The Riot after Celtic beat Rangers in the 1980 Scottish Cup Final

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

SATURDAY 10 MAY 1980 is the day that got drinking banned from football matches in Scotland and on the supporters buses going to games.

In a Scottish Cup Final remembered for all the wrong reasons of the rioting afterwards, Celtic won the Scottish Cup for the 26th time by beating Rangers 1-0.

Rangers losing a Scottish Cup Final and there was a riot afterwards, sounds a wee bit familiar doesn’t it? It might have been a different Rangers but it was the very same mindset and the events that day after the match pretty much mirrored what happened after Hibs beat the new Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final in 2016.

Back to the 1980 Final, George McCluskey scored the only goal of the game in extra time. It had been a good game well fought by two teams determined to give their fans something to cheer them up, Celtic in particular for the League had been thrown away in a shockingly unprofessional fashion. As usually happened, all the cliches about “problems in Scottish society” were trotted out by vote-seeking politicians but the bottom line remained Celtic 1 Rangers 0.

Celtic had gifted the league to Aberdeen and when they won the title their fans celebrated by invading the pitch at Easter Road.The Hibs fans saw no reason to turn that into a riot. A few dozen Celtic fans ran onto the park at Hampden to celebrate and this was the excuse the revolting mob at the other end needed and the riot that followed shamed the game in Scotland.

The next season the Celtic fans sang to them “We chased you all over Hampden” but that was the end of having a drink at the games.

A BROKEN ANKLE

I broke my ankle falling down the stairs at Crystal Palace Station going to Euston to catch the train to Glasgow at six o’clock in the morning. I got on the train and got ice from the buffet, got to Glasgow at 13.15 in agony so went to the game early got the wrong train full of them, got out at there end had to walk through them, had on a green suit and was limping.

Never seen as much drink in my life, got into the old North stand and the steward sent for first aid, two guys came over and said you will have to go to hospital. I said no way they said give us your name and they will get me in in the papers. It never happened, a great day! Loved Big George and Danny’s miss kick!

Thomas Boylan

A CLOUD OF DUST

I’m from Belfast and was at the game. I can remember when McCloskey scored and we where behind the goal out in the open and the dust just rose like a cloud from everyone jumping up and down while celebrating.

Then Scotland’s shame couldn’t take it.

Brian Gallagher

IT WAS MY FIRST GAME!

I was 11 years old when I went to my first ever game against the original Rangers. My brother took me along with his best mate and an old guy he worked beside who was a Rangers supporter! In our end!

My memories are probably a bit hazy now but here goes. The stadium was a total dive back then with railway sleepers forming the terraces. It was huge though and there was drink everywhere, I was being offered cans of beer despite my age.

When McGrain had his shot and McCluskey diverted the ball home the place went mental. Then the dust/stoor/whatever that stuff was just hung in the air and you could hardly see! It was the same at the final whistle.

At the end we watched the riot for a bit then started the drive home. My last real memory of the day was driving through Glasgow behind a Rangers bus and there were cans and bottles getting thrown at anyone and everyone. We held back then had to hammer past when it parked up and we thought they were getting out to pay us a visit!

The match ticket was £2 by the way!

Scott Glasgow

THE OTHER MOB WERE SO ANGRY

I travelled up from London to see my sick Granda and on the same day my young cousin took his first communion.

We had four tickets in the Main Stand we parked the car in Battlefileld near Granda’s house, also my cousin and parents lived in Pollokshaws.

George McCluskey’s goal was great, deflecting Danny McGrain’s shot past McCloy.

At the end I have never seen so much dust in my life. The Celtic fans were getting onto the park to help out the Bhoys who were on there purely celebrating.

We knew the other mob were angry so waited to see the team get onto the bus with the Cup. We made our way back to Battlefield to see some drunken guys in blue hanging around, we had no colours so we were fine.

That night got I the sleeper back to London. I was only 17 then, so a guy sharing got in and asked if I saw the game, no I said! Was it a good result for you? No he said! A wee quiet snigger then off to sleep.

Never forget that day, for that reason and also today is my daughter’s 26th birthday too, she was born 12 years after the day.

Hail Hail

Steven Murray

AMONG THE FIRST ONTO THE PARK

I always remember it as the first final where they had the American Majorette’s for entertainment and being in the Celtic end my and my mate Podge went into the enclosure in the second half to chat them up! I was 15 yrs old and this was possibly my first final.

When the full time whistle went I saw someone starting to climb over from the Celtic end so I said to my mate let’s go and we jumped onto the pitch. We were one of the first few on and we celebrated with Tommy Burns, Johnny Doyle and Murdo McLeod. I remember stewards trying to get us off, next thing horses are chasing us off the park! I remember looking back from the Celtic end and seeing all the bodies stretched out at the far end victims of the thrown bottles by their own fans. I can remember getting home and my parents being glad I was safe. Will always have great memories of that day despite the hoards trying to ruin it for us. HH

Sam McEwan

Every Saturday my dad and uncle Mick would wait till I finished alter boy practice at RC Holy Family Church in Dunblane then we would set off to watch the famous Glasgow Celtic.

This Saturday was no different.. a stop of at a pub in Bridge of Allan first then on our way to Hampden. Due to the pub visit we were late getting into Hampden so my dad parked at Mount Florida and we ran to the ground (was to be our downfall later on).

Once in the ground we watched a tense game, being a 10 year old I was taken back by the sheer volume that day… remember we never had the covered terrracing yet all I could hear were our own faithful.

This wasn’t my first game v Rangers but it was my first Final.

Extra time and bang! Danny fired towards goal and Big George sending McCloy the wrong way, sheer bedlam! Anyway we partied on for what seemed a lifetime only for my uncle to say let’s get home.

Leaving Hampden the very site of my dad snapping the cane of my newly bought tricolour started the worry, something wasn’t right, as we walked to the car at Mount Florida we were met by a huge crowd of seething blue-noses, which ended in a few slaps and my jacket getting covered in gob from the mouths of twisted bigots.

Jacket ditched we started our drive to Dunblane.. lucky to be in one piece but heart pumping wae pride…my mother that day said I would never attend another game against that mob (her words) but what she didn’t know it was the start of many, many more. Also it was the start of the pure dislike i had towards everything about them…why would you subject any 10 year to that only they would know… HH .

Kevin Connelly, Tommy Gemmell CSC, Dunblane💚🍀

Where you at the 1980 Scottish Cup Final? If you were and fancy sharing your memories of the game on The Celtic Star please email your recollections to editor@thecelticstar.co.uk and we’ll get get them onto the site.

Thanks as always to the wonderful Celtic site, The Celtic Wiki for the reference material and photography.

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply

Obsessed With Celtic