Dunfermline Athletic

1961: Celtic 0 Dunfermline 2

Memorable Match #38
1961 Scottish Cup Final Replay
Hampden Park
Wednesday 26th April 1961

A 0-0 scoreline in the 1961 Scottish Cup Final meant that a replay was necessary the following midweek. History would be made as Dunfermline lifted their first ever Scottish Cup ironically presented to captain Ron Mailer by Robert Kelly, SFA President as well as chairman of Celtic, and his wife.

The Build-up
Just as the Pars were hit before the first game, losing winger Tommy McDonald through appendicitis, Celtic were similarly hit on the eve of the replay, when fullback Jim Kennedy was rushed to hospital, suffering from the same complaint.

Dunfermline manager Stein was forced to make two changes to the team that played on the Saturday. George Miller was moved to centre-half in place of the injured Jackie Williamson, with John Sweeney coming into the left back position. Charlie Dickson moved to inside-left, with David Thomson playing at centre-forward.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Eddie Connachan, who had so far not conceded a goal in 360 minutes of cup games, worked his shift in the coalmine, on the Monday and Tuesday before the replay.

Match Report

Celtic (0) 0 Dunfermline Athletic (0) 2

Due to the lack of floodlighting at Hampden Park, the replay kicked off at 6:15pm. Dunfermline won the toss, but the first action of the game fell to Celtic`s Willie Fernie, whose shot went narrowly past.

In two minutes, Frank Haffey the Celtic goalkeeper ran out to near the corner flag to collect a loose ball, but instead of gathering it safely, the ball ran loose, and with Pars players closing in, O`Neil had to be alert to clear the danger, as Haffey sprinted 30 yards back to his goal. Two minutes later, following good work by Pat Crerand and Gallagher, Crerand had a shot on target which Connachan saved.

After 12 minutes, Crerand hit a drive that narrowly went over the bar. Five minutes later, Dunfermline had an excellent chance, following a Peebles free-kick, but a prostrate Dave Thomson could only scoop the ball past from 6 yards. Haffey then had to look lively to clear a Cunningham free-kick.

On the half hour mark, Celtic centre-forward John Hughes succeeded in getting the ball in the net, but he was clearly in an offside position. This scare acted as a spur to Dunfermline, who upped the pace of the game. As half time approached, John Hughes had another excellent opportunity when he headed narrowly past.

Half Time: Celtic 0 Dunfermline Athletic 0

One minute into the second half, and following a clash between Hughes and Fraser, the Celtic forward had his name taken by Mr Phllips. Dunfermline then had an excellent opportunity to take the lead, but Haffey brought off a great save from a Dickson header. The ball then found itself at the other end, where Connachan pulled off an equally good save from a Willie Fernie header.

There was a let off for the Pars in 49 minutes when from a Gallagher free-kick, Willie Fernie headed past when scoring would have been the easier option.

Seven minutes into the second half and Connachan made a wonder save from a thunderous Fernie shot, which took a deflection on the way. It seemed as if there was no way that the keeper was going to be beaten. One minute later, and Hughes watched in despair as his shot from 8 yards was saved by Connachan. In the ensuing melee, the Glasgow team had a strong claim for a penalty kick turned down.

Then in 67 minutes, Dunfermline opened the scoring. George Peebles, who up until then had been operating on the right, switched to the left, and after charging past Celtic full-back Duncan MacKay, delivered a cross into the centre. The ball took a touch from a Celtic head, and there unmarked in the middle of the penalty box, was Davie THOMSON, whose powerful header gave Haffey no chance.

Dunfermline goal

With Celtic pushing forward in numbers, Connachan produced another top drawer save in 75 minutes. With time running out, Connachan produced the save of the match. From a Celtic corner kick, the ball found its way out to the edge of the penalty box, and after several blocked attempts, Crerand met the ball cleanly and drove towards goal. His shot looked netbound all the way, but Eddie sprang to his side to somehow pull the ball out of the air. A tremendous save.

With just 2 minutes remaining, Dunfermline increased their lead. Alex Smith played a ball through to Dickson, which Haffey looked as if he had covered. However the Celtic keeper misjudged, and Charlie DICKSON took his chance, rounded the goalie and poked the ball into the empty net. The Scottish Cup was on it`s way to Dunfermline!

