Corby family united by politics but divided by football ready for the big match

The rivals have played 114 times in the men's game with England up 48 wins to Scotland's 41.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 7:00 am

It's the world's oldest football rivalry - going back to 1872 - and on Friday at 8pm, as Scotland and England face one another, a family united by politics will divide along national lines.

Lifelong Scotland fan John McGhee will be cheering along with the tartan army as daughter Zoe hopes that football's coming home with England.

Both are used to wearing the red of Labour as elected councillors for the new North Northants Council, but they will be in opposing camps when the whistle blows at Wembley.

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Zoe and John McGhee

In a town built on migration, especially from Scotland, it will be a familiar problem for hundreds of relatives as they watch the match on Friday.

John, who was born in Scotland, said: "I'll be fun. We won't be watching it together. I'm going to be with friends, two England fans and two Scotland.

"My heart clearly says Scotland is going to win. I've been to enough Scotland vs England games to know it's going close. I was also at the game when Paul Gascoigne scored 'that' goal against us at Wembley. We forgave him when he came to Rangers."

With daughter Zoe choosing to support his arch rivals on the football field and not following in his tartan footsteps, John says he has 'forgiven her'.

John and Zoe McGhee

He said: "I didn't mean to bring her up as an England supporter. Living here and with Zoe supporting them when it comes to other England matches I wish them to do well - but just not in the final."

The 1872 association football match between the national teams of Scotland and England is officially recognised by FIFA as the sport's first-ever international.

John recalls many times travelling by minibus up to Scotland games from Corby with English-sounding friends proudly wearing their Scotland kits, confusing the locals.

He said: "They would look at us to say 'why are yous supporting Scotland - you're English?'

"We would say 'we're from Corby' and they knew."

Corby-born Zoe thinks it's natural to support England despite her roots.

She will be heading for the pub to soak up the atmosphere and to watch the game.

She said: "I'm English. I was born in Corby and I'm loyal to where I was born. I guess that's something that my dad has taught me.

"I would like Scotland to score one goal to keep everyone happy but I think England will win 2-1."

Dad John added: "My head says that it's going to be extremely hard to win the match but we could just scrape a draw. In the Rous Cup it was always very close, so I hope that we can do it."