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Friday, 11 November 2011

"Drab" Dundee Dazzle in Ibrox Fog

Great sides are remembered for seminal performances that served to underline their brilliance. In November 2010, Barcelona: currently the most revered team on the planet, blew Real Madrid away, five-nil, at Camp Nou; in November 1961 Dundee unleashed Gilzean on their very own title rivals. The result of the Rangers-Dundee league game has since passed into Dundee folklore and Rangers infamy. However, it is worth noting the game almost never went ahead due to the fog that had descended in Glasgow that day:

"Of all the hazards of weather that besets sport in winter fog is by far the most serious. Grounds staff can contain the effects of the menace of rain, snow, and frost, but they are helpless when fog blankets the playing pitches. One of several Scottish League matches due to be played today which are at the mercy of the fog is that between Rangers and Dundee at Ibrox Stadium...The game is the most important of the league season so far in that Rangers, the First Division champions and undefeated in this season's competition, will be opposed by the club most likely of all to take the league title away from them...Rangers can afford the loss of a Saturday attendance, such as today promises to be, more than Dundee, but if they miss the immediate opportunity to reduce Dundee's lead in the championship the title may slip away as the backlog of games builds up." - Glasgow Herald, 11th November 1961

As the above segment of the article indicates- this was a Rangers team very much on a roll: undefeated in the league and in the final of the League Cup. It was a grand era for the Govan side and they certainly made an impact on Europe reaching the final of the Cup Winner's Cup the season before, and the semi final of the European Cup the season before that. As well as dueling with Dundee in the League Cup sections and league championship, the Glasgow side would reach the quarter finals of the European Cup; underlining their own abilities to compete for multiple honours at home and abroad.

Despite the Govan side's dominance at this time Dundee had quite a favourable recent league record against the Light Blues at Ibrox; having left the ground with at least a point in each of the last four visits:

"Dundee have an impressive record at Ibrox in recent years and are playing with great confidence these days...There is no better half-back line in Scotland than that composed of Seith, Ure and Wishart and few teams possess such striking power in attack as those two tall forwards, Cousin and Gilzean, give Dundee...If the weather is kind the largest league attendance of the season, possibly 70,000, will see what should be a match to remember."

The fog, of course, did not stop the game from going ahead, but it did limit the attendance to only 35,000 as there was some confusion amongst the home and away fans about whether the game was going ahead or not. The following Monday's Herald explained:

"Rumour became fact in Glasgow on Saturday almost as quickly as the Dundee forwards riddled the Rangers defence later in the afternoon. Even before the gates at Ibrox had been opened many thousands of people who were on their way to the Rangers-Dundee match abandoned their journey as news that the game had been postponed because of fog passed through the city.
 At 2.15, three-quarters of an hour before the advertised kick-off, the prospect of play was not bright, for though the sun shone from a blue sky in the distance Ibrox was still shrouded in fog. But as the atmosphere became clearer the referee declared the match on, and the gates were opened just before 2.30. The kick-off was delayed 12 minutes in order to admit the crowd who had gathered outside the stadium and who were issued with tickets which they were asked to retain in case early abandonment was necessary.
 The attendance was 35,000- probably only half of the number who would have paid for admission had not false information permeated the city. So both Rangers and Dundee lost a great deal of money, and the financial reward for their succession of fine performances which Dundee deserve was at least halved.
 Dundee have two great consolations, however. There can now be unqualified praise for their achievements- they are firmly established at the top of the league, five points ahead of their closest rivals and seven ahead of Rangers, the champions, who have rarely suffered so decisive a defeat as Dundee administered to them on Saturday- and they are clear favourites to win the championship and qualify next season for the rich rewards that the European Cup has to offer.
 The feat of Gilzean, Dundee's inside left, who scored four of their goals against Rangers, must surely rouse the Scottish International selectors to reconsider their plans for the World Cup play-off match with Czechoslovakia. Not only did Gilzean, who has been an under-23 cap, score four times but he was within inches of scoring four more, and in every aspect of forward play was the superior of Brand, Rangers' inside left. Furthermore the collapse of Rangers, which was not surprising to those who have watched the deterioration in their play in recent weeks, seems to suggest that some of their players are no longer in the form or mood which makes Internationalists."

