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  • Oh Hampden in the sun

    Oh Hampden in the sun

    By: Joe Sullivan on 19 Oct, 2017 09:31

  • Today, October 19, marks the 60th anniversary of the biggest winning margin ever recorded in a top-grade British cup final, when Celtic beat Rangers 7-1 in the League Cup final at Hampden, and the heroes from Celtic's October Revolution of 1957 have been acclaimed in book and in song.

    However, can those of us who were not around in 1957 fully appreciate what was achieved by the men in the Hoops that day?

    These days it´s reasonable to assume that no side performing as champions or champions-elect should succumb to such a humiliating defeat by any of their domestic peers.

    What makes the accomplishment of 1957 even more astonishing is that the previous season, Rangers as title-winners had finished 17 points above fifth-placed Celtic - that would be a 28-point difference under today´s three-points-a-win situation.

    And even with Hearts setting the early pace in ´57/58 before romping away with the title, it was inconceivable that Celtic would embarrass their oldest rivals in such convincing fashion.

    Those of us who grew up in the late 1960s and early ‘70s heard the songs and saw the 7-1 graffiti that was still freshly touched up each year but we wondered what all the fuss was about. After all, the Celtic we knew could beat ANY team 7-1.

    But things were different in the ´50s and only the lean years of the ´90s could be used as a parallel to the lack of success and the small expectation of beating Rangers at all, never mind 7-1 in a cup final.

    Sammy Wilson opened the scoring in the 23rd minute but amazingly Celtic could have been four up by that time and hit the woodwork three times in the first half before Neilly Mochan scored the second just before the break.

    The half-time score of 2-0 warned no-one of what was to come and eight minutes after the break Billy McPhail hit the first of his hat-trick before Simpson pulled one back for the Ibrox side.

    There was no stopping the Celtic torrent on the Rangers goal, though. McPhail got his second, Mochan did likewise five minutes later and McPhail completed his trio before Willie Fernie finished the rout with a penalty in the last minute.

    Those who witnessed the demolition paid 2/- (10p) for entry to the terracing and 9d (4p) for the Boys´ Gate but it´s doubtful if a 13-year-old Jimmy Johnstone paid in.

    His father took him to his first big game that day from Uddingston on a Celtic supporters´ bus and it´s a pound to a penny he got a lift-over (even as a Lisbon Lion 10 years later he would probably have got a lift-over).

    And what was future Lisbon Lion captain Billy McNeill doing that day? Amazingly, there was still a full professional card on that day and the minor leagues were no different. The 17-year-old McNeill was on duty having been farmed out to Blantyre Vics and he didn´t know the score until he bought an evening paper at Motherwell bus station!

    So although, like McNeill, the vast majority of the crowd who turn up at Paradise every other week will not have seen the 7-1 game (especially since it mysteriously disappeared from the TV screens that night) we still have the opportunity to hail them in song.
    Sectional Games
    Aug 10 Airdrie (h) 3-2
    McPhail, Mochan, Peacock
    Aug 14 East Fife (a) 4-1 
    McPhail 3, Collins
    Aug 17 Hibernian (a) 1-3
    Aug 24 Airdrie (a) 2-1
    Smith, Fernie
    Aug 28 East Fife (h) 6-1
    McPhail 2, Wilson 2, Auld, Collins
    Aug 31 Hibernian (h) 2-0
    Wilson, McPhail
    Quarter-final, first leg
    Sep 11  Third Lanark  (h) 6-1
    McPhail 2, Collins 2, Wilson, Auld
    Quarter-final, second leg
    Sep 14  Third Lanark  (a) 3-0
    Collins, McPhail, Wilson
    Sep 28  Clyde   (Ibrox) 4-2
    Wilson, McPhail, Collins, Fernie
    Scottish League Cup final
    Saturday, October 19, 1957
    Hampden Park
    Celtic 7  Rangers 1
    (Wilson 23; McPhail 53, 59 & 81; Mochan 44 & 74; Fernie 90 pen)

    CELTIC: Beattie; Donnelly, Fallon; Fernie, Evans, Peacock; Tully, Collins, McPhail, Wilson, Mochan.
    RANGERS: Niven; Shearer, Caldow; McColl, Valentine, Davis; Scott, Simpson, Murray, Baird, Hubbard.
    Att: 82,293.
    Referee: J A Mowat (Rutherglen).


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