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Newcastle v Rangers

1969 Fairs Cup Drama

One of the most popular blogs on our website visited when Rangers visited Aston Villa in 1976

This article looks at Newcastle United's extremely own 'fight of Britain which took place in 1969, those that were at the two games versus Rangers will never forget them.

Newcastle v Rangers 1969 Programme

Programme From The First Leg
View more Rangers Programmes here. 

On 14th May 1969, United tackled Glasgow Rangers in the first leg of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup semi-final. Experienced advocates Rangers were playing their tenth period of European football while United obviously were plain fledglings in their first campaign. The Gers had actually simply finished second to Celtic (by 5 points) and also entered into the match on the back of a 4-3 accumulative score versus Athletic Bilbao.

With Newcastle United and Rangers making news with each other recently with the Mike Ashley Retail links, we recall the remarkable, one and only competitive encounter between the two. The Scots versus the English-- old adversaries, head to head, no quarter offered.

United, against all the chances, had actually fought through to the semi-finals of the Inter-City Fairs Cup. Ending up 10th the season before, the Magpies got into Europe on the one-city policy which existed at the time. The Toon Army had taken European football to their hearts, packing out Gallowgate as the black-and-whites had actually progressed through the tournament, disposing out top quality resistance from Feyenoord, Sporting Lison and Real Zaragoza long the way.

Rangers had seen off FK Vojvodina, Dundalk and DWS on the way to set up the meeting with the Gateshead club. 

The semi-final matched the Magpies against The Teddy Bears. Greater than 12,000 Geordies were amongst a 70,000 crowd at Ibrox to see United grind out a 0-0 draw in the away leg.

A week later, a 60,000 all-ticket crowd at St James' saw United win 2-0, with the second goal in the 77th minute seeing all hell break loose and crowds of intoxicated Scottish followers stream out of the Gallowgate End and also on to the pitch. Container and canisters flew with the air as fans battled with police. It took almost 20 minutes for cops to restore order.


United's victory scheduled them a spot in the final, yet the following day's media focused on the 'night of shame'. The Chronicle substantially reported that Policemen stood shoulder-to-shoulder behind the goal, defiantly gazing at the hordes of fans they had actually just driven off the St James' Park pitch. For 17 minutes, the Battle of Gallowgate surged.

United won the fight on the pitch to reach the last yet it was a day the Tyneside authorities would certainly always remember with the checking out fans creating outright chaos.

It was reported that a glass as well as litter-strewn Newcastle city centre was counting the expense of a huge clean-up as stores, hostelries, and also even some private residences took the force of the damage after the video game. At the same time, police commended fans of both clubs who refused to be attracted right into the battle royal.

Recalling, it could be considered as the begin of a dark age for football, and also the game would certainly be plagued throughout the 1970s as well as 1980s by hooliganism as well as violence.

The Final

Beating Rangers the previous week had provided everybody at the club a significant boost as well as the interest in the city in the days leading up to the match was extraordinary, like absolutely nothing previously seen. More of the Newcastle faithful were able to enjoy it this time, unlike the Rangers game when the Gers fans had much of the Gallowgate End.

The league campaign had ended with the Magpies in 9th place. With no domestic action left to take care of, up there were no interruptions in the run up to the final on the Thursday evening, back then it wasn't a common day to be playing. Due to the fact that Ajax were playing Milan in the European Cup Final on the Wednesday, they made Newcastle play on the Thursday.

The North Section will have a feature on the 1969 Final online very soon!



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