It was a day 23 years in the making many Scotland fans might now rather forget.
But for Forfar youngster Josh Forrest, the national men’s side’s return to a major international competition is something he will remember with a big smile for the rest of his life.
And he has a match ball and European Championship kit to remind him.
The 11-year-old played a starring role as the matchball mascot in the lead up to Monday’s Hampden clash with the Czechs.
For Whitehills primary school pupil Josh it was a spectacular introduction to seeing Scotland play for the first time.
The young Aberdeen fan won the honour of carrying out the match ball after entering a competition at Barnett’s Volkswagen in Dundee.
It led to an unforgettable, if exhausting and emotional day for the Angus youngster and his proud parents, Gail and Gary.
The family were at Hampden at 7.30am on Monday so Kirrie Thistle youngster Josh could go through the practice runs for the opening ceremony.
Pandemic restrictions put paid to the tradition of mascots accompanying the players of each side, so Josh was centre stage to place the match ball on the plinth as the teams lined up.
“The atmosphere was absolutely amazing,” he said.
“It was amazing to walk out onto the Hampden pitch.
“I’ve been there to see Aberdeen play Celtic, but this was the first time I had seen Scotland play.
“I was pretty nervous when we got there in the morning.
“But we had practised it a few times so when it came to the real thing I was able to enjoy it.
“The noise of the crowd was like a jet plane,” he said.
“The whole day was great – apart from the result.
“We really should have won, we had good chances and should have buried them to win it,” he said.
Undaunted, Josh is looking ahead to Friday’s England encounter with confidence.
“I think we’ll win 1-0,” he said.
Mum Gail said it had been a thrilling day for the family.
“It was a shame what was effectively the opening ceremony wasn’t shown on television because it was pretty special,” she said.
“It was really emotional – the tears were flowing, but it was just a fantastic atmosphere.
“We were so proud of Josh.
“He left us when we arrived at Hampden first thing and we didn’t see him again until he came up to sit with us and watch the match.
“I’ve travelled home and away with the Tartan Army and Gary is also a huge fan so it was just incredible to see him out there on the pitch.
“He was given one of the official match balls and another replica, as well as the full kit and new boots.
“We’ll be getting the kit framed and the ball in a display case and it’s a fantastic memory for him to have.”