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1957-10-19: Celtic 7-1 Rangers, League Cup
Hampden in the Sun
- "Hampden in the Sun" - The match has been dubbed "Hampden in the Sun", with songs and plenty of chants in memory of the great day.
- Record victory in a Cup Final in the UK.
- Rangers were the clear favourites for the trophy, but we tanked them (GIRU'em)
- Strangely the TV feed cut off during the game and viewers could not watch the rest of the match and the tanking the huns took! The goals weren't seen on the tele until around the 1990's. Conspiracies? The producer says he was a St Johnstone fan, and it was just one of those things, but you can believe all that if you can.
- Match is remembered also for the classic picture of Dick Beattie holding up 7 fingers to highlight seven goals scored (see right)
- Joke on the day after the game was: "What's the time?", "Its Seven past Niven!!!"
- Surprisingly, the Rangers goalkeeper (George Niven) survived as the goalie after this match, with the flack actually landing all onto the centre-half John Valentine, who never played for the Huns again (is that all that bad for the guy then?)!
- Jock Stein would have played in this game but for an ankle injury.
- Bertie Auld (who would later play for the Lisbon Lions in 1967) would have played in this game but was dropped and didn't even end up getting to see the match!
- We didn't win another senior trophy again until the Scottish Cup win in 1965!
- Amazingly, it was the first time Celtic and Rangers had met in a major cup final for 30 years!
BackgroundYou’ve likely heard the song, chanted the names and gloried in the one-up-manship from this result, but now for the story.
Domestically, it couldn’t really get bigger than this derby for a cup final, Celtic were the poor relations at the time and the club was really going nowhere. Nevertheless, we’d made it to a Cup Final with the added edge of it being another one against the Huns. Rangers were in their stride having been little hampered both during and after the war from the loss of people whilst many other clubs were still finding their feet. Celtic had not adjusted well to the post-war period, although the Coronation Cup victory in 1953 was a great achievement and a black eye for the Huns. Celtic were an ailing giant much in the shadow of not only just Rangers but the Edinburgh twosome as well. It was expected that a victory here would help to turn the club around and push for our claim again to be in Scottish Football's top echelon. We needed sustained success to prove our standing, and two league cup victories in a row was a step in the right direction.
The club had been poorly managed for a long-time and despite being a legendary player, Jimmy McGrory the manager had little to show for his time at the club since taking the helm from Jimmy McStay after the War. The wonderful league and cup double in 1954 was being seen as just another blip. Much of this was down to the incompetent board with their incessant meddling from chairman Robert Kelly in particular picking the players over the heads of the coaching staff on many occasions, yet it was the manager who was to shoulder the brunt whenever the club lost a match! It was quite a dispiriting and often humiliating position for any manager to be in.
On a more positive note, Celtic actually were blessed with a talented squad. Players like Peacok, Tully and Evans were lauded and could have walked into practically any top side at that time. All that was needed was to find the key to unlock the team's potential. Jock Stein would have been playing had it not been for injury. We were actually also the reigning holders of the League Cup, having overcome lowly Partick Thistle in the previous year's final, but this game against Rangers was something different.
A sunny day ("Hampden in the Sun" as the day became dubbed) and much anticipation over this final. Just getting to the final was a success for Celtic (that's how low we'd sunk), and despite Celtic being the league cup holders, Rangers were favourites in this game and everyone knew it. The money was on the Huns to pick up another trophy, and we had to somehow stop them in their tracks. A difficult task on paper but it turned out so wonderfully different.
Anticipation was high and the players all felt that this was their moment, Celtic started the stronger side, and provided to give the Rangers defence hell. We should have got a hat-full of goals already but struggled to do so. Then on 23 minutes, Sammy Wilson opened the scoring to finally capitalise on all of our pressure. Rangers were little in the game and once Celtic scored just before half-time through Mochan, it was a huge mountain to climb for the Huns.
The second half began and the floodgates opened for Celtic as the players likely played the match of their lives. McPhail drove a stake through the hearts of the Huns (if they had one that is) firing a hat-trick with Mochan picking up his second goal. The entertainment was well capped off with a penalty at the death to rub the whole thing in.
The team had created a bit of history with the highest scoring win in a domestic cup final final (in the UK).
It has become the most celebrated Hunskelping victory of all time, and still a major taunt against the Huns to this very day and will be forever more.
