Scottish Cup Final 1977, Tickets sold 70k, attendance 54k, why?

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IMAGINE a Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers, where 70,000 tickets are sold but only 54,000 fans actually bother to show up! That’s exactly what happened on this day in 1977 when an Andy Lynch penalty – his first spot kick for the club – was enough to win the Cup for Celtic and complete the Double.

So why did the 16,000 ticket holders decide to stay away?

Two factors really, one it was the weather, it was rainy, the other was the fact that the game was being shown live on television for the first time since 1955 when Celtic played Clyde in the final. That game ended all square at 1-1 with Clyde winning the replay 1-0 so it would be not until 1977 that Celtic would win a Scottish Cup Final live on the tele.

The other remarkable aspect of this game is that Celtic were awarded a penalty kick against Rangers – the term Hens Teeth comes to mind – and despite it being a stonewaller, Derek Johnstone appeared to use both hands to stop the ball on the Rangers goal-line, the Clyde Superscoreboard Cheerleader argues to this day that it should NOT have been given.

Kenny Dalglish was meant to take any spot kick but in the build up to the match admitted that he didn’t fancy it after missing a few in the games leading up to the final. A confident Andy Lynch was selected by Jock Stein after winning a penalty competition down at Seamill in the day before the game. Andy made no mistake, giving the Rangers keeper Kennedy no chance.

The Celtic team was Latchford, McGrain, Lynch, Stanton, MacDonald, Aitken, Dalglish, Edvaldsson, Craig, Conn, Wilson. Subs: Burns, Doyle. Goal:- Lynch pen (20 mins).

Dalglish lifted the trophy and then lost his medal before a Policeman found it in an umbrella.

After the game Celtic manager Jock Stein and captain Kenny Dalglish tried to board the Rangers bus in error much to the amusement of the Rangers staff on board.

Alfie Conn now had the unique record of winning on Scottish Cup finals played between the two Glasgow giants for both clubs. This was actually the tenth Scottish Cup Final that featured Celtic v Rangers.

The win was Stein’s 25th major trophy as Celtic manager and his 8th Scottish Cup and was the last major trophy he brought to Parkhead. It was also the last trophy that King Kenny would lift as Celtic captain.

Where you at Hampden on this day in 1977 or did you watch the game on TV? Let’s hear your stories today…email your memories of the game to editor@thecelticstar.co.uk and we’ll put together a another feature later in the day.

I was there, I was 12 and went to the game in a camper van with an Australian bloke that my big brother knew, had never met the guy before and it was his first ever football match. He loved it!

Here are some highlights…

Thanks as always to Celtic Wiki for the invaluable reference point or all things Celtic.

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