On the match itself, the paper pays quite a bizarre, back-handed compliment to Dundee's achievement:

Dundee Drab Only in Dress

"Of all the teams in the Scottish League Dundee probably are the most sombrely dressed. As they trooped on to Ibrox Stadium on Saturday in their dark blue shirts, white pants, and dark blue stockings with white tops, one thought of competence and solidity and even of conservatism of football method; if the uniform meant anything Rangers, in vertical light blue and white stripes, lighter blue, shimmering shorts, and vivid scarlet hose, looked the gay cavaliers of the game, the modern stylists of football.
 But dress does not make the footballer any more than it makes the man. Those who wear the drab Dundee shirts these days are worthy of being considered in the class of great Scottish clubs of the past; there is abundance of skill and the essential leavening of dour uncompromising will to win-just such a combination as raised Rangers and Celtic in the past to the peaks of success"

Eventually, from the fashion critique emerged a recognition from the Herald that this Dundee team was about to achieve great things. The match report is a joy to read but what is even better is to view the foggy highlights and witness the artistry for yourself...

"...Rangers really have no answer to this at all..."

Monday, 3 October 2011

One step backwards, two steps forwards

Pittodrie was the venue and Aberdeen, Dundee's great rivals of the era, the opposition of Dundee's first league defeat of the 1961-62 campaign. In many ways it was a disappointing performance not helped by an early first half penalty. In the programme notes for the Hearts game a week later, it was acknowledged that the poor performance of the attackers up front was chiefly to blame for the defeat. In many ways the result was a turning point for the Dark Blues and the changes made for the following week's 2-0 victory over Hearts set in motion the famous line up that would embark upon a formidable set of performances that would eventually bring the championship trophy back to Dens Park.
 It was noted in the Hearts programme that in the corresponding league fixture the previous season,  Gordon Smith played for the opposition. Smith was famously brought in by Shankly with a few other players to add experience to the squad to compliment the talented youths coming through the ranks at Dens. 
 Dundee then travelled to Third Lanark on the 30th September and came away with another victory to banish the Aberdeen performance to distant memory, and begin to make their championship credentials, and intent, known to the rest of the league.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Barcelona v AC Milan, Champions League Final, 1994

In May 1994, UEFA got a dream final for their flagship competition when Cruyff's "Dream Team" met Capello's AC Milan: Europe's most formidible club side of that and, just perhaps, any era. Barcelona were hoping to extend their domestic dominance- Barca won their fourth consecutive Liga title that year- into Europe. The club had only won the tournament two years before, and saw this final as a chance to take over Milan's crown as Europe's pre-eminent club side. 

Wembley Kings Mk 1- 1992 European Cup Winners
Milan, on the other hand, had lost the previous year's final to Marseille and hadn't won Europe's premier cup tournament since 1990; despite continued dominance in Italy. The sides boasted players such as Maldini, Guardiola, Romario, Stoichkov, Rossi, Boban, Desailly et al and the final was certainly memorable. However, what is remembered is how Milan squashed Cruyff's Dream Team and snuffed out any hint of the Catalans usurping Milan as European kings.
 Milan took full advantage of poor Barca defending and some luck for the second goal to trounce the Blaugrana 4-0. Milan's empire finally crumbled the following year by virtue of a 1-0 defeat to Ajax in the final, and the rise of Juventus as Italy's domestic power. Barca, on the other hand, never recovered and limped out in the quarter final of the following season's campaign to PSG. They did; however, manage to thrash Manchester United 4-0 en route to that stage; thus showing Alex Ferguson how far behind his team was behind Europe's elite. How history likes to repeat, it seems. At home, two trophyless seasons was enough to see even Cruyff get the sack. 
1994 Champions League FInal Venue
 Milan would bounce back sooner than Barca with a 2003 Champions League win which signalled the start of another, much shorter, period of European success; with three Champions League final appearances in five editions. Barcelona had to endure scraps in the form of a Ronaldo-inspired Cup Winners Cup victory in 1997 and a couple of Champions League semi final appearances. However, all this mattered not as they witnessed Real Madrid add three Champions League crowns to the six European Cups sitting in the Bernabeu Museum. Even Valencia managed two runners-up spots, beating Barca in the semis of the 1999-2000 tournament. Barcelona would have to wait until 2006 for their shot at another final, and they haven't looked back since...

