Blanket of snow covers parts of Scotland on Easter Monday

Met Office yellow warnings are in place until 10am on Tuesday, with winds of up to 70mph forecast.

Snow warnings are in place for northern Scotland, with as much as 15cm falling in higher areas. Network Rail Scotland via NRS
Snow warnings are in place for northern Scotland, with as much as 15cm falling in higher areas.

Parts of Scotland woke up to a blanket of snow on Easter Monday as temperatures plunged.

As much as 15cm of snow was expected to fall in higher areas of northern Scotland.

Met Office yellow ‘be aware’ warnings are in place until 10am on Tuesday, with winds of up to 70mph forecast.

Network Rail said it was dealing with a points failure at Kennethmont between Insch and Huntly amid the springtime snow.

SWNS via SWNS
An Inverness family built a snow bunny on Easter Monday morning.
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Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: “There’ll be a drop of 11 degrees between one day and the next, so you will definitely notice it.”

Mr Partridge explained that a change of wind direction would bring a change in the atmosphere, leading to chilly weather.

Erskine Logan via STV
A playpark in Aberdeen (Erskine Logan)

He said: “The air we had on Sunday came in from the south so it’s pretty mild having come off the continent.

“Overnight we’ll see a cold front moving southward across the country, it’s already across northern Scotland, and it’ll push its way southward overnight.

Weather warnings for snow are in place until Tuesday morning
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“That will introduce much, much colder air across the whole country.”

The east and west coasts of the country are likely to see a “wintry mix” of showers, which may include some hail.

Areas away from the coast are expected to be dry and bright, but with strong winds and below average temperatures, largely in the mid-single figures.

Average temperatures for this time of year are around 10 to 12C but parts of the UK saw the mercury reach nearly 24C (75.2F) on Wednesday.

STV News meteorologist Sean Batty said: “At this time of year we’d only expect very cold conditions like this to last a few days, but in actual fact this will be a more prolonged spell lasting until next weekend with further wintry weather to come.”

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‘Danger to life’ red weather warning issued for Storm Arwen

Major disruption as first named storm of winter set to sweep across Scotland.

BEAR NE Trunk Roads via BEAR NE Trunk Roads
Storm Arwen has been named and is forecast to bring a period of very strong winds and cold weather to the UK from Friday into Saturday.

Storm Arwen poses a danger to life, the Met Office has warned as it upgraded its weather warning to red.

Strong winds will cause flying debris, damage buildings, blow off roofs and bring down power lines, forecasters said.

Roads, bridges and railway lines will be closed, and delays are expected to bus, train, ferry services and flights.

Power cuts will affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage, the Met Office warned.

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There is a particular threat to sea front homes and businesses with large waves and debris being thrown on to coastal roads.

The first named storm this winter is set to hit Scotland, with particular disruption on the eastern coastline.

Storm Arwen has caused an amber weather warning to be issued across the east of the country, with gusts of 80mph forecast.

But a red warning is in place for the coastline from 3pm on Friday until 2am on Saturday.

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Storm Arwen is set to sweep across Scotland on Friday afternoon, with a yellow weather warning issued across the whole country with power cuts, road closures, and damage to trees and structures all possible.

Much of the Highlands has been warned to expect snow and high winds, with a chance that some could be stranded if caught up in blizzards.

The Met Office said it is possible that some communities might become cut off in the latter half of the day, with every school in Orkney closing for the day at 1pm.

BEAR Scotland, which looks after the trunk roads in the north-west, north-east and south-east of Scotland, said it is primed to tackle whatever weather conditions Storm Arwen brings.

Restrictions may be required on bridges such as Skye Bridge, Kessock Bridge, Dornoch Bridge, Cromarty Bridge, Friarton Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge.

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s operating company representative for the north-west, said: “We are fully prepped and are closely monitoring conditions and will act quickly when required.

