AFTER failing to seal the deal with a two-goal win against Switzerland in their penultimate World Cup qualifier, Scotland Women’s fate slipped out of their hands.

In order to get to the finals in France next year, the team had to then win against Albania in the final game and hope group favourites Switzerland dropped points against Poland.

Full-back Chloe Arthur, from Erskine, knew most pundits expected Scotland to fail...but the female Bravehearts still had faith.

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Using their tried and tested method of focusing on themselves, they became the first Scotland Women’s team to qualify for a World Cup finals...and the first Scotland football team – men or women – to qualify for the tournament since 1998, as they beat Albania 2-1 and the Swiss were held to a 0-0 draw.

Chloe, 23, was filled with a huge sense of achievement but it was a case of every rose has its thorns, as she longed to celebrate the joyous moment with her late dad Gary.

Tragically, she was robbed of that experience as Paisley man Gary was one of 10 people killed in the Clutha disaster in Glasgow in 2013, when a police helicopter crashed into the pub on the banks of the River Clyde.

The Gazette:

The Scotland star with her much-loved dad 

Chloe admits not a single day goes by when she doesn’t think of her dad, who was just 48 when his life was cut short.

And he has crossed her mind more often than usual since she helped the Scots secure that coveted World Cup slot.

Chloe, who plays her club football for Birmingham City Women, told The Gazette: “He would have loved to be here.

“I think about him every day anyway but he has crossed my mind a lot more recently.

“A lot of the time, my mum would take me to games and training but my dad was the football-minded one. He absolutely loved it and, when we qualified, I wish he could’ve been there to see it.

“He would’ve loved it and he would’ve come over to France for the finals. I know he would be so proud of me.”

Chloe is one of many people still waiting for answers about what led to the tragic events of November 29, 2013, when the police chopper being piloted by Lochwinnoch man David Traill fell from the sky.

A long-awaited Fatal Accident Inquiry is due to be held next April, with the first preliminary hearing taking place next Wednesday at Hampden Park.

Chloe, a former Hibernian player, has happy memories of playing football with her dad.

“He was a patriotic Scot and he thought he was class at football,” said Chloe. “He was a really good player.

“Dad usually played in midfield for amateur teams as he was quite fast.

"We used to have kickabouts a lot and he would always give me things to work on.

“He always said he knew more about football than me!”

Chloe is also hugely grateful to mum Marie for supporting her football dream by providing a vital ‘taxi’ service to and from training, as well as offering encouragement from the sidelines.

The Gazette:

Proud mum Marie with Chloe 

“If it wasn’t for mum, I wouldn’t have been able to go to training,” she said. “Both mum and dad have been such an inspiration.”

Chloe, who joined FA Women’s Super League side Birmingham City in the summer, came on as a substitute against Albania and admits it was an “unbelievable” feeling to be on the pitch as it was confirmed qualification had been sealed.

The Gazette:

Chloe in action for Birmingham City 

It was a determined campaign which saw the Scots recover from losing positions four times, earning them the tag of ‘comeback queens.’

After qualifying for their first European Championships in 2017, it seems that this Scotland squad believe nothing is beyond them.

And Chloe believes the sky is the limit as she keeps her fingers crossed for selection to the squad that will compete on a global stage in France.

She added: “If we take one game at a time, we can achieve our goal.
“I’m sure we can go far because we have some really great individuals. 

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“We have made things difficult for ourselves at times but there is so much passion in this squad.

“After the Switzerland game, I think they thought they had qualified.

From there, we just had to think about ourselves and what we had to do against Albania.

The Gazette:

Chloe has 13 Scotland caps to her name 

“It was amazing to be on the pitch when the final whistle went.

“I’m hopeful I will be selected but there are no guarantees. There is a lot of time between now and then, so I’m just focusing on staying healthy for now but it is so exciting.