Friday, 9 September 2011

Dundee 4-1 Dundee United, Sep 9th 1961

Cover of Derby Match Programme, 09-09-1961

In its preview of the second round of fixtures for the 1961-62 season; The Glasgow Herald, perhaps unsurprisingly, singled out an all Glasgow clash between Partick and Rangers as the game of the day; despite conceding that Partick don't boast a particularly good record against the Ibrox club. The paper does think that the match at Dens will be a "stirring contest"; however, with a "close result" expected. The result was anything but, with the Dark Blues winning 4-1. The first team continued the good work of the reserves who won the "mini derby" 3-2 at Tannadice with McGeachie among the scorers. The match report of the first team's game can be read on Dundee-Mad.

Centre fold of Derby Programme

Monday, 5 September 2011

Dundee 2-2 Third Lanark, League Cup 02-09-1961

And thus, on the 2nd of September 1961, Dundee rounded off their League Cup campaign with a 2-2 draw against Thirds at Dens. Although the sectional group included Rangers; it was an altogether disappointing campaign with just the two wins from the six games, and Dundee had to content themselves with a second place finish. 

Friday, 2 September 2011

"Rangers Held at Dens - an exciting contest"

Or so went the Herald headline for the match report of the 1-1 draw in the League Cup between Dundee and Rangers on 30th August, 1961. Rangers failed to win for the first time that season and fell behind in the third minute to a Robertson goal. Dundee's attack showed up well with Cousin and Gilzean, the latter recently selected to represent the Scottish League against Eire, receiving the best plaudits. The Dundee defence; however, was not so well received:

"Rangers' four man attack had the Dundee defence- Ure excepted-shaken at times. Cox lost almost every duel with Scott, who might have won the game for Rangers had his finishing been as accurate as his work in the outfield. 

Cox, unfortunately, resorted to tactics which were hardly in character for him."

Nevertheless, it was described as Dundee's best display of the season, and these two sides would still have two mouth watering ties to come...

The result cemented Rangers' place in the quarter finals of the cup.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Airdrie 0-5 Dundee, League Cup 26th Aug 1961

After the impressive victory over Falkirk three days earlier, Dundee picked up where they left off by notching a 5-0 win over Airdrie in the League Cup. Gilzean (2), Cousin, Smith and Penman put the West of Scotland side to the sword with Rangers easily casting aside Thirds in the group's other match. The results left Thirds and Airdrie out of the tournament and with Dundee hanging on to faint hopes of progression- being four points behind with only two left to play. The next game in the tournament was Rangers at Dens in what promised to be another great showdown between the two sides.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Dundee Impress at Brockville: Falkirk 1-3 Dundee, 23rd Aug 1961

"Falkirk took a real trouncing at Brockville Park, where Dundee, splendidly urged on by Ure, were the complete masters", wrote the Herald in its match report. Dundee shook off their indifferent League Cup form to register an opening day win in the League Championship. Smith and Cousin gave Dundee a 2-0 half time lead which was added to by Wilson in the second period, with Falkirk notching a late, late consolation. Aberdeen, however, stole the show by surging to the top of the table with a 7-0 win over Stirling Albion.

