Pat Nevin: ‘I didn’t want to be a player at first but in the end I loved it’

Former Scotland winger on being an ‘accidental footballer’, Russian culture and his country’s chances at Euro 2024

An afternoon with Pat Nevin unfolds like a travelogue. The former Scotland international waits for me inside Berwick-upon-Tweed station and, in a moment of peak Nevin purity, he is reading a memoir written by Simon Raymonde, the bass player of his favourite band, the Cocteau Twins. The book is great, apparently, and sparks a stream of amusing anecdotes about a time when Nevin was considered a “weirdo” as a Chelsea and Everton footballer interested in music, books, film and politics.

We drive out of England, and into Scotland, while the 60-year-old Nevin talks about his love of travel and his relish for another European Championship, where he will work as an analyst for BBC Radio 5 Live in Germany. The tournament begins on Friday and Nevin will be there as Germany face Scotland in the opening match in Munich.

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