Dunfermline Athletic

50 years ago today

Wednesday, 19th Dec 2012

Wednesday 19th December 1962 - 14826 fans witness Dunfermline's finest show in European competition

Harry Melrose Jim Herriot George Miller
Harry Melrose, Jim Herriott and George Miller

Bienvenida al Valencia Club Futbol

Valencia arrived in West Fife in December 1962 with a four goal advantage from the first leg of their Inter Cities Fairs Cup in the Mastalia Stadium in Spain. For the defending cup holders this was the second trip to Scotland of the campaign since they had disposed of Celtic in the previous round while Dunfermline were getting past Everton 2-1 on aggregate.

Turning out on this freezing cold night at East End Park no one seriously believed that Dunfermline had a ghost of a chance of qualifying. Few believed they would even create the record of being the first British club to get the better of the swashbuckling Spaniards. But they did.  And if it hadn't been an own goal error by centre half Jim MacLean five minutes after the interval Dunfermline might have won this match.

What a fantastic game this was. Dunfermline Manager, Jock Stein had said that they would go for goals and they did. They had three in the net within 17 minutes with the Spaniards wondering what had hit them.  Nineteen year old Jackie Sinclair scored two of these, and he and 16 year old Alex Edwards, on the right wing, were the prickliest thorns in the Spanish flesh.

Valencia got a goal back through inside left Guillot but even this failed to rock these doughty Fifers. The frosty, slippery surface was ignored by the Pars, as was the niggling, petty temper displayed on occasions by the big time opponents. Two more goals found the Spanish net and at the interval their four goal lead had been obliterated.

The second half started at the same helter skelter pace.  Dunfermline survived that tragic own goal and Alex Smith levelled the score on aggregqate six minutes later. From then on it was anybody's game with Valencia, for the first time looking as though they might do something. It ended 6-2 to take the tie to a play off in Lisbon that the Spaniards won with the only goal of the game.  But the fans who missed this East End spectacle had to be kicking themselves.

DUNFERMLINE: Jim Herriott; Willie Callaghan, Willie Cunningham, Jim Thomson, Jim MacLean, George Miller, Alex Edwards, Alex Smith, Harry Melrose, George Peebles, Jackie Sinclair
SCORERS: Sinclair (2), Melrose, MacLean, Smith

Black & White Magic book cover    More can be read in Black and White Magic on sale now in the Club Shop, price £10.95.

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