1961 Cup Run Menu


By Brian Donovan

Preparations for Hampden
Between Semi Replay and Final

So it was going to be a Celtic v Dunfermline Final. Previous meetings that season had ended 2-2 at East End Park in November and on Saturday 25th March just a week prior to the Semi Final the Pars had gone to Celtic Park and lost 2-1.

On Saturday 8th April it was back to Scottish League business with a fine 4-2 win over Hibs followed on the Monday by a 1-0 away victory at Airdrie. Two nights later and ten days prior to the trip to Hampden, in their last game before the Cup Final Athletic were beaten 6-0 by Clyde at Shawfield!

The squad moved to Seamill Hydro on the Clyde after the match at Shawfield and stayed until the following Sunday. The players had been given the choice of going to the England v Scotland match at Wembley but opted for Seamill instead.

Final training, planning and preparations for the big day were carried out at East End Park. These were not the only preparations being made though for the fans were also planning their part in helping the team towards a first Hampden success.

Cup fever had taken over the town. Shop windows took up a distinct black and white flavour with team photographs bedecked in ribbons and messages of good luck; all the talk was of football.

People who in the past had no interest in the game found themselves discussing the Pars chances against the might of Celtic. Coach and rail bookings were made - it seemed that the whole of Dunfermline, even Fife for that matter, was heading for Glasgow on Saturday 22nd April 1961.


Saturday 22nd April 1961; Match Report

Celtic (0) 0 Dunfermline Athletic (0) 0

In front of a crowd of 113,228, including some 30,000 Dunfermline supporters, the Pars kicked off the game, which was played at a tremendous pace throughout. The Pars took the early initiative, and following some scares at the Celtic end, a Crerand led attack had Chalmers troubling Connachan. After just 4 minutes, Willie Fernie broke through the Dunfermline defence, but was stopped by a timely Williamson tackle.

Three minutes later the Pars had an excellent chance, when a Melrose free-kick found McLindon's head, but with a great expanse of net waiting, the ball went harmlessly past the post. After another McLindon effort had risen high over the bar, George Miller gave Eddie Connachan an anxious moment with a slow backpass that the keeper had to look lively to grab. At the other end, Haffey had to move sharply to intercept Smith's through pass to Dickson

In 17 minutes Williamson hurt himself following a great tackle which stopped Hughes in his stride, but the big centre-half resumed playing at once. Steve Chalmers had found his shooting boots by this stage, and as Celtic ran into form, the inside-left hit another drive which forced Connachan into a fine diving save. Dunfermline's reply was a Melrose first time shot and a thirty yarder from McLindon. When Gallagher got through for a shot, it was Connachan who earned praise with another good save.

On the half hour mark, Dickson squandered an excellent chance, delaying too long after latching onto a McLindon through ball. The centre-forward shot from close in, when it looked as if a square pass across the goal would have produced a better result. Connachan was back in action with two super saves from a Chalmers drive, and later a brilliant Hughes header, which took a deflection and saw Eddie at his acrobatic best. Just before the half-time whistle, Williamson's injury caught up with him, and he limped off the field.

After the break, Pars supporters were surprised to see Jackie Williamson return despite his first half injury. Peebles and McLindon switched positions, but in the early minutes of the half, it was Celtic who dominated, and Connachan saved well from Byrne. In 54 minutes, a Melrose corner-kick which was touched towards goal by Peebles had Haffey beaten, but full-back Jim Kennedy popped up on the line to head the ball away to safety. Melrose then had a shot which Haffey held.

With just 12 minutes of the match remaining, centre half Jackie Williamson collapsed to the ground writhing in pain. The injury he had picked up in the first half had returned to haunt him, and Jackie was stretchered off. Down to 10 men Dunfermline re-organised, but Celtic just couldn't break down the resolute Fife defence. Amazingly, with just four minutes remaining, Jackie Williamson re-appeared to play out the final part of the game hirpling on the wing.

Hughes was on the mark in 77 minutes with a full blooded drive that Connachan did well to save. McLindon then had to be alert to block Chalmers shot. Then came Williamson's return, which was the signal the Pars to go all out for victory.

In the 90th minute, Dunfermline had the opportunity to win the game, when George Peebles let fly from 30 yards out. Frank Haffey the Celtic keeper appeared to have the ball covered, but it squirmed out of his grasp, only for the Celtic full-back Kennedy to hook the ball away for a corner. That was the final action of this exciting game, and after two minutes of injury time, Mr Phillips blew the final whistle.

Although the final ended goalless, the Sunday Post called the match 'a right good game'. The Dunfermline Press added, "this was a football feast that left the Hampden crowd , 2 1/2 times greater than the population of Dunfermline, really satisfied......We had witnessed a great and exciting cup final, which had left the destiny of the cup undecided and we all seemed content that it should be so. Everyone was quiet, yet smiling. Many indeed had a look almost of exaltation their faces. This is the effect that football has when played in the highest tradition of the greatest and most universal of games".


Celtic: Haffey, McKay, Kennedy, Crerand, McNeill, Clark, Gallagher, Fernie, Hughes, Chalmers, Byrne.

Dunfermline: Connachan, Fraser, Cunningham, Smith, Mailer, Willaimson, Miller, Dickson, Peebles, McLindon, Melrose.

Referee: H Phillips (Wishaw)


As in the semi-final replay, the Dunfermline Press reported the game's statistics:



Free Kicks Conceded



Shies won



Corners won



Bye kicks won



Offside against



Replay was fixed for Wednesday 26th April 1961