The 1980 Scottish Cup Final was played on 10 May 1980 at Hampden Park in Glasgow and was the final of the 95th Scottish Cup competition. Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers contested the match, which Celtic won 1–0 after extra time. Rioting after the end of the match, involving both sets of supporters, resulted in the sale of alcohol being banned at sporting events in Scotland.
|Event||1979–80 Scottish Cup|
|Date||10 May 1980|
|Venue||Hampden Park, Glasgow|
The match represented a last chance of success in the 1979–80 season for the traditionally dominant Old Firm, as Aberdeen had won the Scottish league championship. Celtic had finished above Rangers in the league, but Rangers went into the match as bookmakers' favourites because Celtic were missing Tom McAdam, Roddie MacDonald and Jim Casey from their lineup due to injury.
Roy Aitken and Mike Conroy were drafted into the Celtic team as makeshift central defenders, but they were effective in nullifying the Rangers attack. There was not much incident in the game, which finished goalless after the regulation 90 minutes. This necessitated an extra time period of 30 minutes, during which Celtic scored the only and therefore winning goal of the match. Danny McGrain took a shot that looked to be heading wide, but George McCluskey redirected the ball past Peter McCloy and into the goal.
|Celtic||1 – 0 (a.e.t.)||Rangers|
|McCluskey 107'||Report (page 20)|
The match is also remembered for a riot that followed its conclusion, which BBC News described in 2011 as the "most infamous case of disorder" in an Old Firm match. Rival fans battled on the Hampden Park pitch and mounted police attempted to defuse the trouble, which was largely attributed to the excessive consumption of alcohol.
After winning the match, the Celtic players went to celebrate with their supporters, as was the normal practice. The SFA had given both teams permission to parade the Scottish Cup trophy on the pitch after the match, as they had recently installed a 10-foot-high perimeter fence around Hampden. Some of the Celtic supporters climbed over the perimeter fences and joined the players on the pitch. An investigation by the SFA executive committee found that this initial invasion of the pitch was "a spontaneous, if misguided, expression of joy."
Some of the Rangers fans had stayed behind, despite their team's defeat. One of the Celtic fans ran to the end of the stadium inhabited by the Rangers fans, and kicked a ball into the goal at that end. In response to this, some Rangers fans invaded the pitch to charge at the Celtic fans, who in turn confronted their rivals. Bricks, bottles and cans were soon being thrown along with fans using iron bars and wooden staves from terracing frames as weapons. The police had insufficient manpower inside the stadium to quell the disorder. Match commentator Archie MacPherson described the riot as follows:
This is like a scene now out of Apocalypse Now ... We've got the equivalent of Passchendaele and that says nothing for Scottish football. At the end of the day, let's not kid ourselves. These supporters hate each other.
Both clubs were fined £20,000 after the events and more than 200 arrests were made in the Hampden area. Celtic blamed Strathclyde Police for their handling of the riot. The vast majority of the police officers on duty were outside the ground after the match, to prevent any trouble in the streets surrounding Hampden Park. The police and the SFA had assumed that the perimeter fences would prevent fans from invading the pitch, but they were later described as being completely inadequate. The police blamed Celtic fans for the disorder, a position Rangers concurred with. In response, Celtic cited the underlying hostility between the two sets of fans, caused by the sectarianism in Glasgow. Celtic chairman Desmond White also cited the fact that Celtic fielded a mixture of Catholics and Protestants in their team, inferring that the problem was not caused by his club.
George Younger, the Secretary of State for Scotland, blamed alcohol and the actions of the Celtic players for the riot. An Act of Parliament was passed that banned the sale of alcoholic beverages within Scottish sports grounds. The ban was partially lifted in 2007 by Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill, to allow the sale of alcohol at international rugby union matches played at Murrayfield Stadium. The Scottish Rugby Union had lobbied the Scottish Parliament for the law to be changed, as they believed that they had lost out on the right to host the 2003 Challenge Cup Final due to it. Subsequent to the easing of the ban, Motherwell chairman John Boyle called for it to be lifted entirely. Ahead of the 2011 Scottish League Cup Final, it was reported by the Scotland On Sunday that VIP hospitality packages could be purchased allowing "unlimited" consumption of alcohol at bars within Hampden Park. These transactions do not contravene the legislation because the sale of alcohol is still permitted in hospitality areas with no direct sight of the pitch.
- English, Tom (9 May 2010). "Tom English looks back at the 1980 Scottish Cup final riot between Rangers and Celtic fans and asks: Who was to blame?". Scotland On Sunday. Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Old Firm cup final memories". BBC Sport. 1 May 2002. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Murrayfield alcohol ban removed". BBC News. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- Ponsonby, Brian (8 March 2011). "'Old Firm' faultline is once again a political football". BBC News. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- Galbraith, Russell (16 October 1993). "When Two Tribes Go To War". The Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Murray, Bill (2000) The Old Firm: Sectarianism, Sport and Society in Scotland, p. 196. John Donald Publisher, Edinburgh.
- Robertson, Rob (9 June 2007). "Alcohol ban is lifted for rugby matches at Murrayfield". The Herald. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- "Call to scrap rugby alcohol ban". BBC News. 18 June 2003. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- Horne, Marc (13 March 2011). "Unlimited drink for Old Firm game VIPs". Scotland On Sunday. Retrieved 16 April 2011.