He came close to reaching a major final twice with Scotland Under-21s.
Now former Aberdeen goalie Michael Watt hopes the current crop of youngsters can go one better tonight.
The young Scots face England in Aubagne, in the semi-final of the prestigious Toulon Tournament.
If Scot Gemmill’s team can see off the Auld Enemy this evening it will be the first time the U21s have reached the final of the Toulon Tournament or the European Championships.
Ex-Dons keeper Watt, who now works in Glasgow as an investment specialist, played in two of the near misses.
In 1991 he was between the sticks as the U21s, managed by former Scotland and Aberdeen boss Craig Brown, missed out on the Toulon Tournament final on goal difference.
And a year later Watt played as the Scots were edged out 1-0 on aggregate by Sweden in the semi-final of the European U21 Championship.
And Watt, who left Pittodrie in 1998 for spells with Norwich and Kilmarnock before retirement, has backed the young Scots ahead of their latest attempt to reach a final.
The 47-year-old said: “This is a big game for them and a fantastic game for them to play in. It will be interesting to see how they get on.
“It would be great if they could get to the final because it makes a statement in terms of our youth development.
“It makes a statement about the structure that is in place to bring through young players.
“It would be great to see that working. I’ve been involved in Pro Youth football as a coach in the past.
“Things have moved forward a lot from the approach in trying to play out from the back, to sports science, to nutrition. I’ve seen that develop.
“When people talk about Scottish football now and where are the stars going to come from I don’t know the answer to that. But the standard at Pro Youth is really good.”
Watt played in the semi-final of the Euro U21s in 1992. The Scots topped a qualifying group containing Bulgaria, Romania and Switzerland before beating Germany in a remarkable two-legged quarter-final.
After securing a 1-1 draw in Bochum on March 10 1992 the Germans arrived at a sold-out Pittodrie for the second leg 13 days later.
The Scots’ campaign looked to be all over early in the second half as they fell 3-1 behind on the night.
Markus Kranz and Mehmet Scholl had the visitors 2-0 up before Ray McKinnon pulled one back and Heiko Herrlick netted early in the second period.
But an astonishing comeback in the last 20 minutes saw Gerry Creaney, Paul Lambert and Alex Rae score to win the tie 5-4. Watt added: “It was a particularly good squad we had then. We had guys like Paul Lambert, Scott Booth and Eoin Jess in our team.
“It was a really strong squad and the most memorable game of that run was the second leg against Germany at Pittodrie in the quarter-final.
“As far as atmospheres at Pittodrie go it’s as good an atmosphere as I’ve seen.
“I would compare the Germany game for the atmosphere to some of the big European games I saw at Pittodrie under Sir Alex Ferguson as a youngster growing up. It was just an incredible atmosphere.
“I think that was why they took the semi-final home leg back to Pittodrie. The turn- out from the support was phenomenal.
“The Germany game was just an incredible comeback. We were in a bit of shock after that game after scoring three late on.”
After such a memorable night against the Germans the SFA decided to play the home leg of the semi-final against Sweden at Pittodrie in April 1992.
And it was another sell-out. Sadly, though, the Scots couldn’t reach the final.
After a 0-0 draw in the Granite City they were beaten by a Jonny Rodlund goal nine minutes from time in the second leg in Orebro.
Watt said: “The Sweden game finished 0-0 at home and we lost to a late goal over there which was disappointing.
“From memory there was really nothing in the games. There was very little between the two teams.”
If that was a hard luck story, Scotland’s exit at the Toulon Tournament the year before was even crueller.
At that time the competition was made up of just two groups of four with the two group winners playing the final. The Scots beat Poland 1-0 thanks to a Jess goal in the first game.
Up next were France, whose side featured an 18-year-old Zinedine Zidane. but the Dark Blues secured a 1-1 draw with Rae scoring.
In the final group game Rae netted twice and Jess was also on target to beat the USA 3-2.
But there was heartbreak as France went on to play in the final due to a goal difference that was two better than Scotland’s.
Watt said: “We were close to getting to the final, which would have been against England.
“There aren’t many teams who would have gone the group unbeaten and not gone through.”
While disappointed after both of those near misses, Watt can now reflect on how well that group of players performed.
He said: “That was a squad who did pretty well.
“I think at the time after going out you were disappointed because you wanted to go all the way.
“But it’s probably only when you look back on quite a few things that you do think it was a pretty good achievement.
“At the time it obviously didn’t feel like that because you want to win.
“That’s just the way sport is. But it was a good achievement.”