The classic moment on the day was the iconic image of our goalkeeper (Dick Beattie) holding up seven fingers to wind up the huns (and it worked!). He himself had a relatively easier afternoon so had the right to a bit of cockiness.
In the greater scheme of things, it proved yet againt to be another false dawn. We had the ability to capitalise on this and go forth but the board didn't see the light and the team continued being hampered by our own board management. Two league cups in a row was a great achievement in light of our recent history at that point, however all it did was let the board off the hook believing their own self-praise.
Regardless, this was the sweetest victory against the Hun horders that we have yet experienced and it will live long in the memory of those who were fortunate enough to have been there to see it.
A great day, "Hampden in the Sun"!!!!
Beattie, Donnelly, Fallon, Fernie, Evans, Peacock, Tully, Collins, McPhail, Wilson, Mochan.
Goals: Wilson 23, Mochan 44, McPhail 53, 69, Mochan 74, McPhail 81, Fernie 90 pen.
Niven, Shearer, Caldow, McColl, Valentine, Davis, Scott, Simpson, Murray, Baird, Hubbard.
Goal: Simpson 59.
Referee: Mr. J.A.Mowatt, Burnside.
Pictures & Banners
- I Was There... Hampden in the Sun
- Sean Fallon recalls the game
- Bobby Collins recalls the game
- Sunday Post match report
- The Glasgow Herald match report
- Times 50th Anniversary article
- I Was There...Homepage
Match Report 1The surprising thing about this match was not so much the 7-1 scoreline but the fact that it took 23 minutes for Celtic to open the scoring. Right from the kick off the Celts mounted attack after attack and hit the woodwork twice in the opening minutes. When the goal did come it was from the boot of Sammy Wilson, a free transfer from St Mirren who fired a first time effort into the back of the net from a Charlie Tully cross.
Rangers defended desperately but the longer the game went on the more confident they became until just a minute from the break when Celtic winger Neil Mochan sped off down the left, sweeping past Rangers' right back Shearer and almost to the bye-line before unleashing a terrific left foot shot which Dick Beattie knows the score bulged the Rangers net and sent the Celtic fans into raptures.
Celtic started the second half exactly the way they had the first and on 53 minutes it was 3-0. Bobby Collins sent in a beautiful cross which was met by the head of Billy McPhail and glanced into the net. Rangers were now in total disarray and were switching players to different positions to try to stem the tide but with Celtic maybe thinking the game was already won, Rangers pulled a goal back with a Simpson header on 58 minutes.
Instead of the goal giving Rangers hope it seemed to inspire Celtic to go on and score even more and with Fernie and Mochan tearing the Gers defence to to shreds it was only a matter of time before the fourth goal arrived. With 68 minutes on the clock McPhail volleyed a Mochan corner but his net-bound shot was parried by keeper Niven but the ball came back to the Celtic ace and he calmly chose his spot in the net to put the Celts 4-1 up.
After 75 minutes, a cross from Wilson found the unmarked Mochan who bagged his second goal of the game to give Celtic a 5-1 lead but worse was to follow for the Gers whose supporters were headingfor the exits when a long ball from Beattie in the Celtic goal found McPhail who flicked the ball over Rangers' centre half Valentine, ran round him and collecting the ball from his own flick, headed for goal all on his own and as Niven came out to meet him he coolly slotted the ball beyond him and into the net to make it 6-1 with still 10 minutes to go.
The Rangers support could take no more and violence flared with supporters fighting among themselves and bottles being hurled into the air. The trouble spilled over on to the pitch and the police had to move swiftly to prevent it getting out of hand. The play went on despite the fracas at the Rangers end and Celtic were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute when McPhail was brought down in the box. Willie Fernie took the kick and scored easily to give Celtic their greatest ever victory over Rangers.
Former skipper Jock Stein who was at home in Hamilton recovering from another ankle operation had listened to the game on the radio and was pleasantly surprised when a car arrived to take him away to the victory dinner in Glasgow.
(Report from Jinky's Oars)
Match Report 2The Times, Monday, Oct 21, 1957; pg. 14; Issue 53977; col D
Glasgow Rangers Outplayed
League Cup for Celtic
Celtic 7, Rangers 1
Celtic, at Hampden Park, celebrated their first clash with Rangers in the Scottish League Cup Final, by giving a wonderful exhibition of football which lead to the beating of the Scottish League champions by seven goals to one.