The result at Brockville will have given some cheer to the Dens faithful given the team's unlikely prgression in the League Cup.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Third Lanark 3-2 Dundee, League Cup 19-08-1961

The third game in the League Cup sectional stage of the 61-62 season was another disappointing one for the Dee. Harley scored two for Thirds in Glasgow, and Wishart obliged with an o.g.: Smith and Gilzean netted for Dundee. The result left Dundee 4 points behind Rangers with the Gers just needing to beat Thirds in the next game to be sure of a quarter final spot.

Meanwhile our city neighbours managed a thrilling 5-3 win over Aberdeen, and St Johnstone managed a 0-0 draw away to Partick to remain top of their section ahead of Hibs and Celtic in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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50 Years Ago: Rangers 4-2 Dundee, League Cup Sectional Tie, 16th Aug 1961

"An exhilarating contest", is how the Glasgow Herald described this encounter between two great rivals of the late 50s and early 60s. Rangers' Brand was on sparkling form by all accounts and before scoring in the 12th and 13th minutes he hit the post and crossbar; however, this Dundee team was not to give up so readily and, after settling into the pace of the game, Penman and Cousin levelled the scoring before half time. Dundee started the second half the better team, but Rangers soon took a hold of the game again; nevertheless, it still took them until nine minutes from time to regain the lead through Wilson. This setback prompted Dundee to surge forward in search of an equaliser, but the gaps at the back allowed Rangers, by virtue of Millar, to put the game beyond doubt in the 83rd minute.

So Rangers deservedly won a pulsating fixture; however, they were not to have it all their way in the corresponding league fixture later that year...

In the other group game Thirds and Airdrie played out a 2-2 draw and so Dundee dropped to second place in the section.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

50 Years Ago Yesterday: Dundee 2-0 Airdrie, League Cup Sectional Match

The 1961-62 season opened on the Glorious Twelth with the League Cup sectional games. Dundee started the campaign well with a 2-0 win over Airdrie at Dens in front of 13,000, with goals coming from Wishart and Cousin. In other sectional games the Glasgow Herald reported in length about the fact that the,

"....grounds of Third Lanark and Partick Thistle are not sufficiently well equipped to cope expeditiously with the many thousands who gathered for the opening matches..."

The paper went on to report the disturbances at the turnstiles and during the games, particularly in the Third Lanark v Rangers game and especially when Rangers scored. The report continues:

"When allowance is made for those who feel frustrated in not being able to gain admission in the proper manner one must point out that among the followers of Rangers and Celtic are many who have reached such a pitch of fanaticism that they are completely without regard for person or property. The expression `We are the people' of which Rangers supporters are so fond is no careless compound of words; those who use it really believe that they are the only people who count. Furthermore, many of the teenagers involved in trouble at Cathkin Park are the type who are constantly guilty of misbehaviour at football matches; the young supporter of both Rangers and Celtic is often a menace to the game."

On the field Rangers won 2-0 which left Dundee and Rangers joint top of the section.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

German ITK

A number of years ago I printed off a post from the Manchester United fans website and recently found it lurking in a box in the loft. I thought I'd repost it here as it still makes me laugh. The intro implies the post itself was taken from another site and then reposted on m-u-f-c. The last few lines perhaps hint at the motivations behind the post and the contempt the author feels towards his target audience.

"German ITK

This was posted on another "football" message board, it cracked me up so I felt justified in showing it to a wider audience. Those who are familiar with the style of writing will no doubt feel the same..."

"german itk
poland - the truth

Just want to clear up all the sh*t that's been posted about Poland. First off, pre- '39 yes, you could say there was a bit of a Germany/Russia "love in". Basically we both knew we couldn't go firm-on-firm with each other for a couple of years. September '39 we piled in to Poland from the west side, Russia came in from the east. Anyway, the poles had some game lads but didn't stand a chance. F*uck me you should have seen the scruffy c*nts, on f*cking horses! Ours were all dressers, all quality chaps.

