FRANK Skinner and David Baddiel were synonymous with the summer when football came home.

But Scotland’s Euro 96 crusade began on a New York stage with Rod Stewart.

ITV are currently rerunning the entire tournament from 24 years ago to keep up spirits during the ongoing lockdown.

As a regular in the Scottish midfield at the time, City boss Stuart McCall has been an interested viewer as he looks back on one of the most iconic competitions of its generation.

Here are some of his recollections from a time when the whole country fell in love with the national sport again.

Fresh from an eighth successive title win with Rangers and a 5-1 hammering of Hearts in the Scottish Cup final, McCall was on cloud nine as he headed for Scotland’s warm-up camp in America.

He laughs heartily at manager Craig Brown’s recent claim that it was a "non-alcoholic" trip.

There was inevitably plenty of beer to be had but all the headlines were dominated by England’s shenanigans in Hong Kong and the infamous “dentist’s chair” bar.

While the tabloid press sharpened their knives for Paul Gascoigne and Co, Scotland went under the radar.

Their build-up seemed a lot lower key, although they were invited to Madison Square Garden to see Stewart perform.

He even got the players to join him on the revolving stage with Ally McCoist and Billy McKinlay playing a mean air guitar as the rest mimed in the background.

"It went the full 360 degrees," recalled McCall. "So while he was singing to the crowd, we were facing the other way."

Scotland played two friendlies and lost both – 2-1 to USA and 1-0 against Colombia. It wasn’t ideal preparation for the Euros.

“You’re fighting for a place,” said McCall. “We had a decent travelling squad and everyone wanted to be involved in the opening game against Holland.

“I remember that trip for a couple of reasons. First was the Rod Stewart concert and getting up on the stage.

“That was a good night and then we went out for a fair few drinks afterwards. We didn’t exactly find a dentist’s chair but we weren’t far from it.

“Then I remember the Colombia game in Miami. I’ve never, ever been one for swapping shirts but Carlos Valderrama was their big star at the time and I saw my chance.

“He was playing up front, coming in from the left, and Stuart McKimmie had marked him for most of the game.

“But we got a throw-in down by the corner flag right near the end. I asked the linesman how long left and he said something back in Spanish, I think it was about a minute!

“I saw Valderrama was on the halfway line, he was staying up as we pushed for an equaliser.

“So, I told Stuart to get himself up there and take the long throw and I’d stay back as cover. As soon as he threw the ball in, the final whistle went and I asked Valderrama straight away to swap his shirt.

“But over the years, I’ve always been done with shirts.

“In Euro 92 against Holland, I’d been marking (Frank) Rijkaard, (Ruud) Gullit and (Marco) van Basten through the game and ended up getting (Berry) van Aerle, the right back!

“But America certainly wasn’t a dry trip. We worked hard and played hard.”

Scotland were rank outsiders going into the competition. A 50/1 long shot with the bookies, only Czech Republic were at bigger odds.

“We were in a tough group and knew we’d do well to get through,” admitted McCall.

“England were obviously well fancied playing on their own patch, Holland were the favourites and then it was us and Switzerland. You looked at that thinking we’d be the two teams battling it out for third and fourth.

“But there had been massive pressure on us to qualify. Financially, it was huge for the SFA (Scottish Football Association) for us to be there.

“Just to have a tournament literally in your back garden and not be there would have been horrible.

“Having qualified, nobody was getting carried away with expectation.

“We were a well organised team with a good spirit about us. But we didn’t score many goals or give too many away.

“There was me, Gary McAllister and John Collins as the midfield three and two up front, usually Gordon Durie and McCoist. We tended to play five at the back and conceded the least goals in qualifying.

“We were hard to beat and had a good mentality but weren’t the most flamboyant to watch.”