“We remind members of the public to check before travelling. Traffic Scotland is a great source of the latest journey information and advice. Drivers of high sided and wind-susceptible vehicles such as caravans and trailers should take particular care and check for restrictions.”

  • A red weather warning for wind is in place along Scotland’s eastern coast from 3pm on Friday until 2am on Saturday
  • A yellow weather warning for wind is in place across most of the country from 9am on Friday until 6pm on Saturday
  • An amber warning for Storm Arwen is in place across the east coast from 3pm on Friday until 9am on Saturday
  • A yellow warning for snow is in place across much of the Highlands from 2pm on Friday until midnight
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Transport minister Graeme Dey said: “The first storm of the winter period, Storm Arwen, is set to impact Scotland tomorrow and Saturday.

“The whole country is going to see blustery conditions, but the Met Office is telling us that eastern parts of Scotland in particular are going to see some difficult weather.”

Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, Roads Policing, said: “We are asking motorists to be prepared for the potential for widespread strong winds and the risk of snow following the amber and yellow weather warnings from the Met Office.

“You should allow extra time for your journey, ensure your vehicle is sufficiently fuelled and drive to the road conditions. Consider taking some warm clothes, food and water within your vehicle, in case of delays and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged.

“I would urge motorists to check the Met Office and Traffic Scotland websites and social media before setting out on their journey, particularly in those areas most affected by the predicted adverse weather.”


‘We’re closing on Black Friday and giving staff the day off’

Many independent retailers are boycotting the annual discounted-shopping bonanza.

Maggie Blyth via Contributed
Maggie Bluth is giving her staff a 'well-earned' day off.

While many retailers are cocking their ears to the sound of ringing cash tills, an increasing number of shops are boycotting the so-called Black Friday bonanza.

Many of them – such as the Maggie Blyth clothing boutique in Inverness – are even closing their doors and giving staff the day off.

Black Friday, which started in the US as a key day for Christmas shopping following Thanksgiving, is often a pivotal time for major online retailers such as Amazon.

But for under-pressure independent shops still trying to recover from pandemic-enforced lockdowns, offering customers huge discounts is too much of a threat to profit margins.

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Maggie Blyth told STV News: “Every year, the pressure mounts to do a big sale and offer more discounts, but as a small independent shop coming out of a pandemic, we decided to take a stand.

“So, instead of a massive sale, which would have cost us our profit, we’ve decided to close the shop and give staff a well-earned day off.

“Black Friday is originally an American celebration and one made to support bigger businesses and brands which can afford to offer massive reductions and discounts.

“Small independent businesses do not have the profit margin to do the same and when we try to compete with big brands, we lose profit.”

STV News
Maggie Blyth will be closed on Black Friday, with staff given the day off.
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Ms Blyth said the boutique’s website would still be taking orders as her staff enjoyed a lie-in, and hers won’t be the only independent retailer turning it’s back on Black Friday.

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) said its latest survey of members showed that around 85% would be boycotting the event, which runs over the weekend.

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of Bira, said: “The main reasons for them not wanting to take part in this is because they don’t agree with this idea – there are higher prices, and there is also insufficient volume to make large discounting work.

“They also need to preserve their margins. This, coupled with many of our independents experiencing supply chain issues, this has proved to be a real challenge.”


Urgent appeal over rise in pregnant women admitted to intensive care

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will run specially-organised Covid-19 vaccine clinics this weekend.

Blueshot via IStock
Pregnant: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will run specially-organised Covid-19 vaccine clinics this weekend.

A health board has issued an urgent appeal following a rise in pregnant women ending up in intensive care with Covid-19.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) will run specially-organised clinics this weekend to allow those who have yet to receive two doses of a coronavirus vaccine to get jabbed.

Bosses at NHSGGC said over recent months they have seen an increase in the number of pregnant women admitted to intensive care, the “vast majority of whom were unvaccinated”.