So that was that for Poland, we bided our time and let the Russian mob think they had some sort of result, while we bowled all over Western Europe taking liberties everywhere we went. At this time we was UNDISPUTED NUMBER 1 FIRM in my opinion, although others may see it different - WE DON'T TRAVEL DO WE!!!!????? We obviously expected to get a result in Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg etc, but even we was surprised when we went through the French firm in a couple of weeks. For f*cks sakethey even had a mob of English guesting for them till they got on their toes at Dunkirk. Looking back I reckon we should have chased harder and finished the English then, but at the time we was happy enough with the result.

We was on such a roll, we decided to take it to England - mid '40. now I know England was on the back foot, but you have to say fair play to us for having a pop, they were virtually unbeaten at home for nigh on 900 years. Anyway, like I say we took it to them with our Luftwaffe firm, and for a long time it looked like we'd come out on top. Fair play to the English though, the Spitfire and Hurricane mobs were top drawer and in the end we had to pull out. Didn't help that the fat c*nt leading our firm into that row (H***** G******) had already claimed a result! Can call him what I want now - he topped himself before his court case on a Section 250!

We did get some major results against the English at sea - they thought they could hide behind escorts but we broke through again and again. Then some clever f*cker sussed how to tap into our text messages (you should have seen the size of the f*cking mobiles in them days). That was game over in the Atlantic.

The guvnor (AH) was well f*cked off, but he had decided we now had the numbers to take it to the Russians on their own manor. If you ask me he had enough on his plate with the English - and trying to sort out the Spurs mob at home (in fairness that was more HH acting on his own). Anyway, we had a good go in summer '41 - any honest Reds on here will admit this - we run you all over the Ukraine and had you on the backfoot at Leningrad. At the same time we legged you all the way back to Moscow - poxy winter definitely robbed us of the result there. 

That was a big winter all round. We'd had a bit of mutual respect with the Japanese mob for a while, but I've got to say I was well surprised when they steamed into the Yanks on their own turf. Suddenly we're at odds with every c*nt and his dog. It all calmed down a bit late winter, for me we spent too much time slapping shirts and not enough time concentrating on their firm - it was inevitable the Reds would come back, the numbers they can pull when they have to is f*cking amazing.

Anyway, we run them again through '42, and chased them all the way back to Stalingrad. F*ck me did it go off there! It was toe-to-toe for months - seriously. I know everyone talks the numbers up but I'm not lying if I say we took a good 200,000 there. Trouble is them f*cking Reds just wouldn't give up, and in the end we had to turn it in. It is well known one of our top boys (FvP) went down too easily for a lot of people's liking. In the end we had about 90,000 nicked, so you can't say we didn't make the effort. 

Looking back that winter was where it all started to go wrong. England had got a major result at a pre-arranged meet in North Africa, the Septics were chasing the Japs across the Pacific, and that f*cker (B***** H*****) and his mob were steadily bombing the f*ck out of us. We thought we could count on that little eyetie b*stard (BM), but he got sorted out by his own firm, and suddenly we were on our own.

I've got to be honest and say we didn't get too many results after that, Kharkov maybe, but then we got turned over big time at Kursk, when it was strickly Firm-on-Firm - all top boys, no baggage - and after that a lot of our older lads decided to turn it in. Some even had a go at THE top boy (AH) but it never came off.

After England and the Septics decided they would come across to join in it was curtains, we got squeezed back from both sides and in the end, no question Russia got the result when it came on top in Berlin. Crazy days though, makes me laugh with these lads today and all this "we brung 60/100/ didn't show" etc. F*cking hell lads - 60 years too late for the party. 

No doubt some gobby f*cker will come on and dispute what I say, but respect to the proper lads who know the score.

Keep it real - what DID happen, not what's gonna happen."

