Rangers fans march to George Square after title win

Police Scotland confirmed arrests had been made in the operation around the Ibrox match.

Euan Cherry via SNS Group

Thousands of Rangers fans have marched to Glasgow’s George Square following their club’s raising of the Scottish Premiership trophy as Police Scotland confirmed arrests have been made.

Huge numbers of supporters had gathered outside Ibrox ahead of the match against Aberdeen which saw Rangers defeat the Dons 4-0.

Police had urged fans to disperse and confirmed to STV News that arrests had been made during the operation surrounding the match.

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Rangers fans celebrate lifting the Scottish Premiership title at George Square (Euan Cherry/SNS Group)

The club urged fans to celebrate in a “safe and sensible manner” and encouraged them to “disperse from Ibrox”.

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Crowds walked down Paisley Road West and could be seen travelling over the Clyde Arc, or Squinty Bridge, towards the city centre.

Shortly after 3pm on Saturday, a small group of supporters had arrived at George Square, but in the following hour, greater numbers congregated and blue, red and white flares were set off.

Police Scotland earlier said the pre-planned operation to deal with the event was already underway with officers deployed to locations across Glasgow including George Square.

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Rangers fans celebrate lifting the Scottish Premiership title on Paisley Road West (Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

Fan group the Union Bears had organised a march to celebrate title day departing Ibrox when the trophy had been lifted and heading to George Square.

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When Rangers fans gathered in their thousands before Glasgow City Chambers on March 7, police arrested 28 people.

The gatherings come as Glasgow is set to remain in Level 3 lockdown while the rest of the country enjoys an easing of restrictions from Monday.

Figures published on Friday showed Glasgow has overtaken Moray as Scotland’s Covid hotspot with the city recording 80.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to May 11.

Scottish justice secretary Humza Yousaf told fans to “take personal responsibility”.

He said: “While there is a significant police presence at Ibrox and across [the] city, this is ultimately about personal responsibility. If you have gathered you should disperse, particularly given yesterday’s announcement about Covid in Glasgow.”

On Saturday evening, chief superintendent Mark Sutherland said: “Today is understandably a significant day for Rangers Football Club and its supporters.

“We understand the importance of football in Glasgow, how it connects our communities and, is for many, a culture and a way of life.

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“We are however still in the midst of a pandemic and under coronavirus restrictions people should not be gathering for any reason.

“The overarching aim of Police Scotland’s operation today remains public safety.

“Throughout the day we have seen crowds gather and anti-social behaviour including the use of pyrotechnics and drinking in public.

“Our officers are dealing with such offences where possible and have made arrests.”

He said a request for a fan procession to the city centre had been declined, but police later decided to escort large groups of supporters as they made their way to George Square in order to minimise disruption.

The chief superintendent added: “Given the largely peaceful nature of the crowd, it would not be proportionate for our resources to use a high level of force through public order policing to disperse those gathering.

“We have seen some disruption to traffic, but no long-lasting disruption to our communities.”


Euro 2020: Italy light up opening game with 3-0 win in Rome

Italy opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Turkey in Rome.

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Celebrations: Italy fans in Glasgow fan-zone.

Italy have won the opening Euro 2020 game with a 3-0 win over Turkey in Rome.

The Italian’s dominated for the 90 minutes after a stirring opening ceremony rendition of Nessun Dorma by Andrea Bocelli at the Stadio Olimpico.

Roberto Mancini’s men laid down a marker with three second half goals to extend their unbeaten run to 29 games.

They have won their last nine without conceding a goal and scored more than two goals at a European Championships game for the first time in their history.

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Italy fans celebrate in Glasgow. SNS Group.
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Thousands of fans attended the first Glasgow fan-zone to watch the opening game on Friday night.

Upto 6000 supporters are expected to attend Glasgow Green for every one of the games including Scotland’s three group matches.

Steve Clarke’s men open their campaign against Czech Republic at Hampden on Monday before taking on England four days later.

They return to Glasgow to take on Croatia in their final group game.

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The month-long tournament is being held over several host cities throughout the continent.

