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SQUARE WE GO.

Byline: JOHN DINGWALL j.dingwall@dailyrecord.co.uk

SCOTLAND fans made their presence felt as they arrived in London for the crunch World Cup qualifier against the Auld Enemy.

Thousands turned up in Trafalgar Square on Armistice Day ahead of last night's sell-out match at the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium.

They wore kilts, waved flags and sang their hearts out - but that was before Gordon Strachan's men went down 3-0 to England.

About 14,000 Tartan Army foot soldiers had flocked south.

They lived up to their reputation by climbing on to Nelson's Column and putting a traffic cone on the head of one of the Trafalgar Square lions - a regular stunt at Glasgow's Duke of Wellington statue.

Despite a couple of arrests and drinking in public, the gathering was largely peaceful.

Good-natured crowds in the square, which had been full for most of the afternoon, started to thin at 5.30pm as hundreds started making their way on to trains bound for Wembley.

all The takeover of Trafalgar Square became a traditional part of Scotland's biennial visits to Wembley in the British Home Championship in the 1960s and 1970s.

best coverag & see But some reports claimed the mood turned ugly earlier in the capital as England fans also converged there.

There were two arrests, one for alleged common assault and the other for being drunk and disorderly.

a Blue flare smoke hung in the air and the sound of SPORT breaking glass could be heard as police pulled away a group of England fans who looked ready to fight with a handful of Scotland supporters.

Blood poured from one Scot's leg and paramedics took care of concussed fan. And at least one person was treated in an ambulance. There had been an increased police presence in the square, where public toilets were closed at 4.30pm due to damage.

The force had urged football fans to respect Armistice Day events ahead of the football.

A Met Police spokesman said: "We are aware that, in the past, Scottish supporters have congregated in Trafalgar Square. Given the match falls on November 11, we have also been liaising with the Royal British Legion, who will be hosting their Silence in the Square event in Trafalgar Square to mark Armistice Day."

Earlier in the day, shortly before the 11am Armistice Day silence, a group of 22 servicemen from all over Scotland congregated at King's Cross.

Scotland Yard revealed the Twitter account @MPSFOOTBALL-Unit to liaise with fans throughout the day. Superintendent Alex Carson, co-ordinating the British Transport Police operation, said: "We want fans to enjoy themselves and for everyone to have a safe and peaceful journey.

"But we will have a highly visible policing presence to ensure any anti-social behaviour or crime is swiftly nipped in the bud."

Scores of fans came down from Nelson's Column and were accused of leaving shattered glass and spilled alcohol on the landmark.

Gillian Johnson said it was "terrible", adding: "It's not fair, this is supposed to be a public place."

A cleaner said he had come to "expect this level of mess" when football fans were in town.

Empty bottles lined the pool rims of the two fountains, which had been switched off after they were filled with fairy liquid by Scottish fans three years ago. Supporter Kenny Petrie, 45, said: "We travel for games as a group quite often - this year we've been to France, Prague and Malta.

"We've never had trouble in England but there is more friction in Europe, like at the Euros.

"We want a peaceful game and a Scottish victory." Nae luck there!

It's Cops 1 England 0 ENGLAND fans were reeling when police told them to take down their St George's flag in Trafalgar Square.

They had attempted to outdo the saltire-flying Scots but officers were worried about the potential for trouble between opposing fans and moved in to remove their flag.

Fool in Armistice Day pool THERE'S always one idiot - as this Scotland fan proves.

The moron went for a dip in the fountain at Trafalgar Square after being pushed in by pals. But it had been turned into a fountain of remembrance on Armistice Day

breaking could as police of to as fans ALL THE BEST BIGMATCH COVERAGE & ANALYSIS SEE SPORT

CAPTION(S):

CANNY MEN Lads with their carryout

TARTAN BARMY One bare-chested foot soldier braves November chill, left, another shows some muscle and the familiar sight of a supporter in kilt

CHEERS Fans toast occasion with a beer and it's more like a Hampden roar from saltire-waving fella, above

THE OLD THRILL Scots in police hats

FLAG BEARERS Smiles all

KEEPING IT REAL Cheeky boys lift kilts Braveheart-style

LONDON AYES Scots have a ball in Trafalgar Square ahead of match. Pic: Tony Nicoletti
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 12, 2016
Words:795
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