and that is what gets us through – right from the team, the players and the supporters. We are a small country with passion.”
With that, one of his friends shouted: “We are rubbish at football but so are the English – they just think they are better.”
They all then burst into song as the bagpipes were played.