More on:

Supporters gather as Glasgow Euro 2020 fan zone opens

It's the biggest event in the city since the pandemic began despite concerns it could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.

SNS Group via SNS Group / STV News

The official Euros fan zone has opened in Glasgow and for the next 31 days will show every game of the tournament.

It’s the biggest event in the city since the pandemic began despite concerns it could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Up to 6000 people each day are going to be able to watch Euros matches in the Glasgow Green area if they have a ticket.

Fans heading to the site were encouraged to take a coronavirus test before arriving, however proof of a negative test is not required before entry.

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Euro 2020 is the first major tournament the Scotland men’s team have qualified for in more than two decades.

Earlier today Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, said “there will have to be a reverse gear” if clusters of virus cases are linked to the fan zone.

He said the fan zone is a “gateway event” as part of the move out of lockdown.

He said: “I think they’ve done a good job. It’s not zero risk, the fan zone cannot be zero risk.

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“The only way to take away all of the risk of Covid is to lock the city down, not let any crowds in the fan zone or the stadium.

“That’s not what I think the pandemic stage we’re at suggests.”


Toddler who died after falling into pond named by police

Emergency services were alerted to the incident in Dollar Avenue, Falkirk, at around 6.10pm on Thursday.

Police Scotland
Heartbreaking: Ella-Grace Rimington, who was known as Gracie, died after falling into a pond.

A toddler who died in hospital after falling into a garden pond has been named by police.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident in Dollar Avenue, Falkirk, at around 6.10pm on Thursday.

Ella-Grace Rimington, who was known as Gracie, was taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital but the 18-month-old died a short time later.

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing, however the death is not being treated as suspicious.

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Detective inspector Craig Faulds, of Forth Valley’s CID, said: “This is a heartbreaking incident in which a young girl has died.

“The family has asked that they be given privacy at this very difficult time and I would like to ask the public and media to please respect the family’s wishes as they deal with their unimaginable loss.”


US raises concerns over Innova Covid test used in UK

The FDA said the performance of the test "has not been adequately established."

UK Government via Gov.uk
In a statement, Innova said that it is 'confident about the quality of its product'.

The UK’s health department has said it has confidence in lateral flow tests – despite concerns being raised by the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) over the use of a test made by Innova.

In a statement, the FDA said that it had “significant concerns” over the Innova SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test.

It said that the performance of the test “has not been adequately established, presenting a risk to health”, and warned the public to stop using it for diagnostic use.

The FDA stated that labelling distributed with “certain configurations of the test includes performance claims that did not accurately reflect the performance estimates observed during the clinical studies of the tests”.

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It also noted that the test has not been authorised, cleared, or approved by the FDA for commercial distribution or use in the United States, as required by law.

The tests have been used in the UK as part of the UK Government’s ‘Operation Moonshot’ as part of efforts to ramp up mass testing.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “The Innova test has already gone through the UK’s rigorous Porton Down assessment process, and we have a robust quality assurance process in place.

“We have confidence in lateral flow tests, which help us identify people without symptoms but who could pass the virus to others – helping break the chains of transmission.”

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In a statement, Innova said that it is “confident about the quality of its product”.

The statement read: “Innova is of course committed in making the most equitable test with the highest quality, and none of the inspectional observations in the FDA letter concern the performance of the test.

“The Innova rapid antigen test has been widely used, studied, tested, scrutinised and analysed with data supporting the efficacy of the test from the largest mass testing programme out of the UK.

“Innova understands the FDA’s health risk concern for the US market as they have not evaluated or authorised the Innova test in the US.

“In simple terms, the regulator won’t confirm a product is safe to use until it has evaluated and authorised a product itself.

“Innova has voluntarily recalled those products that it distributed to its employees, clinical studies and some customers for evaluations purposes. Innova is confident about the quality of its product.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said:

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“There is a robust quality assurance programme in place for Innova tests which are currently used for all lateral flow testing in Scotland and have also already gone through the UK National Testing Programme’s rigorous Porton Down assessment process.

“We have confidence in lateral flow tests which have been available to anyone in Scotland who wants one since April 26 and are vital in helping break the chains of transmission, by helping us identify people without symptoms but who could pass on the virus.

