Scott McTominay already has a special Wembley memory in the bank.
As a primary school pupil, he scored the winning goal for his village side Halton St Wilfrid’s in the final of the Community Cup.
That was back in 2008. Now, McTominay is a talisman for club and country, preparing to spearhead Scotland’s Euro 2020 charge against England tonight.
“It’s a shame it wasn’t recorded – that would give a people a taste that I’ve got a half decent left foot when I want to use it!” joked McTominay.
“At such a young age, it was a surreal feeling for me. It almost feels similar to the atmosphere I have now – back in a hotel in London, knowing I’m playing at Wembley next day.
“It’s special and something that, for both games, is something I’ll never forget. My team-mate from that primary school team, Dan Towers, is one of my best friends and he’ll be in the crowd.
“I like to get all my people, my close friends, to all of my games. Me and Dan have been best friends for many, many years now.
“My mum, all my family will be in the crowd. My grandparents, will be in the crowd.
“So, yes, there will be a good squad cheering on me and Scotland. Hopefully, we can put on a show.”
McTominay qualifies to play for Scotland through his father, Frank, who was born in Helensburgh. His grandfather Francis was in the crowd to watch him at Hampden Park on Monday, in the 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic.
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“We always have a thing in my family that when we’re doing really well we never get too high and never get too low,” he added.
“My dad’s just very proud and so pleased to see me playing for Scotland and Manchester United. But the journey we’ve been on – the family – has been immense.
“We’ve had many high moments and obviously there have also been many lows.
“But that’s part and parcel of the game and why we love it. So, my family’s built on a tradition of hard work and stable minds. We’re all good.”
The Lancaster-born midfielder could well be pitting himself against a life-long friend this evening.
McTominay and Marcus Rashford have been friends and team-mates since they were children, growing up through the ranks together at Manchester United.
Rashford has generated immense plaudits for his off-field work over the past 12 months, fighting for free school meals for children and launching a book club to help disadvantaged kids read more.
“Me and Marcus have known each other a long time,” said the Scotland midfielder. “We’ve played together for many, many years now and we get on really well.
“We’ve always had that close bond, and it’s the same with the other Manchester United lads who play for England; Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Dean Henderson, although unfortunately Dean had to go home.
“I get on well with them all. But obviously tomorrow’s a different day. They’re not in my team.”
The game at Wembley marks McTominay’s 25th appearance for Scotland, having made his debut under Alex McLeish in 2018. At 24, he hopes there are plenty more caps to add to his name in the future.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) June 17, 2021
“I know I can do more. I know that 25 caps is only the beginning,” he said. “I’ve conducted myself really well in terms of turning up for every camp I’ve been asked to.
“I want to play every single game for Scotland, I’ve never shied away from that. Hopefully, the next 75 or so – if I get to that level – will be much better.
“It’s been a hell of a journey so far. So I’m proud.”
And if he could deliver another Wembley winner for his current team?
“What would I give for that? I’d give everything in the world. I was a young pup back then, learning my trade.
“I couldn’t have had a better upbringing and I’m so proud of what’s happened over the years.”