The winning forwards moved with speed and precision. Fernie, at right-half, was their inspiration and he started many of the moves which brought goals. McPhail, at centre-forward, enjoyed a great afternoon and well deserved his three goals. Rangers in contrast, were disjointed and never looked likely to upset the cup holders.
At half-time Celtic lead by two goals scored by Wilson and Mochan. Afterwards there was only one team in it. A splendid header gave McPhail his first goal and although Simpson managed to snatch a goal for Rangers, Celtic did much as they pleased. McPhail rounded off his fine work with two more goals and Mochan and Fernie – the latter from a penalty – made the total seven in a thoroughly convincing triumph.
Match Report 3
Scottish League Cup final: Celtic 7 Rangers 1, Saturday, October 19, 1957
The original match report from the Daily Record's archives.
WHAT A CELTIC JOY DAY
And but for the acrobatic Niven - and the wood round the Rangers door - it might have been double figures.
Don't blame Celtic for piling it on. They couldn't help themselves - so they had to help themselves, if you see what I mean.
This was a Rangers team with hardly one redeeming feature.
THE DEFENCE HAD A GAPING HOLE DOWN THE MIDDLE WIDE ENOUGH TO HAVE TAKEN THE GUARDS MASSED BANDS.
McColl and Davis played with the very fear of death in their boots. I don't blame them.
Up front, the heavy-footed Simpson and Baird took too long to do too little.
Murray was imply brushed aside by Evans - and the wingers, from whom so much was expected, seemed content to appear more or less as mourners.
I don't know when I have seen a more disgraceful exhibition from any Rangers team - especially one parading as League Champions and carrying Scottish hopes in the European Cup.
THEY HAVEN'T A SINGLE EXCUSE. IT'S NO USE BLAMING VALENTINE FOR EVERYTHING AS SOME WERE DOING.
The fact that must stick in Rangers throats is that they were flattened by the very thing they themselves so badly lack - PURE UNADULTERATED FOOTBALL.
Mark that word "unadulterated". Celtic kept playing the BALL all the time. That stemmed from confidence in themselves.
At the first smell of defeat, some Ibrox men adulterated any skill they had with the physical - a desperation that signposts defeat.
There are limits to what the bulldozing attack can accomplish, apart from a natural distaste in the mind of the spectator.
BUT THERE ARE NO LIMITS TO WHAT PURE FOOTBALL CAN ACHIEVE.
From the very start, it was obvious that Celtic had nothing in their mind but to play that ball - and, if possible, to be first to it.
In the 13th minute Bobby Collins hit a 26 yards 'free' which came cracking off the crossbar with Niven, seeing it all the way, apparently hypnotised.
Then Tully dribbled round Valentine and Cladow near the bye-line and crashed the ball against the near post off which it flew right across goal and past the other post.
Right now, some Rangers defenders shook like they were operating pneumatic drills.
At the other end, Scott and Hubbard raised the Ibrox hopes with an odd flying scurry - only to prove that Celtic were as tight in defence as they were free and open in attack.
Then Mochan forced a corner off Shearer. When it came over it was weakly headed out. Wilson wheeled round and hooked it fiercely into the net.
Rangers long passing thrusts didn't bother Evans and Co. much. And in any case it was sticking out a mile that young Beattie was nly likely to be beaten by a shot of the unsaveable kind.
Right on the interval, Celtic nailed their victory down with a corker of a score.
An old-fashioned solo-burst from Neilly Mochan took the ball down wing. He cut along the bye-line beating two defenders cleverly on the way, then slammed the ball into the net from an 'impossible' angle.
That was the striking thing about Celts. When one type of attack failed to register, they had the men to try another. Rangers didn't have one forward who looked like he could emulate Mochan. Cartainly neither winger ever threatened to do it.
This was the most valuable goal of the lot - coming just on the break. And before the taste of the half time lemon had left their palate, Rangers were three down.
Collins hoisted a long, high ball into the goalmouth. No apparent danger. Till McPhail rose above Valentine, Niven, the lot - and nodded almost apologetically into the net.
Celts were now looking a bit taken aback with the ease of their scores.
Rangers now had Murray limping on the left wing with Simpson at centre and Hubbard partnering Scott.