“As we have said consistently from the outset, no test is 100% accurate, and testing on its own, does not reduce transmission. It only helps stop transmission through the actions taken following the result.”


Scotland’s health body accused of ‘conflict of interest’

The Scottish Conservatives have now called for a new independent report on Covid deaths in care homes.

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Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said that public agencies 'do not exist to protect the reputation of ministers'.

Public Health Scotland has been accused of a “blatant conflict of interest” following reports that it had to score research to determine whether papers challenged or criticised Scottish Government policies.

It comes after the Times newspaper said that it had obtained a document showing that the body had agreed a “communications framework” with the Scottish Government and COSLA, the national association of Scottish councils.

The document instructs PHS to manage “risk” when communicating with the media and the public, the newspaper reported.

It involves a ranking system, with communications which could cause “sustained or widespread criticism of the Scottish Government” allocated as being of very high/severe risk.

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Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf has said that the claims are “not true”, and that PHS “functions entirely independently of ministers”.

PHS has also stated that it “discharges its duties with integrity” and is “committed to work that is both open and transparent”.

The Scottish Conservatives have called for a new independent report on Covid deaths in care homes to be published after suggesting that the document produced by PHS “may have been compromised”.

The party’s shadow health secretary Annie Wells said: “There is a blatant conflict of interest in Public Health Scotland judging SNP ministers, who the agency has a duty to protect from criticism.

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“The Public Health Scotland report on Covid deaths in care homes was controversial from the start. It was delayed and when it was finally released, the SNP set about spinning lines and downplaying its findings.

“Grieving families were furious at the lack of answers it gave.”

Wells continued: “This news calls into question if the findings of that report were compromised. The revelation that Public Health Scotland must protect SNP ministers may well explain why key information was omitted.

“We now need a new, truly independent report on what went wrong in Scotland’s care homes, where more than 3000 people tragically lost their lives. Families deserve comprehensive analysis they can trust.”

Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said that public agencies do not exist to protect the reputation of ministers.

“Scots believed PHS was an independent voice subjecting life or death decisions during the pandemic to serious scrutiny,” said Baillie.

“But these reports raise serious questions about a conflict of interest that need to be resolved. It is just another example of the micromanagement and control freakery which defines the SNP. 

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“Public agencies don’t exist to protect the reputation of ministers and a competent government has nothing to fear from honest accountability. 

“On vital matters of public health, Scotland deserve answers, not nationalist spin.” 

Responding to a request for comment by STV News, PHS said that as a provider of official statistics, it takes its responsibilities under the UK Statistics Code of Practice seriously.

The body outlined that the Office for Statistics Regulation regulates the production of official statistics, and that this includes the work of PHS.

PHS said that this included the production of the Hospital Discharges to Care Homes Report, which was produced independently by PHS working in partnership with the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

It also stated that it has a head of profession for statistics to ensure the organisation meets its obligations under the code for objectivity, integrity and transparency. 

In a statement, the body added: “PHS discharges its duties with integrity and is committed to work that is both open and transparent.

“A risk assessment for all publications is undertaken only to inform the supporting communications approach, and for the awareness of sponsors. It does not change the substance, content or independence of those publications.”

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said that no one should call the integrity of PHE into question.

He said: “These claims are not true. Public Health Scotland functions entirely independently of ministers – as of course is right and proper – and any suggestion to the contrary is absolutely wrong.

“Throughout the pandemic PHS staff have been working tirelessly to provide data that has been vital for decision making and no one should call their integrity into question.”


Scotland players to ‘take the knee’ before England match

Andy Robertson and Steve Clarke reaffirmed the team's stance against racism but changed their plans.

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Scotland players have been 'taking a stand' against racism before recent games.

Scotland players will “take the knee” before their Euro 2020 match against England – but plan to continue to “stand up against racism” in their other games at the tournament.

The national team decided to “stand up against racism”, rather than taking the knee, in March following a series of racist incidents in the Scottish game this season.

Ahead of the European Championships, the Scottish FA had announced that the players would continue with the stance throughout the tournament, including group games against Czech Republic, England and Croatia.