Chief midwife Evelyn Frame said: “The stark reality is being unvaccinated while pregnant puts both you and your baby at increased risk.

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“Some women who have become seriously unwell have had to have their baby delivered early, which is far from ideal.

“Being pregnant puts a women at increased risk of Covid-19 complications. But this risk can be dramatically reduced by receiving both doses of the vaccine.”

Special clinics

  • Saturday: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (maternity), 9am-4pm.
  • Sunday: Princess Royal Maternity Hospital (day care), 9am-4pm
  • Sunday: Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley (antenatal), 9am-4pm.

Ms Frame added: “All pregnant woman are invited to attend a drop-in clinic on these days to receive either their first or second dose.

“Women can attend any clinic which suits them – even if it’s not the hospital they are booked into.

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“There’s also no pressure. Even if they just want to come along and speak to one of the vaccinators, we will be delighted to see them.

“They will be able to get the updated information regarding the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnancy and chat through any concerns they may have.”

Those who attend will also be able to receive a flu vaccine.

What do we know about the new Covid variant and should we be worried?

The B.1.1.529 variant has first been found in cases in Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong.

Peter-gamal via Pixabay
Currently, there are no cases in the UK, health secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed.

Six countries have been added to the Scotland’s red list after UK scientists said they are worried about a new variant of coronavirus.

The B.1.1.529 variant has first been found in cases in Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong.

People who have recently visited South Africa – where the bulk of the variants have been found so far – and returned to the UK are being contacted for testing to see if they contracted it overseas.

But how is this new variant different from previous versions and how dangerous is it?

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When did it first appear?

UK scientists first became aware of the new strain on November 23 after samples were uploaded on to a coronavirus variant tracking website from South Africa, Hong Kong and then Botswana. A total of 59 samples have been uploaded on to the website so far.

Three samples are from Hong Kong, three are from Botswana and the rest are from South Africa.

Outlining the situation in South Africa, one senior scientist said: “If we look at the results they had up to a week ago, less than 1% of people were testing positive in lots of areas. That’s increased very dramatically in some parts to 6% in the last few days, and so that makes me concerned quite rapidly on people that may be arriving [in the UK] now.”

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Are there any cases in the UK?

Currently, there are no cases in the UK, health secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed.

He added: “The early indication we have of this variant is it may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and the vaccines that we currently have may be less effective against it.

“Now to be clear, we have not detected any of this new variant in the UK at this point in time.

“But we’ve always been clear that we will take action to protect the progress that we have made.

“Our scientists are deeply concerned about this variant. I’m concerned, of course, that’s one of the reasons we have taken this action today.”

– Have any of these countries been put on the red list?

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Yes. Flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will be suspended from midday on Friday and all six countries will be added to the red list.

What does this mean for travellers?

The UK and Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive said on Thursday that UK and Irish residents who arrived in England between midday Friday and 4am Sunday, and who have been in the six countries within the last 10 days, must quarantine at home for 10 days and take NHS PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8, even if they already have a lateral flow test booked.

Passengers – including UK and Irish residents – arriving from 4am Sunday will be required to book and pay for a government-approved hotel and quarantine for 10 days. They must also take tests on day 2 and day 8.

Direct flights from the six nations to the UK are being temporarily banned until 4am on Sunday, once the quarantine hotels have been set up.

From midday on Friday, November 26, non-UK and Irish who have visited the nations in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

How is it different from the other variants?

Despite only being tracked for the past three days, the virus has been identified as having 30 different mutations already. By comparison, that is twice as many as the Delta variant, which has been the most prominent variant in the UK over the past few months.

The mutations contain features seen in all of the other variants but also traits that have not been seen before.

Will the vaccines protect people against it?

It’s too early to say. The mutations could potentially make the variant more transmissible and evade the protection given by prior infection or vaccination.

Has it been classed as a “variant of concern”?

Not yet by UK scientists as they do not have enough evidence on its levels of transmissibility, however, some have said they are concerned.

