1968: Dunfermline 1 Celtic 2
Memorable Match #8
Scottish First Division
Tuesday 30th April 1968
On 27th April 1968 Dunfermline defeated Hearts 3-1 at Hampden Park to lift the Scottish Cup for the second time in eight years but they had to suppress their celebrations because they had one more league match to play on the following Tuesday night. Their opponents, Celtic had as good as won the league on Cup Final day as a consequence of Aberdeen defeating Rangers at Ibrox. It would have taken a 16-0 defeat in their final match to prevent Celtic being crowned champions. So it transpired for the first time in the history of Scottish football the league champions met the Scottish cup winners in the same season.
It is most unlikely that anyone who attended this final league fixture of the 1967-68 season will forget this match. The Pars would parade the Scottish Cup and it was estimated that 2000 supporters forced their way into East End Park to witness the game between George Farm’s Dunfermline and Jock Stein’s Celtic. Crush barriers broke and 49 people were injured when the crowd spilled on to the track.
The trouble started when the gates were locked with a record 27,816 fans inside. Angry supporters charged and broke the west gate while others scaled the walls to get in. That led to supporters scaling walls to get out to avoid the crush. Others mounted the floodlight pylons and some clambered on to the roof of the North Stand.
The match was stopped twice, firstly at the request of the police and after two crush barriers gave way on the east terracing which caused the crowd to spill on to the pitch. Fifteen of those hurt were taken to the Dunfermline and West Fife Hospital with broken legs, fractured ribs or head injuries.
Jock Stein came out on to the pitch waving down those risking their lives and taking the players back into the dressing room. The first stoppage lasted eight minutes and the second nine minutes. After the injured were removed, some sort of order was restored and the match resumed.
After all that had gone on most remember the night for the occasion and the events. The fact that Celtic won 2-1 will have been forgotten by most.
The result ensured that Celtic won the championship not just on goal average but by two clear points. Between the two interruptions there had been some exciting football.
Celtic attacked furiously and it could have been a cup final instead of only the final match of the season in which only honour mattered.
Skipper Roy Barry defended skilfully and courageously and beside him young John McGarty, in his home debut, was cool and resourceful even in such a climate but it seemed that Celtic in full flight must score.
It was Dunfermline who would take the lead however from a fine Pat GARDNER strike. In 27 minutes a sweet pass from Bert Paton set up the opportunity for the Pars two goal hero from the Hampden final. 1-0
Less than two minutes of the second half had been played when Bobby Lennox accepted a Gallagher ball and Celtic were level. The crowd spilled on to the park again but were quickly dispersed. 1-1
Even though this was the end of the season the game was deemed the most furious noisy match of the campaign. Barry was hurt and then Hugh Robertson to such an extent that he had to go off.
Soon their was admiration for the Dunfermline defence who took a physical beating as Celtic threw everything into finding a winner. From both wings and through the middle the pressure was intense.
The 71st minute winner was a cracker from LENNOX. Having controlled the ball on the right, he had the defence expecting a cross but instead netted from an impossible angle. 1-2
DUNFERMLINE: Bent Martin: Willie Callaghan, John Lunn, John McGarty, Roy Barry, Tommy Callaghan, Ian Lister, Bert Paton, Pat Gardner, Hugh Robertson, Alex Edwards. Sub: Barry Mitchell
SCORER: Gardner (27)
CELTIC: Ronnie Simpson: Jim Craig, Tommy Gemmell, Bobby Murdoch, Billy McNeill, Jim Brogan, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Lennox, Willie Wallace, Charlie Gallacher (George Connelly), John Hughes.
SCORER: Lennox (47, 72)
REFEREE: T Wharton (Glasgow)
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