The announcement reignited debate around the issue, which has become a polarising topic in England in particular.

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England staff and players have continued to take the knee as part of their own action against racism in sport, and were booed by some fans during Euro 2020 warm-up games, prompting manager Gareth Southgate to insist that his squad would continue during the tournament.

Scotland have now amended their plans, with manager Steve Clarke and captain Andy Robertson saying that the team will kneel before they play England to show unity with their opponents, while continuing their own approach to the issue in other matches.

Clarke said that he felt there had been an effort from some to “politicise or misinterpret” his players’ decision and reaffirmed the squad’s opposition to racism.

The national team boss said that the response had been agreed earlier this year after considered discussion and in conjunction with clubs including Rangers and Celtic after high-profile racist incidents.

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“I explained in March the rationale behind the squad decision,” he said in a statement released on Friday.

“Not only is it consistent with the collective approach from Scottish football above but the purpose of taking the knee, to raise awareness and help eradicate racism in football and society, has been diluted and undermined by the continuation of abuse towards players.

“For the avoidance of doubt: me, my coaching staff, my players and my backroom team take a stand against racism and all forms of unacceptable and discriminatory behaviour across society. We do so to raise awareness of the ongoing problem but also as a reminder to those who have the ultimate power and responsibility to implement meaningful change. 

“In light of divisive and inaccurate comments being perpetuated by individuals and groups, whose views we denounce in the strongest terms, we have reflected today as a group. We remain committed to our principles of taking a stand but we must also be unequivocal in condemning the opportunistic false narrative being presented by some.

“We have therefore agreed that we will show solidarity with our counterparts in England, many of whom are teammates of our own players, and who have found themselves on the receiving end of abuse from fans in recent international matches. 

“We will continue to take a stand – together, as one – for our matches at Hampden Park. For our match at Wembley, we will stand against racism and kneel against ignorance.”

Scotland captain Andy Robertson added: “Our position was – and remains – that the focus must be on meaningful change to fight discrimination in football and wider society.

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“In Scotland, the football family has stood against racism all season. It was our collective view that the national team would do the same.

“Our stance is that everyone, players, fans, teams, clubs, federations, governing bodies and governments must do more. Meaningful action is needed if meaningful change is to occur.

“But it is also clear, given the events around the England national team, taking the knee in this tournament matters as a symbol of solidarity.

“For this reason, we have collectively decided to again take the knee as a team for the fixture against England at Wembley Stadium.

“The Scotland team stands against racism but we will kneel against ignorance and in solidarity on June 18th.”

Scotland play Czech Republic at Hampden on June 14 before travelling to face England at Wembley four days later. The last group game is at Hampden against Croatia on June 22.


Yousaf ‘inaccurately presented’ Covid data, says watchdog

It comes after Humza Yousaf cited a figure on child Covid cases in the Scottish Parliament.

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Health secretary Humza Yousaf used the figure at the Scottish Parliament.

The UK’s statistics watchdog has ruled that Humza Yousaf “inaccurately presented” coronavirus data relating to children.

Last week, the health secretary made a claim in the Scottish Parliament suggesting that ten young children had been hospitalised because of Covid-19.

However, the UK Statistics Authority has now indicated that the figure used by Yousaf was not correct.

In a letter, Ed Humpherson, the director general for regulation, said that “the figure used was not available publicly at the time the statement was made, and it was inaccurately presented.”

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He added: “Whilst we understand that on this occasion, it was a genuine mistake, which was quickly corrected, I would like to reiterate the importance of ensuring ministers are appropriately briefed and any figures referred to publicly must be made available.”

The body also said that Humpherson had written to the Scottish Government’s chief statistician to “reiterate our expectation that when statistics are used publicly to inform parliaments or the media they should be published in an accessible form with appropriate explanation”.

Scottish Conservatives shadow health secretary Annie Wells has now urged Yousaf to apologise for the mistake.

“This is a humiliating slap-down for Humza Yousaf,” said Wells.

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“Top statisticians have confirmed his child Covid claims, which left thousands of parents worried for their kids’ safety, were inaccurate.