Professor Ravi Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge, has said: “B.1.1.529 has signatures of cumulative mutation indicating that it emerged in a chronic infection.

“B.1.1.529 does certainly look of significant concern based on mutations present. Many have been shown to impact binding by neutralising antibodies, and some are known to increase the ability of virus to enter cells or to make them fuse together to allow cell-cell spread.”

Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said: “The B.1.1.529 variant has an unprecedented number of mutations in the spike protein gene, the protein which is the target of most vaccines.

“There is therefore a concern that this variant may have a greater potential to escape prior immunity than previous variants.

“However, we do not yet have reliable estimates of the extent to which B.1.1.529 might be either more transmissible or more resistant to vaccines, so it is too early to be able to provide an evidence-based assessment of the risk it poses.”

It is known as a “variant under monitoring”, meaning scientists believe it may pose a future risk, but its impact is unclear.

How worried should we be about this variant?

Scientists in the UK are eager to acquire live virus cultures so it can be examined, but this takes time. It can take seven to 10 days at least to grow enough virus that can be shared with other scientists so they can study how it mutates and changes.

Officials will now also have to wait for data to come from South Africa. The earliest they are expecting evidence to come through is two to three weeks, but it could be as long as four to six weeks.


Kevin Bridges announces six Hydro dates in new tour

The Scottish comedian sold out the Glasgow venue for a record 19 nights in 2018.

Craig Williamson via SNS Group
Bridges: Returning to Hydro with new tour.

Kevin Bridges will perform six shows at the Glasgow Hydro – four years after his record-breaking run at the venue.

The Overdue Catch-Up will be the Scottish comedian’s first live gigs since 2018, when he sold out the Hydro for a record 19 nights.

He will perform on September 9, 16, 17, 23, 24 and 25 next year, followed by a show at Aberdeen’s P&J Arena on October 1, with tickets on sale from December 3.

Kicking off in Liverpool in July 2022, his tour will run for five months and take in cities across the UK and Ireland, including Manchester, Dublin, Belfast and Cardiff, before finishing up in London in December.

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Bridges wrote on Twitter: “Tour announcement folks! Heading back out there in 2022 and 2023.”

Social Bite launches festival of kindness to spread festive cheer

The charity aims to provide 300,000 gifts, meals and essential items to people experiencing homelessness this Christmas.

PA Ready via Social Bite
Edinburgh: Social Bite's festival of kindness has kicked off.

A charity has launched a festival of kindness to spread festive cheer in five UK cities.

Social Bite aims to provide 300,000 gifts, meals and essential items to people experiencing homelessness this Christmas in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

Christmas trees nearly 30ft-tall, with donation points, have been installed in these cities, to emphasise that “in a world where you can be anything, be kind”.

The homelessness charity is asking people to buy one extra gift, drop it under the tree and contribute to a movement of kindness.

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The festival of kindness locations include: St Andrew Square, Edinburgh; Vinicombe Street, Glasgow; outside M&S at the Bon Accord centre, Aberdeen; City Square, Dundee; and Charing Cross Station, London.

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Dundee: The event will take place across five UK cities.

Social Bite co-founder and executive director Josh Littlejohn said: “This Christmas, many of us will be able to reunite with family and friends to celebrate after so many restrictions.

“But for homeless people and families, the pandemic has made their situation particularly desperate.

“Thousands of people all over the UK will spend Christmas on the streets – cold, hungry and lonely, without a family to go to.

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“Thousands of children will find themselves in temporary emergency accommodation or without food on the table over the festive period.

“That’s why we are building on the success of last year’s campaign to expand our reach even further, going from two to five locations and taking festival of kindness to London for the very first time.

“Our festival of kindness campaign aims to spread some festive cheer. In a world, where you can be anything, we’re urging people to be kind and buy or donate a little extra to help those who need it most – even the smallest of gifts will make a huge difference.”

