Memorable Matches-Part 6
Continuing the theme of Most Memorable Matches,I can hardly pass up the chance to recall my first winning final.
Not a bad way to break my duck,this. I’d been at the League Cup Final earlier in the season,and I’m positive that it was the first time I’d ever seen Celtic lose,which isn’t bad,considering I’d been going since a 2-1 victory over Aberdeen in late 1967.
But 4-1 against Partick Thistle? Aw,ffs…
And let’s face it,Hibs were no mugs at the time. A very good team indeed,and this was us on the back of a demoralising penalties defeat from Inter Milan in the semi final of The European Cup only a few days earlier. And with a number of injuries too,such as Bobby Lennox,Harry Hood,David Hay,Danny McGrain.
No,this was far from a gimme.
But in front of 106,000 fans,Celtic were simply unstoppable. From the second minute when Cesar scored from a free-kick,we were majestic. Hibs contributed largely to a wonderful match-I think Pat Stanton could have scored a late hat trick but for Evan Williams saying Naw!-but there was no stopping Bobby Murdoch and Jimmy Johnstone that day. They simply ran riot.
This wasn’t a day for going up on the bus,as my Uncle Jim and my Dad were both doing the dreaded Saturday morning shift at their workplaces,and their pal Harry downed a few extra pints waiting for them. We drove up at full pelt,hit The International Bar just in time for me to get the obligatory lemonade and crisps at the front door-pubs didn’t double as crèches in those days!-and made our way into the North-east corner of the ground.
The Celtic End,no less. There are certain traditions as you will all know,and I duly made my way to the front. My Dad knew exactly where I would be,even in a crowd that size,and what I witnessed is part of the legend of Celtic.
No-one had scored six in a Scottish Cup Final since the year of our foundation,but we did,and frankly we were short-changed. Lou Macari chipped in with a couple,but really the stars of the show were Bobby and Jimmy. Bobby sprayed the ball around that pitch like he’d been given the freedom of it-but only for the day,so don’t waste it!-and Jimmy? Well,Jimmy would receive the ball and just tease Hibs.
It was cruelty,really. And a pleasure to behold. George Connelly wasn’t to be outdone either,showing his repertoire of solid defence-remember,this was a very good Hibs team indeed-and the rest of his Beckenbaueresque repertoire as he attempted to outpass Bobby and outrun Jimmy.
But no-one could outshine Dixie,oh no. From the despair of landing the first Mitre on the moon on Wednesday,to putting the Celtic end into orbit on the Saturday. No pressure,and a wonderful hat-trick.
The pick,of course,was his second. Lou hit a hopeful long ball,a Hibs defender got to it first and headed it towards his keeper. Dixie was onto it in a flash,and from a wide angle,rounded the keeper. Only to find the defender blocking his path. No problem,rounded him too-only to find the keeper blocking his route to goal.
Naturally,he rounded him again,only to find,oh you get the drift,this went on for about half an hour until the two Hibs players and,by this time,a colleague,needed to be given oxygen while Dixie put it in the net.
I might have been exaggerating about how long it took,but it is no exaggeration to say how well appreciated that goal was,we chanted Dixie’s name for a good few minutes,and again when he finished off his hat-trick.
The Hibs fans did their best to ruin a great occasion with a minor pitch invasion,but it was Celtic’s day in the sun. And Dixie’s. For all that we had seen outstanding performances from Bobby,Jimmy,George-and also from Tommy Callaghan,I might add-it was Dixie’s day. Dixie’s Cup Final. It was also Bertie Auld’s last appearance-as a late sub for Hibs-and Jim Craig’s last appearance for Celtic.
And my first time seeing a Celtic captain raise a trophy.
Great day,not even a post-match thunderstorm could dampen my spirits,and I doubt it could dampen those of Dixie.
Late on parade today,so my apologies.
Here’s the goals.
Oh Dixie, Dixie,( forward roll fist in the air, toothless grin, what a brave fella he was). Dixie, Dixie…… Dixie Deans. Another great memory mahe, another great final. Some wonderful players, the Hibees had some great ones as well, two attacking teams, when the Celtic went in front Hibs had no alternative but to press forward leaving the back door open and invited us in.
Lou Macari was a great player, strong on the ball, driving forwards, he has a shelter for the homeless in Stoke-on Trent, that is the mark of that brilliant and thoughtful man. What can you add to others who have said it all about George (barrel chest) Connolly, another wonderful player, Tom Callaghan as well, a much underrated player, we loved them all, in return they gave us all so much pleasure and memories. An excellent team.