All the players played their part in the game. From the magnificent Connachan, through the defence superbly marshalled by Willie Cunningham and George Miller, with captain Ronnie Mailer at his best. Right back Cammy Fraser improved all the time, and left half John Sweeney was a revelation.

Whilst George Peebles was not as dominating as he had been on the Saturday, he remained a handful for the Celtic defence. Alex Smith and Harry Melrose, who roamed the park, kept the Athletic forwards on the move. And of course, there were the two men who scored the goals, Dave Thomson and Charlie Dickson.

Eddie Connachan

Replay Teams: 

CELTIC Frank Haffey, Duncan McKay, Willie O`Neil, Pat Crerand, Billy McNeill, John Clark, Charlie Gallagher, Willie Fernie, John Hughes, Stevie Chalmers, Sean Byrne.

DUNFERMLINE: Eddie Connachan; Cammy Fraser, Willie Cunningham, Ron Mailer, George Miller, John Sweeney; George Peebles, Alex Smith, Davie Thomson, Charlie Dickson, Harry Melrose.
SCORERS: Thomson ( 67), Dickson (88).

REFEREE: H Phillips (Wishaw)

Post Final Comments
After the game, the two proud goalscorers described their efforts to the Dunfermline Press.  Charlie Dickson said of his goal "and that makes sure of the cup was my thought as I ran the ball into the net. As I followed that punt into goal and saw Haffey coming out, I just managed to get my toe to the ball and tip it past the keeper`s hands. Then I was past him with the ball, and the net was five yards away."

Dave Thomson remarked, "I had just made the right position when George Peebles crossed. It seemed to swerve away from me at the vital moment, but suddenly I had met it and there it was flying into the corner of the net with Haffey still diving."

Match Statistics
  Dunfermline Celtic
Free Kicks Conceded 15 15
Shies won 29 50
Corners won 3 12
Bye kicks won 7 10
Offside against 0 7

The total attendances at all the Pars cup games, was 282,764, with gate receipts in the region of £30,000.

The Celebrations
Dunfermline partied like it had never before with crowds lining the streets as the bus made its way to the City Chambers. `We want Eddie` was the chant, as the crowd saluted Eddie Connachan, the cup winning hero.

In the book `Black and White Magic`, Athletic director, Bob Torrie described the Team`s journey back to Fife:

"The official coach was given a police escort out of Glasgow and right to the Kincardine Bridge, where the Dunfermline police took over for the rest of the way. Never will I forget that journey. At every road end dozens of waving supporters were waiting to cheer us on, everyone showing something black and white. The cup complete with black and white ribbons was waved back and renewed cheering broke out all along the route. Eventually we arrived at a pre-selected spot where the open double deck bus was waiting for us.

"Our route was now through Rosyth to Dunfermline where we proceeded halfway up the New Row, along Comely Park and through the public park to the junction of Holyrood Place and Appin Crescent. Here an even greater sight met our eyes. Literally thousands of people were waiting our arrival. TV cameras were there, a pipe band was at the ready and the triumphant procession slowly wound its way through Holyrood Place, East Port and the High Street to the City Chambers where the crowd was even bigger. We eventually reached the inside of the City Chambers where the players (and cup) were introduced by the Provost Archie Frederick.

Amidst all the congratulatory messages that appeared in the local press, Hunters - The Grocers, proudly announced that the Scottish Cup would be on display in their window early the next week.

In its editorial, the Dunfermline Press paid tribute to the players, manager, backroom staff and board, praising them for the recognition and joy they had brought to the town.

Cup at City Chambers

The Scottish Cup may have been in the bag, but the Pars still had two league games to be played to complete the season. Three days after the replay DAFC lined up against Dundee United at Tannadice, and were soundly beaten 5-0. They completed the season at home against Kilmarnock, where despite cup hero Dave Thomson opening the scoring in just 3 minutes, the Pars ended up losing 4-2. Harry Melrose scored the Pars other goal. The defeats meant that Dunfermline finished the season in 12th place.

Recognising the changes and improvements that he had brought to the club in his first year, the Dunfermline chairman David Thomson and his board, awarded Jock Stein with a five year contract. Stein signed on 2nd May 1961. The club also acquired a house for the manager in Garvock Hill.

History showed that winning the Scottish Cup was just the start of the most glorious golden decade in the Club`s history.

Watch the highlights 1961 Scottish Cup Final Replay on YouTube

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