PA Ready via Social Bite
Glasgow: Donations can also be made online.

Monetary donations can also be made online via the Social Bite website which will then go towards the provision of food, gifts and essential items.

Donations will also help fund accommodation and support for those sleeping rough in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and London.

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Extinction Rebellion blockade Amazon fulfilment centre on Black Friday

The climate campaigners are preventing HGVs from accessing the Dunfermline site - the largest in the UK.

Maciej Walczuk via XR Scotland

Climate activists have blockaded the UK’s largest Amazon distribution centre, in Dunfermline, Fife, on Black Friday.

The Extinction Rebellion Scotland campaigners are preventing HGVs from accessing and exiting the facility near the M90.

Meg Peyton Jones, a spokesperson taking part in the action, told STV News: “Today, there’s a big international workers strike across Amazon centres all over the world.

“We’re doing this in solidarity with them, to show our support for it. The working conditions at Amazon are pretty appalling

Maciej Walczuk via XR Scotland
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“They work very long hours, for low pay and they are treated like robots.”

Black Friday, which started in the US as a key day for Christmas shopping following Thanksgiving, is often a pivotal time for major online retailers such as Amazon.

Many independent retailers are boycotting the annual discounted-shopping bonanza.

The blockade is part of an international action by Extinction Rebellion targeting 15 Amazon fulfilment centers in the UK, USA, Germany, and Netherlands.

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The activists have been at the Dunfermline site since around 4am on Friday. They told STV News they want to highlight how Amazon is linked with climate issues.

“Exploitation of workers and the planet is why we’re in the climate crisis in the first place, sacrificing everything on the altar of profit,” Mrs Peyton Jones said.

“We’re not going to solve it without justice for workers.”

Police are in attendance with a number of vehicles and officers at the scene.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report of a protest taking place on Amazon Way, Dunfermline, on Friday, November 26.

“Officers are currently in attendance and engaging with the protestors.”

Amazon said it was working to minimise any potential disruption to customers and was cooperating with police to ensure the safety of employees and protesters.

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A spokesperson said: “At Amazon, we take our responsibilities very seriously. That includes our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement – providing excellent pay and benefits in a safe and modern work environment, and supporting the tens of thousands of British small businesses who sell on our store.

“We know there is always more to do, and we’ll continue to invent and invest on behalf of our employees, customers, small businesses and communities in the UK. We’re proud to have invested £32bn in the UK since 2010, creating 10,000 new permanent jobs across the country this year alone, and generating a total UK tax contribution of £1.55bn in 2020.”


Scotland set to learn World Cup play-off opponents

The draw for the semi-finals and finals will be made in Switzerland on Friday.

Craig Foy via SNS Group
Victory over Denmark ensured Scotland would be seeded.

Scotland’s path to the 2022 World Cup will be laid out on Friday when FIFA makes the draw for the play-offs.

Steve Clarke’s side sealed a place in the knockout round by finishing second in their qualifying group and beat Denmark on the final matchday to ensure they’ll be seeded in Zurich, Switzerland.

The national side are now just two games away from making a World Cup finals for the first time since 1998, but could face tough opposition.

Scotland already know they will have home advantage when the semi-final is played in March, and being seeded means they will avoid big hitters such as Portugal and Italy.

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The qualifiers have been split into two groups, with the six sides with the best record from the group stage being seeded, and the worst four unseeded along with the teams that earned their place through the Nations League.

Friday’s draw, which starts at 4pm UK time, will see the nations divided into three ‘paths’, with each having two semi-finals and a final, from which the three winners earn a place at Qatar 2022.

In the semi-final, Scotland could be drawn against Turkey, Poland, North Macedonia, Ukraine, Austria or Czech Republic.

The play-off semi-finals will take place on Thursday, March 24, 2022, with the finals all being played the following Tuesday.

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Scotland’s potential play-off opponents

Turkey

Of the unseeded sides, Turkey may feel the most unlucky to be on the wrong side of the draw. It was only goal difference that saw them finish below Wales in the ranking of second-placed teams and, even at that, they had pushed for first spot in their group all through the campaign.

In March, they started their Group F adventures with a 4-2 win over top seeds Netherlands, and pushed the Dutch throughout, with a 6-1 defeat in Eindhoven the major turning point.

Manager Stefan Kuntz won’t just blame that collapse for his side’s position though. Turkey dropped points from winning positions against Montenegro, Latvia and Norway.

A 6-0 win against Gibraltar and 2-1 win in Montenegro saw them finish the campaign in winning form, and with the likes of Caglar Soyuncu, Hakan Calhanoglu and Burat Yilmaz in their ranks, Turkey will be confident they can get beyond the semi-finals at least.

Poland

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Most likely the team everyone would rather avoid, Poland finished behind England in Group I.

A surprise 2-1 defeat to Hungary ended seeding hopes following a disappointing 2021 for a team that has plenty of quality.

Their campaign started with a draw in Budapest and beating Andorra, before a 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley when Harry Maguire’s 85th minute goal sealed three points for the hosts.

The World Cup was then put on hold for Euro 2020, but Poland’s showing was not as they would have liked. A 2-1 defeat to Slovakia was a surprise opener, but a creditable 1-1 draw with Spain gave hope of progress. That set up an all-or-nothing clash with Sweden, but a 3-2 defeat saw them finish bottom of the group.

Back on Qatar 2022 duty, the team found their groove, putting four past Albania and seven past San Marino (though conceding a goal to both) before a 1-1 draw at home to England. Nine points from nine followed before the Hungary slip-up.

If Poland are to drawn to face Scotland, there’ll be one name dominating the build-up and Robert Lewandowski has shown little sign of his edge blunting with age.

The Bayern Munich striker scored eight in qualifying and would come to Glasgow hunting his 75th international goal.

Eleven Polish players found the net during the campaign and with their squad drawn predominantly from England, Germany, Italy and France, they represent a tough test.

North Macedonia

One of the sides most of the Tartan Army would fancy, North Macedonia are ranked 74th in the world and are now without Goran Pandev, their record caps-holder and goalscorer.

Their push to reach the World Cup follows a successful campaign to make Euro 2020 where, like Scotland, they qualified via the play-offs. Three defeats in the summer were a blow, but there was enough to show that they have plenty of ability.

That was on display during the group section, where Germany ran away with first place. The Germans won nine of their ten games, but suffered a 2-1 home defeat to North Macedonia. That result was key to making the play-offs as the Lions lost away to Romania (when Rangers star Ianis Hagi scored a late winner) and drew at home to them, as well as drawing away to Iceland.

Pandev’s retirement after the Euros leaves the side without a talisman, but not without talent. Enis Bhardi, Elif Elmas and Aleksandar Trajkovski scored four each in qualifying.

Scotland would be heavy favourites but, like Steve Clarke’s team, North Macedonia are aiming to prove that reaching the Euros was no fluke.

Ukraine

Drawing Ukraine in the play-off would cleanly divide the Tartan Army into optimists and pessimists.

Some would point to their unbeaten group stage and be wary of any team that can face France twice without defeat. Others would take confidence that Ukraine only won two of their matches (against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Finland), drawing the other six qualifiers and failing to beat Kazakhstan in either match.

The Euro 2020 quarter-finalists have only won six of their last 18 games but seem to have a knack of getting a result when it matters.

Oleksandr Petrakov is in temporary charge after Andriy Shevchenko quit in August and has an experienced squad to draw upon, with a core of Ukraine-based players supplemented by players from top sides, including Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and West Ham’s Andriy Yarmalenko.

Austria

SNS Group
John McGinn has a shot during Scotland’s visit to Austria in the qualifying group.