And the only thing that this proved was that Simpson was certainly more dangerous in the middle than anywhere else. For he threw himself into the air to bullet a great header past Beattie from a McColl cross.
Rangers wing-halves moved up to the attack. McColl hit the cross bar with a 'free'. Then Baird was cautioned. The Light Blues kept Celts penned in for a time, while they weaved this way and that without finding another loophole - then Mochan raced away and forced another corner.
The unmarked Wilson headed it low for goal. NIven fell on it and palmed it out to McPhail's feet for an easy fourth. You felt Rangers could thrash themselves to fury all round that Celtic goal area and bring out nothing but sweat - while Celtic could fly away, winkle out the obvious short cuts at the other end and do the needful.
The truth was, of course, they had a better defence than Rangers and a much better attack. Just as simple as that. Eventually it got monotonous. Wilson, after some tricky, smooth football on the right side swept the ball away towards Mochan on the corner of the area. He smacked it and it bounded into the net.
CELTIC COULD DO IT SOLO, DUET OR TRIO - OR INDEED QUINTET IF THEY FELT LIKE IT.
Instance: the sixth. Beattie clears from hand to midfield where only McPhail and Valentine are located.
Billy wins in the air, hits ground, races away half the length of the field and pokes the ball past a bewildered Niven. The rout was almost complete.
In the dying moments, Fernie slotted a penalty kick home for a tackled by Shearer on McPhail after the centre had again licked Valentine and was on a cert.
It's as difficult to pick out a star Celt as to pick out a star Ranger. Celts had eleven. Rangers none.
Only men I felt sorry for in the Ibrox side were the wing halves, who had so much of the commonplace around them. Every Celtic player did well, none more so than young Donnelly and Sean Fallon.
Willie Fernie was the most distinguished ball-worker afield, some of his fantastic dribbling runs at speed tearing the very heart out of the Gers.
Evans was terrific too and, with Peacock, completed the gerat hinge upon which the game flowed Celtic's way. I must pick out the graceful Billy McPhail for a display of centre forward play, the ease of which was as misleadng as it was deadly.
Celtic: Beattie, Donnelly, Fallon, Fernie, Evans, Peacock, Tully, Collins, McPhail, Wilson, Mochan. Rangers: Niven, Shearer, Caldow, McColl, Valentine, Davis, Scott, Simpson, Murray, Baird, Hubbard.
Excerpted from Cyril Horne's report for the Glasgow Herald:
"Eleven football players of Celtic Football Club did more in 90 minutes at Hampden Park on Saturday for the good of football than officialdom, in whose hands the destiny of the game lies, has done in years and years. For with a display of such grandeur as has rarely graced the great vast ground they proved conclusively the value of concentration on discipline and on the arts and crafts of the game to the exclusion of the so-called power-play which has been a disfiguring weakness in the sport, but which has frequently been accredited through the awarding of international honours to 'the strong-men'."
"So devastating an effect had Fernie... this wonderful footballer..."
"Not since their brilliant Coronation Cup days at Hampden have Celtic played football of such quality."
"Valentine... a forlorn, bewitched figure.... repeatedly beaten in the air and on the ground in a variety of ways, and the disintegration of Rangers' defence undoubtedly stemmed from McPhail's mastery."
"[Mochan's] pace and penetrative dribbling... had Shearer in a dreadful dither almost from the first kick of the ball."
"In the first 20 minutes Celtic might have scored at least four goals..."
"...Evans, throughout a centre half of absolute competence."
"Soon Fernie was travelling half the length of the field again and running his opponents into the ground..."
"...Fallon again reduced the ill-supported Scott to a hapless young man..."
"Never have I seen Rangers so outclassed in half-back play; Fernie, Evans, and Peacock were, each in his own distinguished way, tremendous players in everything but brawn and bulk. No one Celt, however, did not but contribute handsomely to the team's glorious day."
"Perhaps only Fernie of all footballers in Scotland could have emulated Tully's first-half feat of ball manipulation which enabled him to outwit Baird, Davis, Valentine, and Caldow. Then as his team-mates poised themselves for the chip back from the goal-line, Tully struck like lightning and the ball cannoned off the very edge of the near post, passed between Niven and the goal-line, and out of play beyond the post. The goal of a century had been within half an inch of achievement."
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