The Tartan Army refers to the supporters of the Scotland national football (soccer) team who attend matches both at home and abroad. There are of course vast numbers of fans who attend the home matches and a hard core of about 1,000 who travel to almost all away matches. This number swells to between 5,000 and 20,000 travelling fans when Scotland play in any major tournament such as the European Championships or the World Cup, or of course when we play our neighbours and oldest rivals - England (The Auld Enemy).
The Tartan Army, although being somewhat loud when travelling, has built itself a reputation for being friendly and open. In recent times arrests for violence or hooliganism are almost unheard of. They are also known to enjoy a drink. During the 1998 world cup in France the local press reported that 125,000 litres of beer was consumed in St. Etienne on a single day. This is approximately 25 times the normal daily consumption for the town. A bar in Bordeaux reported selling the equivalent of a year's supply of drinks in just one week!
One fan described the Tartan Army as follows: "We are not an organisation, rather, we are a disorganisation..." which sums things up rather nicely.