We need to win in Moldova tomorrow to seal a spot in the play-offs but long-time Scotland supporter Rod is confident we will make the finals for the first time since France in 1998.
The 76-year-old, whose song Ole Ola for our 1978 World Cup campaign reached No4 in the charts, said: “That would be fabulous. Maybe Paolo and I can get together with other Scots artists and the team and do a song together.”
Scotland’s anthem for Euro 2020 earlier this year was disco favourite Yes Sir, I Can Boogie and the Da Ya Think I’m Sexy singer is also up for a cover.
He said: “Get the squad in and Paolo and I can sing a verse each – but let’s get to the World Cup first. However, I think we will win tomorrow and then it will be down to the play-offs.”
Rod also revealed his biggest dream is to see on of his youngest sons putting on a Celtic or Scotland strip as a player.
The father of eight has four sons and tried to get Liam, 27, his son with Rachel Hunter, interested but he’s now a professional ice hockey player.
But Rod is still hopeful his youngest sons could become footballers – especially youngest child, Aiden, 10.
He said: “Seeing one of them play for Celtic or Scotland would make me so proud. Aiden looks the most dedicated. I have a pitch at the house and he’s out there practising all the time.
“I tried to push Liam into playing football. He’s a big Celtic and Scotland supporter and has a thistle and a lion tattooed on his arm, just like me.
“Fathers have such an influence on who their kids support and I love Scotland.”
Rod had a trial for Brentford when he was 16 but chose music over football. He will bring Liam and his two boys with wife Penny Lancaster – Aiden and Alastair, 15 – to Celtic’s Scottish League Cup semi-final against St Johnstone at Hampden next Saturday.
He said: “It’s for Alastair’s birthday. All he wants is to sit with the Green Brigade.”
While some have called Rod “Scottish” he is adamant he has never said that.
He was born in London to a Scots dad, Robert, a builder from Leith, who with English wife Elsie had two sons and two daughters here before moving to England.
Rod said: “The Scottish influence in the Stewart household in London was very strong. I’m known as the Cockney Scotsman and I’m very proud of that.
“But at no time have I ever said I’m Scottish. For all intents and purposes, I’m not but my connections are very strong.
“I fell in love with the Scotland team when I was a teenager and was taken by my dad and two brothers to see Scotland play England at Wembley. The penny dropped and I’ve felt a connection with Scotland ever since.”
Scotland and football run deep with Rod. In his new album, The Tears of Hercules, which is out tomorrow, he gives a heartwarming nod to his dad in the song Touchline, which is about how Robert inspired his sons’ lifelong love of football.
Rod said: “I’m sure it will resonate with almost all dads who have stood on the touchline and cheered on while their kids play football.
“I’m doing it with my sons. Hopefully they will have sons and will do exactly the same – and be on the touchline shouting encouragement.” The album opens with a Johnny Cash cover, These Are My People, which Rod turns into a nod to Scotland, even including bagpipes.
He hails Marc Bolan on Born to Boogie and has written a romantic ballad for Penny, I Can’t Imagine. Earlier this year she became a qualified special constable and works the beat in London.
Rod said: “She loves it and says she’s not only giving something back but protecting the city I love, London.
“However, I don’t stop worrying until she calls me on the way home. I send a driver to get her and she calls once she is in the car. Then I’m OK.”
Loose Women panellist Penny has also opened up this year about her experience with the menopause, which left her anxious. She’s since gone on HRT and has praised Rod’s support.
He said: “Women are so volatile when they go through this. Any little thing can upset them.
“As a man, what you mustn’t do is retaliate when a temper is lost. But she’s much better. She’s on medication that seems to have levelled her out.
“She’s brave to talk about it. Men just have to shut up and understand. All we have to do is to shave every day – that’s the only hardship we have really.”
Rod is hoping the new album will follow his last, Blood Red Roses, to the UK No1 spot and become his 11th UK chart topper but he has competition from Ed Sheeran and Abba.
He’s hoping he can do it but feels no pressure that former pal Elton John recently had a No1 with The Lockdown Sessions.
Rod said: “Elton’s album wasn’t doing very well until they released the Dua Lipa song [Cold Heart]. That made a difference. It was her that sent it to No1.”
The pair fell out in 2018 when Rod called Elton’s farewell tour “dishonest”. At the start of the year he said he had apologised and was fixing the damage but now admits the friendship is lost.
Rod said: “We don’t talk any more. I don’t have his mobile number and we talk through the Press. He’ll say something outrageous about me and I’ll return the compliment.
“I think we’ve just grown apart. He’s got his kids, I’ve got my kids. He doesn’t drink any more and I do.”
Like Elton and rock legends Queen, Rod would love to see a biopic of his life but says he is waiting for someone to “pick up the reins and run with it”.
Luckily, he doesn’t need a film to boost his music sales. He’s already on to his next album, a big band album of swing classics.
He added that the long-awaited Faces album is on its way. Rod says he just has to finish off some of the songs and find time when he and Ronnie Wood can do a tour.
It won’t be a farewell tour, though. He said: “I’ve just done 10 concerts in Vegas and next year will spend three months touring the US. I’m loving it. Believe me, I’m not slowing down.
“And when I do slow down a little bit, I’d love to retire to Scotland.”
● The Tears of Hercules is out tomorrow. Rod plays Glasgow’s Ovo Hydro on November 29, 2022. For info and tickets, go to www.rodstewart.com
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