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Dundee's Fairs Cup Run 1968

Battle of Britain Clash with Leeds United in Semi

In May 1968, only three titles eluded British football teams: the European Nations' Cup, which continues to be elusive, the planet club champion title-- with Celtic having actually arisen bruised, damaged as well as beaten from the Battle of Montevideo v River Plate a few months previously-- as well as the Inter-Cities' Fairs Cup.

Dundee were the enigma of Scottish Football. They could be brilliant as well as dull, vibrant as well as inactive, irritating as well as brilliant. Usually in the same match! Emphasis is inevitably as well as not surprisingly placed on their effort to end up being the first British club to lift the European Cup in 1962-63. Hopes of achieving this status-changing feat were broken in a single half in San Siro. After holding AC Milan 1-1 at the break, Dundee lost four second-half goals. Although they beat the Italian champs 1-0 at Dens Park, they had actually dropped frustratingly short of the Wembley-hosted final, where AC Milan overcame Benfica.

5 years on, it was not regarding Robertson, Penman and Alan Gilzean, as well as those other fantastic names that roll from Hector Nicol's tongue in the song Up wi' the Bonnets. It was the turn of Houston, Murray and also ... Jim McLean?

Jim McLean played the second leg of the last-four Fairs Cup clash with Don Revie's side in a tie that is the less well-remembered of two European semi-finals opposed by the Dark Blues in the 1960s. The future Dundee United manager would obviously lead the club from the opposite side of the road to the last 4 of the European Cup-- as well as to the final of the Uefa Cup, which is what the Fairs Cup ultimately came to be before progressing again right into the Europa League.

At dark blue of Dundee, he was very important if unflashy, as well as not constantly valued, a factor sideways's run, racking up two times in the 3-0 first-round gain DWS Amsterdam at Dens Park. McLean played much more matches than any one of his teammates that season, including the 5-3 defeat in the League Cup final to Celtic-- where he additionally scored.

Dundee were still flaunting an unbeaten house record in Europe extending back 8 ties to 1962 when Leeds came calling. 4-1 win in Belgium over Royal Liege in the second round-- in which previous Rangers striker George McLean scored all four objectives-- showed that they might be commanding far from residence sometimes as well. A bye in the 3rd round indicated home and away success over FC Zurich, who had already gotten rid of Barcelona, Nottingham Forest and Sporting Lisbon, protected Dundee's location in the last 4, the draw for which was made a couple of days before it was recognized which of Rangers or Leeds would progress from their quarter-final contest after a goalless 1st leg at Ibrox.

For the 2nd leg, Elland Road was loaded with a group of over 50,000, not entirely Leeds advocates, but once more the match was beamed back to the away team's home ground for the advantage of their fans, and Rangers had just been allocated 3,000 tickets. Elland Road was loaded with a crowd of over 50,000, not completely Leeds advocates, however as once again the game was beamed back to the away team's residence ground for the advantage of their supporters, and Rangers had just been designated 3,000 tickets.

Leeds United had answered their critics by winning a suit that was described as their 'crucial moment', coming via with flying colours. They had won the Battle of Britain, as well as progressed to the semi-final versus even more tartan opposition in the kind of Dundee, while Ferencvaros and Bologna came to blows in the other semi-final. Four days later on a Paul Madeley goal was enough to beat Sheffield United in the FA Cup to put United through to the Semi-Finals and the opportunity of a remarkable Cup treble.

Leeds manager Don Revie was in Birmingham accompanying his goalkeeper Gary Sprake to an FA corrective compensation when he heard news of the draw. According to reports, he clapped his hands and also said with a smile: "we've done it once again!" Dundee were the 3rd Scottish side in a row Leeds had dealt with. As well as Rangers, they had actually disregarded Hibs 2-1 on aggregate in the 3rd round.

The manager's thinly disguised satisfaction could have resulted from a quick glance at the Scottish First Division table. An irregular Dundee were sitting mid-table at the time. Their type was up and down, and also they were not in with a possibility of any success, yet the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup was a various matter. They had actually qualified by a quirk of the guidelines. Clyde had actually been the original qualifiers, however as only one team per City was enabled to go into, as well as Rangers were the first qualifiers, it implied that Clyde had to waive there place at the benefit of Dundee.

Leeds United needed to take care as they typically arose to the challenge especially in cup-ties. Dundee likewise liked the difficulty of matching their skills with those of English Clubs and in pre-season suits in the USA had defeated both Chelsea and also Manchester United. On their return they started an effective League Cup project back in Scotland, getting to the last for the very first time in fourteen years.

After getting through against of Rangers, United did not assume that the reduced account Dundee would pose as big a hazard as the Scottish Giants, or for that issue Hibernian, as well as their hopes of getting to the final for the 2nd succeeding period were high. They were billeted at Carnoustie Golf Course where Don Revie intended his strategies to ambush Dundee that were appreciating their first-ever proposal for the Fairs Cup. They ran out onto Dens Park on May Day, simply 4 days after a 1-0 loss by Everton at Old Trafford had rejected them the possibility of an FA Cup Final appearance at Wembley.

Leeds made an excellent start when the functional Paul Madeley, that changed the hurt Mick Jones in advance, opened up the scoring with a header from a Bremner cross. Dundee equalised 10 minutes later via Bobby Wilson's header. The game was compared unfavourably to a Scottish league clash.

Some Dundee followers had plainly been ruined by the success of the previous years and also the pledge-- probably-- of more to find. European semi-final or otherwise, they would certainly have seen plenty of these Leeds spoilers, who were more than pleased to choose a 1-1 draw.

Restoration work with the old Spion Kop terracing end at Elland Road indicated just three-quarters of the ground functioned for the 2nd leg, which limited the crowd to around 23,000. While Dundee revealed glances of their attacking abilities, they were never really in it. The important away goal never ever came.

Leeds needed to hang on up until the complying with period to play their very own final, with UEFA delaying the suit because of fixture congestion. Leeds dealt with the extended spell of expectancy to defeat Ferencvaros 1-0.

Dundee, at the same time, ended the season in 9th, sandwiched between Clyde as well as Partick Thistle. As making it through fans from the hundreds who went out early from Dens Park that evening may keep in mind a little grimly, Dundee's wait on one more possibility to example the last-four phase of a European competitors goes on.