Watching 1989 Scottish Cup Final in the strangest of circumstances

The guy in the photograghs is David Morland. He passed away on 24 March 2022. 0n 19 March 2022 he got to his last game v Ross County…

Celtic were wonderful to him and he had a great time as you will see from the attached photos.

David’s son, Scott, is a committee member of NZCSC and like his father is a truly committed Celtic man. I have had the privilege of meeting David a few times and his devotion to Celtic was legendary.

Scott is on his way to Scotland later this week. He has some time en route in New York and will be watching theRangers game there with the local Bhoys.

He arrives in Scotland on 14 May and will be there until beginning of June. I realise it is a long shot but if anyone can help with tickets for any game during that period it would be greatly appreciated.

At least if Scott has to watch the Cup Final on TV it will be an easier task than his dad faced in 1989.

That occasion was of course the “Joe Miller” Final.

At the time David was working in Lancashire. In the weeks leading up to the game he was involved in a building project that had to be completed within a specific time frame.
That meant working virtually every day so no real time to get back up to Scotland to catch a game.

On the Friday morning, the day before the final, the man in charge of the project told the workers that if they all put in a good shift on the Saturday morning they could knock off at lunchtime so they could watch the English Cup Final between Liverpool and Everton.

Naturally they were all delighted although David did remark that while it was all right for the English guys he would not be able to see the Scottish game that was being played at the same time.

This was of course in the days before Sky when live football was much more restricted.
One of the workers told David that he had been in a pub in Carlisle previously that could pick up Scottish Television signals and he had seen a Scottish game in there before.

David got the details of the pub from him and as soon as they all finished their shift on the Saturday he headed for Preston and got a train to Carlisle.

He found the pub and got there just before kick off time. However when he walked into the crowded bar he noticed that the English Cup Final was on the screen of the TV. No multiple TVs in pubs then.

He did ask if there was a way he could watch the Scottish Final but “No Chance” was the reply.

It was the same response in a couple of other pubs.

By now the game had started. Most people would have accepted their fate and would have settled for watching the English game. Not David. The streets were virtually deserted but he spotted an elderly couple doing some window shopping.

He asked them if there was a department store nearby. They gave him directions to the nearest such establishment and David got himself there in quick sharp time. He found the Electrical Goods section where there were rows of televisions ready for sale.

David scanned the various screens. At first all he could see were pictures from Wembley but then to his delight he spied the famous green and white hoops on one of the screens. It was indeed the Scottish Cup Final.

At last. He stood in front of the screen and settled himself to watch the game. After a few moments a young shop assistant came over and asked if he could help him. “Just looking” was David’s reply. The eager assistant asked further was there any particular type of set he was looking for.

David explained that he was quite literally “just looking”. The assistant said he would need to have a word with his manager. David saw him go over to the manager’s office and a few moments later the manager appeared by his side.

“My assistant says that you are not interested in buying anything but are here just to watch a football game?” queried the manager. David confirmed that was indeed his intention but pleaded his case, explaining how he had got to the store and what his team and this game meant to him.

The manager looked a bit puzzled and asked “So you intend to stand here for 90 minutes?” Yes was David’s reply. “Well we can’t have that sir” said the manager before heading back to his office. David now had visions of him returning with a security guard to escort him off the premises.

Instead he returned with a chair and said “This will be more comfortable for you!”. At half time a cup of tea was provided too!

So David got to see Celtic win the Cup after all!

If anyone can assist in getting a ticket for any of the remaining Celtic games after theRangers game this weekend for Scott the entire NZCSC would be extremely grateful. Please get in touch with The Celtic Star editor – email – and he’ll be happy to arrange things so that Scott gets to a game.

Regards to all


Mike Maher

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