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Dundee FC, Jim Bellamy and the Barca Connection

FC Barcelona are undoubtedly the best club side on the planet at the moment, era defining even, and with Messi in their ranks they have a player who, at only 23, is already being considered the best ever and is a living icon. The Catalans’ links with the city of Dundee are well documented by virtue of Dundee United’s meetings with Barcelona in Europe and recent friendlies. However, Dundee FC has its own links to the current Spanish champions stretching back almost 90 years. At the end of the 1922-23 season, Dundee embarked upon their first foreign tour to Spain and recorded some notable results including a win and a draw against the Spanish Cup holders Athletic Bilbao (3-0 and 1-1); a 2-0 win v Real Madrid and two victories v Valencia (3-0 and 1-0). However, it wasn’t until the final two games of that tour until Dundee would meet their match and in which the locals would turn out in force. On the 3rd of June 20,000 people turned out- almost twice the figure for the Real Madrid game- to watch Barcelona beat Dundee 3-1. One day later and, incredibly, 28,000 would witness a 2-0 victory for the locals.

The next summer, following the successful tour of 1922-23, Dundee returned to Spain to embark on another- this time on the back of a strong league campaign, finishing 4th in the 22 team top flight. This time Barcelona provided the opposition for the opening two games. Once again the Barcelona faithful turned out in great numbers with 25,000 attending the home side’s 2-0 defeat. Four days later just the ten thousand would watch Dundee win 2-1. This second tour was ultimately more successful with just the one defeat to Deportivo La Coruna. In Norrie Price’s “Up Wi’ The Bonnets” the author highlights a rather tempestuous match against Real Madrid in which the Dundee players, the referee and even armed police had almost come to blows due to a soft penalty awarded by an otherwise disinterested referee to the home side.

These Spanish tours were successful and were no doubt one of the highlights in the club’s 30 year history. Five years after their last Spanish tour a former Dundee FC player, Jim Bellamy, took the coach’s job at Barcelona following a stint at Italian club Brescia. James Francis Bellamy was born on 11th of September 1881 in Bethnal Green and as a player he was quite the journeyman taking in Barking, Grays United, Reading, Woolwich Arsenal, Portsmouth, Norwich, Dundee, Motherwell, Burnley, Fulham, Southend, Ebbw Vale and Barking Town. states that 1905-06 was his best for the Londoners where he played in 15 of the first 17 fixtures but he was relegated to the fringes in the following two seasons. Bellamy would make 29 appearances for the London club but that figure is dwarfed by the 118 he would make for Dundee FC.

Bellamy wrote himself into Dark Blue folklore by virtue of being a member of the 1910 Scottish Cup winning side and he proved integral, scoring the equaliser in the 2nd replay with Sailor Hunter later obliging with a winner to bring the trophy to Dens for the first and only time. The cup win was possibly Bellamy’s finest hour as a player but better was to come in management.

Quite how Bellamy ended up in Italy and then Catalonia from his last posting as a player at Barking isn’t clear but he was to write his name in Barcelona, and indeed, La Liga history by taking the inaugural title back to Les Corts- Barca’s home ground at the time. He wouldn’t know it of course but Bellamy started Barca on their way to their current total of 21 league titles and counting. Barcelona’s official website gives only a short bio in which it mentions his achievement:

“James Bellamy, together with Romà Forns, had the honour to have formed part of the coaching team that led Barcelona Football Club to win the first League in history.
Furthermore, the club won the Campeonato de Catalunya in the 29-30 and 30-31 seasons.”

During Bellamy’s time at Barcelona he spoke to El Mundo Deportivo- a Barcelona based sports newspaper- about his time in England, Scotland and Italy and how the different styles of football contrast. Why he is perhaps not too fondly remembered in Barcelona becomes clear in the second part of his bio on FC

“However, to his detriment, it must be said that with him as coach, Barça underwent one of the most deplorable events and its biggest defeat in all of its history, losing 12-1 in the League Championship.”

