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Oh Hampden In The Sun
62 years have now passed since the most famous result in Scottish domestic football, when Celtic beat Rangers 7-1 in the Scottish League Cup Final of October 19th 1957.

62 years have now passed since the most famous result in Scottish domestic football, when Celtic beat Rangers 7-1 in the Scottish League Cup Final of October 19th 1957 .

Songs have been written about it, and a classic work of literature was created to celebrate its 40th anniversary. This was "Oh Hampden In The Sun" by Peter Burns and Pat Woods. But film is unsatisfactory, the only film record being from a hand held cine camera from an unsatisfactory position.

You see, the BBC goofed! A technician was blamed for leaving a lens cap on, and thus the BBC programme had to apologise that night for not showing the goals. This did not go down well in Celtic households.

The BBC, widely seen and tacitly acknowledged as having an anti-Catholic recruiting policy, had a notorious presenter called Peter Thomson whom Jock Stein and others would call "Blue Peter". Thomson was in later years reluctant to go to Celtic Park and was indeed physically afraid of an encounter with Big Jock, and this all dates from the BBC TV disaster of October 1957.

Yet, the reason may not have been religious bias. It more probably lay in sheer incompetence on a colossal scale, as amateurish technicians struggled to cope with the new medium. There were other BBC disasters at this time. This game was by no means the only one which failed to make it to the screen, and mothers were frequently distressed when programmes like "The White Heather Club" faded out unaccountably in the middle of Robert Wilson crooning to everyone about the Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.

But TV's failure to produce the goods did not stop everyone reading the papers, nor the Celtic fans talking about this game for the next several years. The crowd was a mildly disappointing one of 82,000. This was blamed on a flu epidemic, which was sweeping Scotland at the time, but it was also a reminder that in the 1950s Scottish football was not exclusively about Celtic and Rangers. Hearts in fact would win the League that year, and Clyde the Scottish Cup - and basically Scottish football was in a far healthier state then than it is now.

It was a not particularly warm day, although there was some sunshine about. Celtic started playing towards their own fans and at half time considered themselves unlucky to be only two goals up. Sammy Wilson had scored from a Billy McPhail knock down, then just on the whistle, Neil Mochan scored with a piledriver from a tight angle.

Half time was thus spent in glorious triumph, tempered with the fear that Rangers were surely not to be as bad as they had been in the first half. But they were!

Certainly their own fans thought so, for a few bottles were thrown at innocent policemen, stewards and no-body in particular from the Mount Florida end of the ground.

The re-appearance of the teams had the Celtic end in continual uproar as the second half saw McPhail score with a header, McPhail score after a Wilson shot was blocked, Neil Mochan score with one of his famous cannonballs, McPhail run the length of the Rangers half to score his hat-trick, then Fernie to net with a penalty.

In between the third and the fourth goals, Billy Simpson scored for Rangers.

Bertie Peacock, an Ulster Protestant (something that the blue half of Glasgow got upset about, but didn't matter two hoots to the green and whites) collected the trophy (which Celtic had also won last year) while bottles rained down on policemen and ball boys from the Mount Florida end. Fortunately no-one seemed to be seriously injured.

The other end was a seething mass of deliriously happy green and white scarves, rosettes and even the illegal (?) flags.

It would be a long time before Glasgow and Scotland settled down after this result. Rangers fans blamed it all on the luckless John Valentine, who had no answer to Billy McPhail.

A Rangers fan on the Monday met a Celtic fan and claimed that it would have been all different if George Young had not retired the previous summer. The Celtic fan thought about it and accepted that his friend had a point, for most Celtic fans had a little respect for Geordie Young. "Aye" he said, "If big Young had been playing, it might have just been six!"

Celtic: Beattie; Donnelly and Fallon; Fernie, Evans and Peacock; Tully, Collins, McPhail, Wilson and Mochan.

Rangers: Niven: Shearer and Caldow; McColl, Valentine and Davis; Scott, Simpson, Murray, Baird and Hubbard.

Referee: Mr.Jack Mowatt, Rutherglen.

Posted by voc1967 on Saturday 07 September 2019 - 13:56:37 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
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