“It’s a disgrace that the SNP Government wouldn’t just come clean and admit Humza Yousaf got this wrong. Instead, they danced around questions about his dangerous scaremongering.

“The health secretary alarmed parents but once again, just like when he made false accusations of sectarian singing, he didn’t hold his hands up and admit the mistake.

“For once, Humza Yousaf should drop the arrogance, show some humility and finally apologise for getting this so badly wrong.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The health secretary has already expressed his regret for any alarm his remarks may have caused – and the Statistics Authority has acknowledged this was ‘a genuine mistake’ made shortly after the health secretary had taken on his new role.

“The Scottish Government responded swiftly and published the figures quoted with clear definitions and notes to help understand the data.  

“The health secretary was answering a question about whether a parent in level two should take their child to a soft play in level one and was simply highlighting the risks of people breaching Covid restrictions.

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“The age group currently showing the second highest number of confirmed Covid cases is children under 14 – and we need to be extremely careful to avoid giving the impression that there is no risk to children from COVID.”


Fan zone attendees urged to take Covid test beforehand

However proof of a negative test is not mandatory to get into the site in Glasgow Green.

Andrew Milligan via PA Ready

Those attending the Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow have been urged to take a coronavirus test before they go, however it will not be mandatory to show a negative result.

Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, said “there will have to be a reverse gear” if clusters of virus cases are linked to the fan zone.

The fan zone in Glasgow Green, which opens on Friday, will see up to 6000 people per day gather to watch matches for the duration of the tournament.

Euro 2020 is the first the Scotland men’s team have qualified for in more than two decades.

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Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Friday, Prof Leitch said the fan zone is a “gateway event” as part of the move out of lockdown.

He said: “I think they’ve done a good job. It’s not zero risk, the fan zone cannot be zero risk.

“The only way to take away all of the risk of Covid is to lock the city down, not let any crowds in the fan zone or the stadium.

“That’s not what I think the pandemic stage we’re at suggests.”

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He said gaining entry to the fan zone will not require evidence of vaccination or a recent negative test, however testing is “very, very recommended”.

Making the tests mandatory could lead to people “gaming” or cheating the system, he said, arguing persuasion is a better way forward.

Prof Leitch said: “We’re trying to see if we can mail (tests) out to some of the people who will have tickets.

“In the meantime there will be a testing centre at the fan zone if you haven’t managed to do it.

“But please, please, please do it before you go.”

Officials from several organisations involved in the fan zone met on Thursday, he said, and a group of public health advisers will be monitoring data from the site.

Prof Leitch said: “We said in the meeting yesterday, all of us agreed – it’s not a Scottish Government thing, it’s a partner thing – that if it goes badly there will have to be a reverse gear.”


Unforgettable moments as the Euros finally kick off

Great goals, underdog stories, drama, excitement and heartache - it must be time for the Euros.

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Euros legends: Van Basten, Larsson, Laudrup and Zidane.

Ever since the first European Championships in 1960, the tournament has showcased the very best the continent has to offer.

It has thrown up drama, spectacular goals, underdog fairytales and heartache – and that’s just Scotland, who return to the Euros after 25 years.

Here, on the day the delayed Euro 2020 finally kicks off, we remember some of the most memorable moments.

Great goals

Marco Van Basten: Netherlands v Soviet Union in 1988

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Dutchman Marco Van Basten’s volley from an impossible angle in the 1988 final will always be remembered as one of the all-time great goals.

The AC Milan striker, recognised as one of the world’s best, was forced to retire before his 30th birthday due to a recurring injury.

Karel Poborský: Czech Republic v Portugal in 1996

The little winger won himself a move to Manchester United on the back of Czech Republic reaching the final of Euro 96.

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His quarter-final goal against Portugal, when he expertly lofted the ball over Vitor Biah at Villa Park, will go down as his most memorable moment.

Old Firm stars on the big stage

Paul Gascoigne: (Rangers and England) v Scotland at Euro 96

Gazza produced one of the most memorable moments of Euro 96 when he scored a wonder goal against Scotland.