That defeat is still a Liga record. The well travelled Bellamy also managed in Germany but whether this was before or after his stint at Barca is also unclear. Bellamy died in Chadwell Heath on 30th March 1969. It would be nice to think that he looked on with admiration and pride at the successes of Dundee and Barcelona in the 50’s and 60’s.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Barcelona v Real Madrid

Barcelona v Real Madrid, European Cup Semi, 1960

This week’s first leg Champions League results have; barring a catastrophic reversal of fortunes for the teams involved in the second leg; confirmed a third European Cup/Champions League semi final meeting between Barcelona and Real Madrid. The matchup will present an opportunity for the Catalans to redress the balance somewhat as Madrid have come out on top in both previous clashes at this stage.
 In the 2001-02 competition, both clubs finished top of their respective groups; with Madrid winning their group rather more convincingly than their cross country rivals. Both teams also had to overcome first leg defeats in the quarter finals to set up the “Match of the Century” first leg clash at Camp Nou. Five hundred million tuned in to the game in which the Galacticos of Madrid put to bed an awful run of results in Barcelona’s home ground by winning 2-0 with the goals coming from Zidane and McManaman (clearly, the term “Galactico” was banded about loosely in some cases). Barca managed a respectable 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu in the second leg but the damage was already done. Madrid then went on to win their 9th European Cup against Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden.
 To find the other semi final match up you have to go all the way back to 1959-60 and the meeting of Alfredo Di Stefano’s outstanding Madrid and Luis Suarez’s C.F. Barcelona (as they were known then). Both teams were driven by some magnificent Hungarians- Madrid in the form of Puskas and Barcelona by the trio of Kubula, Kocsis and Czibor. Both teams were prolific scorers en route to the final with Barcelona thrashing Milan 5-1 at Camp Nou. Barcelona also put to bed once and for all the delusions of grandeur that the, admittedly, great Wolverhampton Wanderers side of the era frequently displayed by squashing the English side 9-2 on aggregate. That set up a tasty clash of the Spanish giants in the semi final. Much like the semi final that followed 42 years later, Madrid won by two goals in the Camp Nou. This time, however, Madrid took a 3-1 advantage to Barcelona’s ground. Still, since the ground was built in 1957 Barcelona had won every single competitive game there until that semi final meeting. The similarities to 01-02 don’t end there as Madrid went on to win their 5th trophy at the same venue as 2002- Hampden- beating another German team- Eintracht Frankfurt- in the final.
Wolves v Barcelona, EC QF, 1960

 It wasn’t to be all doom and gloom for Barca as they went on to win that season’s Fairs Cup- that particular competition ran from 1958-1960 thus allowing Barca to qualify for the European Cup in the meantime by winning La Liga in 58-59 thereby being in the unique position of playing in European football’s premier and secondary tournaments. Barcelona would also take some solace in becoming the first side to knock Madrid out of European competition by disposing of them in the early rounds of the 1960-61 European Cup.
Barcelona v Wolves, EC QF, 1960
 Much like 1960, the 2011 event promises to be a clash of two of world football’s most irresistible teams. Mourinho v Guardiola; Ronaldo v Messi; 80,000 in the Bernabeu and 98,000 at Camp Nou with the winner rewarded with a place in the new Wembley’s first Champions League final. Will Barcelona return to the scene of Koeman’s thunderbolt of a free kick in 1992 or will Madrid keep up their 100% semi final record against their eternal rivals?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

DPC gets with the times

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More (long overdue) posts will follow soon.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Dundee 2-1 Raith, Sat 12th Feb 2011

It's been a while since I posted anything on here due to researching and updating my Victorians website (it's a bit self indulgent I know) but I couldn't let the recent Dundee-Raith game go unannounced on here. I was ill in bed for this one and missed one of the most enthusiastic Derry celebrations in living memory. C'est la vie.

Harkins (84th min to equalise from the Shankly)

From the Derry:

Neil McCann (90+5 mins winner from the Derry)

From the Main Stand: