Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street Press Secretary and Official Spokesperson to Prime Minister Tony Blair, has made a plea for the Ukrainian national anthem to be played on the Highland pipes when Scotland’s national football team meets Ukraine. The game will take place at Hampden Park on June 1 in the World Cup semi-final play-offs.

Alastair was joined live on TV last night, April 25, at 9pm by The National Piping Centre’s Director of Piping, Finlay MacDonald, and both of them played through the anthem on Highland pipes. During the TV interview Alastair Campbell said: “I think it would be brilliant if a pipe band played the Ukrainian national anthem as the players sing it. The Ukrainians would like that, the Scots would like that, and I just think it would be a nice thing to do. It is a gesture that I think would go down well with both sides.”

Scottish football supporters will be glad to see the fixture go ahead as it was originally scheduled to be played on March 24, but was postponed due to the war. One wonders how a country at war with Russia can possibly divert its attention to play a game of football, but it just proves the sentiments in the quote attributed to the great Bill Shankly are correct: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”

Bagpipe.news published the musical score to the Ukrainian National Anthem on March 1, titled Glory and Freedom of Ukraine has not yet Perished. The music was arranged by Timothy Cummings and the page proved to be very popular.