Leeds United legend gets hands-on Commonwealth Games role

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Former Leeds United captain Gordon Strachan took a hands-on role ahead of the start of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Strachan was given the honour of carrying the event’s official baton around the city’s Hampden Park stadium yesterday.

The Scotland manager said: “I came here as a kid – I think it was 1970 – there were 137,000 people in here.

“So I’m back again now all these years later carrying a baton for the Commonwealth Games.

“That’s life – you never plan these things, but it sometimes ends up wonderful.”

Strachan worked as a TV pundit during the recent World Cup in Brazil, seeing first-hand how the country’s people contributed to the tournament’s success.

And the 57-year-old believes his fellow Scots will embrace the Commonwealth Games in the same upbeat fashion.

“It wasn’t so much the football – it was the excitement it generated,” he said.

“Brazil was a place I had never been to and everyone who went out there thought the Brazilian people made the event.

“They joined in, they were welcoming, they were humorous, they were good fun.

“I’m sure you are going to get the same here.

“The weather’s going to get good as well, so everything points to good fun.

“And when tourists get here, they should get themselves about Scotland – not just Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“There is wonderful scenery elsewhere in the country.

“It’s great that people can come here and see Scotland at its best.”

Strachan also hopes the sporting action provides a lasting legacy for the people of Scotland.

He said: “I think it’s a chance for Scotland to grab a hold of sport and use it as a tool to help us.

“I think everybody can play a sport – it’s finding what sport you are good at.

“No matter what shape, size, height, there’s a sport there for you.

“What we need to do as a country is give children the opportunity to find that sport.

“When asking politicians to do anything, I always say ‘do something about the sport because it can help your country no end’.”

The Queen’s Baton has been carried in a relay across 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth during the build-up to today’s Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony.

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