With Gary McAllister having just missed a penalty a few minutes earlier, the Rangers midfielder produced a sublime piece of skill to put England 2-0 up at Wembley. 

Paul McStay (Celtic and Scotland) v CIS at Euro 92

Scotland qualified for the Euros for the first time in 1992 and it was then-Celtic captain Paul McStay who produced the most memorable moment.

The midfield maestro put Scotland 1-0 up against the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a temporary side set up after the fall of the Soviet Union. 

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The strike, which hit the post and goalkeeper, was not only Scotland’s first goal at the Euros, but it also sent them en route to their first victory.

Ally McCoist (Rangers and Scotland) v Switzerland at Euro 96

Rangers goal machine Ally McCoist was on the bench for Scotland’s first two Euro 96 games, a 0-0 draw with Holland and 2-0 defeat to England. 

But when they needed goals in the final match against Switzerland, manager Craig Brown called on his number nine.

Despite missing a few early chances, McCoist kept his head up and smashed in a rare long-range effort to give the Scots a 1-0 win.

The Villa Park victory was Scotland men’s last at a major tournament.

Henrik Larsson (Celtic and Sweden) v Bulgaria at Euro 2004

During his seven years at Celtic, Larsson scored more goals at major tournaments than any other Scotland-based player.

But it was his diving header against Bulgaria in a 5-0 victory at Euro 2004 that will live longest in the memory.

Larsson’s effort was voted the best goal of the competition, with the Celtic Park legend also named in the team of the tournament.

Memorable finals

The ‘Panenka final’: Czechoslovakia vs West Germany in 1976

Few players have a type of goal named after them, but Antonin Panenka managed that feat by scoring one of the most unique winners in football history.

His softly chipped penalty against West Germany in the 1976 final clinched the trophy for Czechoslovakia after a nervy penalty shoot-out. 

Even now, more than 40 years later, a chipped penalty is still known as a ‘Panenka’. 

Golden goal a dagger through Italian hearts: France v Italy in 2000

France clinched Euro 2000 in the most dramatic of fashions with a golden goal win over Italy.

The Italians led the game from the 55th minute and looked so comfortable that some players were seen celebrating on the bench when the 90th minute passed.

But in the third minute of injury time, Sylvain Wiltord scored a late equaliser, taking the game into extra-time.

The deflated Italians had barely picked themselves back up when David Trezeguet struck a dagger through their hearts with a winner ten minutes into the restart.

The game ended immediately due to the ‘Golden Goal’ being used by UEFA at the time.

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Euro 2000 hero Zinedine Zidane in action for France.

Underdogs bite back

Wales reaching the semi-final of Euro 2016

Led by Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, Wales backed up their supreme confidence by putting out pre-tournament favourites Belgium in the quarter-finals. 

They finally bowed in the last four at the hands of Portugal.

Gareth Bale led Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Denmark winning Euro 92 in Sweden despite failing to qualify

The Denmark squad were famously on their holidays when they were invited into Euro 92 after war-torn Yugoslavia were thrown out.

Which makes the fact that the unfancied Scandinavians, featuring future Rangers star Brian Laudrup, won the whole competition even more remarkable.

The Danes looked like they were there to make up the numbers after drawing with England and losing to Sweden.

But a 2-1 win over France in their final group game propelled them on a run to the final via a penalty-shootout victory over Netherlands in the semis.

A 2-0 win over Germany saw Denmark create the biggest shock the European Championships had ever seen…

Until 12 years later.

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Denmark: Unlikely winners of Euro 92.

Greece winning Euro 2004 in Portugal

Before their opening game victory against hosts Portugal, Greece had never before won a game at a major tournament.

But Otto Rehhagel’s men re-wrote the history books – no one can say they had the luck of the draw.

They drew with Spain to get out of the group, before beating France in the quarter-finals and Czech Republic in the semis.

Portugal were their victims again in the final as a third consecutive 1-0 victory took the famous trophy back to Athens.

STV and the STV Player will show 23 matches during Euro 2020 – including Scotland’s fixtures with England (June 18) and Croatia (June 22). Full details here.

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