Football: Stark relishing ‘special’ Lane clash


Billy Stark is unsure whether his Scotland Under-21 players fully understand the importance of Tuesday’s meeting with England.

But the former youth international claims they will grasp the magnitude of the fixture once they run out at Bramall Lane.

The Dark Blue youths will take on their England equivalents in Sheffield 20 years since a meeting at this age level was last staged.

Stark played in the Scots’ first Under-21 duel with the Auld Enemy in 1977 and thrived on the “special” atmosphere around the game.

However, he has his doubts as to whether his current crop feel the same way about the game.

He said: “The boys are not from my generation and I don’t know if they will be as excited about it as I am. For the supporters, it was the game of the year.

“International football has been diluted a wee bit since then with the Champions League and so on, but this fixture has not taken place for 20 years, so that adds to it. I don’t know if the younger ones have the same fervour for it, though.

“But it’s a special fixture and always will be.

“I’m sure they will look back on it and realise how special it is.”