September 1, 1985
LORD’S had never seen the like before. A team of kilted Scotsmen, piped into cricket’s spiritual home.
Of all the country’s great sporting memories of the last century, Freuchie’s achievement in winning the National Village Cup in 1985 is surely the most incongruous.
The efforts of the “Dad’s Army” of Fife plumbers, teachers, social workers and slaters in beating the pride of England made front-page news throughout the UK.
The record books pay testimony to the fact that on a ground which has best of the likes of WG Grace, Don Bradman and Denis Compton, they captured the trophy with victory over Rowledge of Surrey.
But it was the events around the success and the fact Ian Botham, then in the middle of an Ashes Test, joined in the celebrations which captured the public’s imagination.
More than 3,000 Scots, 1,000 more than the entire population of Freuchie at the time, made the pilgrimage to London.
The convoy of buses famously had to make the trip over the Forth Bridge twice because the first was missed by local television cameras.
It was an effort acknowledged by the team, who spent the day before the final drinking with fellow villagers.
It was to be a mere warm-up with a very un-Lord’s-like pitch invasion signalling the start of
a huge party which, legend has it, saw Ian Botham join in a lengthy session at the Westmorland Hotel before going out to face Australia at the Oval the next day.