by Fergus McCann

FOR most Scottish football supporters Hampden Park holds memories, of big games won or lost, of events that brought success or failure, with joy or disappointment.

Mine include the Scottish Cup final of 1959, St Mirren 3 Aberdeen 1. I was 18, and enjoyed the event – although cleaning my shoes afterwards was a chore. 

In 1960 I attended the landmark European Cup final, when Real Madrid defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3. At 5’ 7”, standing facing the sun, 100 yards from the pitch, I think I saw two of the 10 goals.

And, in 1970, on a visit home from Canada, I was among the 136,000 who saw John Hughes and Bobby Murdoch propel Celtic to 2-1 win over Leeds United and a second European Cup final.

My Hampden memories of events later in life were rather more negative. 

In charge of Celtic, and having to rent the stadium for the 94/95 season, I had to tolerate the mean-spirited behaviour of Queens Park officials throughout that period. This began with a clause in the lease – a “deal breaker” as their attorney made clear – that forbade “the display of any foreign flag.” 

Shades of SFA 1952.

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