International Break-Part 5
There’s always an exception in any series,and an exceptional match provides for one here. MIKE’s alter-ego,Jimmy Cricket remembers a famous wee jerseys-for-goalposts kickabout on Glasgow Green…
Mike is away, but he asked me to send this in on his behalf, he also asked me to send on his best wishes to all his friends on Sentinel Celts who share his lifelong passion for Glasgow Celtic.
Jimmy Cricket was just a very young bhoy, when his uncle Frank took him to Hampden, to see the best game of football that he had ever seen,it was his very first game watching professional football, it was the 1960 European cup final between Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Madrid. Have you ever left a football stadium crushed in beside another 137,000 football supporters and left enthused and in complete awe disbelieving what you had just seen. Here was I just beginning to find an interest in a sport that would become a life long passion, of course I had begun to play school football and this would lead later to county trials and amatuer football with a brief sojourn into Junior football, where the highlight of this for me would be sharing a football pitch with a person that I had idolised earlier in his career, George Connolly.
The 1960 European Cup final between Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Madrid. Would you believe that Frankfurt had a player called Stinka and another one called Stein, was big Jock at this game, did it have a huge influence on his future? I would not bet against it, because within a year the team that he began to manage, the Pars would meet the Celtic at Hampden park and after a no scoring draw on the Saturday, they would on the following Wednesday beat Celtic to win the Scottish cup and a legendary career began. We know that it had a big effect on Alex Ferguson, he has said so many times, how many other footballing figures would be influenced by this one European cup final we will never know, but there can be no doubt that it was the beginning of the modern game.
The game itself was in doubt because the West German F.A. had banned their clubs from taking part in any game containing Ference Puskas after the Hungarian had alleged that the West Germans had used drugs in an International game, apparently a couple of syringes had been discovered on the dressing room floor. Puskas was forced to withdraw the allegation and issue a formal written apology before the game could go ahead.
Eintracht were the new kids on the block and Real were certainly the favourits, Eintracht had missed out playing any big hitters in the previous rounds playing minnows like “Rangers” and humping them 6-1 in Germany and 6-3 in Govan. “OH YEAH”. ?. They were certainly a great team who knew where the goals were. Madrid had a galaxy of star players like Di Stefano 3 goals, Puskas 4 goals ( Di Stefano is one of only 3 who scored a hat trick in a European cup final and Puskas is the only player who scored ever scored 4 goals) Another player of pedigree would be Gento. Madrid were known for their attacking players while Eintracht appeared to be solid defensively.
The game kicked off cautiously, both teams feeling their way into the game. Frankfurt sat back and absorbed Madrid’s early attacks, breaking out on the counter when opportunity’s occurred. Madrid seemed to be in control, but completely against the run of play Eintracht scored first as Kreb met Pfaffs cross “goal” back of the net, 1-0. to Frankfurt.
Madrid kept on probing and after 22 minutes Di Stefano tapped the ball into the net after a German mistake “Gott im Himmel” Madrid’s confidence was up and their quality began to tell, Di Stefano scored again only three minutes from his first goal, Madrid got their third goal just before half time through the controversial Ference Puskas. 3-1 up to the Spanish Champions at half time.
The crowd were delighted by this showcase game and of course rivalries would not come into play as most of the crowd would be neutral, we were all revelling in this fascinating game of football, “want a wee nip son”? No chance says uncle Frank, his mother would kill me.
The second half would continue in much the same vein as the first and after 10 minutes goal number 4 came for Madrid from the penalty spot and Puskas put the ball once again into the Frankfurt net. Five minutes later Madrid scored again and went 5-1 up, this was so one sided as Puskas headed the ball into the Frankfurt net from a Gento cross. After that “Loy” the Frankfurt goal keeper made a fantastic save, what followed might be considered to be one of the best period in European cup history (except two) as both Madrid and Frankfurt each scored two goals, to make the final score 7-3. A Puskas bullet from outside the box, Stein of Frankfurt had pulled one back, Di Stefano got his hat-trick showing pace and control and skill, Eintracht through Stein replied again with a tap-in. The final 10 minutes we had witnessed a showcase of fantastic football. Fast flowing with the speed of attacking players interacting with each other, not one in that huge crowd would ever forget what they had just witnessed, modern football had just began.
“Take my hand” said uncle Frank as we made our way home, tired but very, very happy, you could not ask for anything more, it fired you up and made you want to kick a ball, it made a huge impression on me, it drove me on to see how far I could get in football, I lived and breathed for the game, much to the dismay of my teachers. Not soon after I would like Rebus watch that 1960 Scottish cup final Celtic via big Jock’s Dunfermline and my passion grew and I found a new love, Glasgow Celtic.
A ten goal thriller that raised the bar and set the standard for others to follow.
Beat that,eh! The series will resume on Sunday with another multi-goal thriller at the same venue. If you want to share your memories,or voice your opinions on ANY subject,mail Mahe at