Thanks for sharing your memories of a great game. Sharing is Caring….. T.B. (Tommy Burns).
Date of the match?
Its OK I got it from the utube link.
hi ghuys, you know what, missed that cup final because I had moved down to England about a month before, and that you tube video is the first time I have seen the goals, bliddy heck what a performance, wish we had dixie deans today.hh.
That’s was a good Sunday afternoon read where there isn’t any proper football to watch. To be honest I don’t even know if there are any games on today such is my dis-connection with international football. A pal told me this morning that Ireland drew with the Six Counties on Thursday night, I didn’t even know they were playing.
Having just looked at the result I noticed that it was a Friendly, maybe that’s why it passed me by?
I’ve watched the final against Hibs a few times and it is a great watch. My first final was a couple of years later against Dundee United. It’s interesting how these memories are often very similar and usually involve our dad’s or uncles, the journey to the game and how those experiences form key parts of our identities.
Anyway, Celtic now have 38 Scottish Cup wins, Rangers before extinction had 33. Queens Park 10, Hearts 8, Aberdeen 7 and Hibs 3.
That’s another indicator of Celtic’s dominance of the Scottish game.
It’s remarkable how Celtic have continued to prevail despite the bias towards us. A corrupt administration, dubious referees and officials, the media, banks, secret societies. No matter what they do, Celtic are top dogs. It must really infuriate them to be confronted with the reality that we are better run, more successful and they aren’t very good at football. In fact, they aren’t very good at cheating either.
On another note, Ireland’s defeat of the All Blacks and the Grand Slam must stick in a few craws too.
Maybe one day they’ll wake up to the burden of the entitlement philosophy?
It really isn’t doing them any favours.
I’ve got a lovely polo shirt commemorating the 2011-I think!-England Grand Slam. I wear it with pride down here in Swindon every so often.
Got it on e-bay the day after Ireland had gubbed them in the last match of the series,£2.99.
As GIRUY go,that’s a beauty!
Btw,I have a photo,courtesy of my kid sis,of a Merc in a car park in Kilwinning. The plate reads…
I would kill for that!
When Karma intervenes to scupper entitlement or the sense of superiority it can be painful to watch. Neil Lennon’s Hibs winning the Scottish Cup in 2016 comes to mind. So too are the hilarious statements of King after any major reverse for Sevco.
Things just aren’t supposed to be like this.
They were told jokes about ‘thick Paddies’ and believed them. The Irish weren’t supposed to be capable and creative. The Blacks and Asians too were supposed to be full of defects.
It must be pretty confusing to the entitled when they wake up to the reality that not only are the Irish and other minorities every bit as capable but they are often hungrier and aren’t as encumbered with the same baggage.
The really positive thing about the rugby is that it’s a 32 county national game here. The timing is immaculate with the current dialogue about borders etc.
the gombeen man. more power to your elbow.hh.??
That was my first ever final. I was 6. Until watching that video, my only livid memories were of being on my dad’s shoulders at the very back of the Hibs end, I remember the goals by Ceasar and Dixie in front of us, in that first half.
Remember a fight at half time in front of us, and bottles flying. My dad took us down to the front near main stand enclosure for second half. Then I get amnesia. Great first final though.
Too young for this game but have seen the footage many times of Dixie’s goal. We have been blessed as supporters to witness so many good strikers, Dixie can hold his own amongst them.
ATOB, I believe you would have been a top woman footballer, if it hadn’t been for some eejit tying your tights together in the High Tide ???
A Thing of Beauty
I remember my first cup final only partially, because I was 6. Turned 7 in June and remember a game well that 72 winter.
First time I sat at fitba. My dad took me to Main Stand for first time. He must have had a win at bookies to pay the extra shilling.
It was Celtic v East Fife. I loved their black and yellow strips in contrast to our green and white hoops. 3 of my favourite childhood players scored that day in a 3-0 win. Remember clearly the goals by Harry Hood, Dixie Deans and Bobby Lennox. My first vivid Celtic memory, I have retained.
My first final was our centenary ,we just kept scoring late goals
Chers Packy and all the best 🙂
Oops…cheers Packy 🙂
I Wrote For Luck
Happy Mondays CSC
Mwahahahaha!!! I’d forgotten about that-but,aye,she could play a bit.
New article up!!!