Familiar faces after being in Scotland’s qualifying group (and finishing fourth), Austria owe their play-off place to the Nations League.

Steve Clarke would be more than familiar with the opposition if paired with Franco Foda’s side and would take confidence that, after drawing 2-2 at Hampden in the first group match, Scotland were 1-0 winners in Vienna in a game that was key to earning a play-off place.

The Tartan Army are well aware of the players and might be happy enough to face a team that failed to live up to their status as second seeds over ten Group F games.

Czech Republic

A chance falls to Lyndon Dykes during the Euro 2020 meeting at Hampden.

Another familiar foe for Scotland, Czech Republic are another side who benefited from the safety net of a Nations League play-off spot.

The Czechs would have been one of the seeded sides themselves, had Wales not earned a final day draw with Belgium that saw them take second place.

A home draw with Belgium and a 1-0 defeat in Wales shows how tight things were in a competitive group, but the Czechs have a lifeline to try and compete in what would be their first World Cup since 2006.

Regulars at the Euros in that time, they, of course, faced Scotland at Hampden just a few months ago at Euro 2020. Patrik Schick’s double ensured victory on that day and the team stunned Netherlands in the round of 16 before being beaten by Denmark in the quarter-finals.

Scotland will want to forget that run and, if paired with the Czechs, remember that Clarke’s side were home and away winners against the same opposition in the Nations League just a year ago.


Bertie Auld: Funeral due to be held for ‘Mr Celtic’

European Cup-winning Celtic legend Bertie Auld died aged 83 earlier this month.

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A funeral is due to be held later for European Cup-winning Celtic legend Bertie Auld.

Auld, who died aged 83 earlier in November having been diagnosed with dementia, was one of the Lisbon Lions who lifted the famous trophy in 1967.

His funeral cortege will pass Celtic Park around 1.30pm on Friday, following a service being shown on a big screen outside the stadium from midday.

Auld spent 12 years as a Celtic player across two spells with the club, winning numerous trophies as an important part of the team that became to first British side to win club football’s biggest prize.

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The former midfielder, who won three international caps and was inducted into the Scottish football Hall of Fame, made more than 280 appearances for Celtic, scoring 85 goals. He won five league titles and seven domestic cups as a player at Parkhead.

Bill Murray via SNS Group
Bertie Auld was a prominent Celtic ambassador in his later years.

Auld went into management after his playing career ended and had spells at Partick Thistle, Hibernian, Hamilton Accies and Dumbarton.

A hugely popular figure with the Celtic support, he was a prominent ambassador for the club in his later years, and was remembered during a minute’s silence before the Scotland v Denmark qualifier at Hampden.

In a tribute following Auld’s death, Celtic chairman Ian Bankier described him as “Mr Celtic”.

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He said: “The most sincere thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Bertie’s family at such a difficult time, following this tragic loss.

“I don’t think words can ever adequately describe what Bertie meant to the club and our supporters. He was a giant of a player, a giant of a man and quite simply Mr Celtic.”

‘He defined the notion of a diehard’

Obituary by STV special correspondent Bernard Ponsonby

If Billy McNeill is the never to be forgotten icon of Lisbon 1967, Jimmy Johnstone the irrepressible entertainer, Bobby Murdoch the beating heart of this country’s greatest ever club side, then Bertie Auld is the enduring spirit.

As everyone who walks Kerrydale Street or has attended a supporter’s function or drank in a Celtic pub will know, there was no greater ambassador for remembering the magic of that night or of honouring the memory of his departed brothers than Bertie Auld.

It was Auld who led the singing of the Celtic song as the players emerged from the tunnel in the Estadio Nacional, no doubt to the bemusement of the sculpted, tanned athletes of Inter Milan. 

Although his own legendary status was assured as a result of the events of May 25, 1967, to the day he died he redefined the notion of a diehard. Wherever there was a Celtic party, the wee man was never far away.

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Read the full obituary here.


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