League Cup Final 1982

By Macaroon 21 May 2022

On the 4th December 1982 Celtic win their first League Cup since 1974 against Rangers at Hampden. This trophy always seemed to be a bit of a bogey for us. The only player from that ‘74 win still with us was Danny McGrain.

I always recall Rangers being no threat to Celtic in the early ‘80s. It was Aberdeen and Dundee United that were our challengers for the league. However, Rangers always seem to win this trophy despite coming forth in the premier league on occasion.

So, although we were the reigning League Champions and a far better team, I didn’t know how this would pan out. The weather was appalling, heavy rain on a cold December. The north terrace at Hampden was closed for repairs so the crowd wasn’t capacity, just the two terraces behind the goals and the main stand. The Celtic terracing was uncovered and theirs sheltered in line with their superiority complex with SFA deciding to not cover the Mount Florida end of the ground.

I reminisce to the 1981 and 1982 years when the song “we’ve won the league again fly the flag” was born. This was to the tune of the British Airways advert “we’ll take good care of you”. The Rangers end had their version this day: “we hate the I.R.A. fuck the pope” which was quite a standard reaction for them.

I remember the old Hampden terraces being made of wood and grit which meant if a goal was scored there was like a smoke would go up and on a day of horizontal rain it certainly was not ideal. No way was it a normal warm cup final spectacle.

Into the match and Celtic are very dominant and showing why they are the champions. On the 22 minute mark Charlie Nicholas receives a pass from Davie Provan and he finds the smallest of gaps to squeeze in the opening goal. The Celtic end erupts and stops the Rangers end singing one of their sectarian ditties about the IRA. Nicholas was my hero, the coolest player from that era with a cracking wedge haircut. He was an outstanding talent and on the radar of many English clubs and was promoted as the next Kenny Dalgleish

It was around the 30 minute mark that Murdo McLeod put us two up with a complete thunderbolt. Celtic were cruising and Rangers could not get a grip on the match. They had one shot on goal in the first half.

Just into the second half Jim Bett scored for Rangers with a free-kick that completely caught the Celtic defence out and Pat Bonnar perhaps being out sighted looked stranded.

There was a few shaky moments in the second half, but Celtic were worthy winners with a 2-1 win. The man of the match for us was Davie Provan. He didn’t just set up our two goals his passing and movement throughout the game was immense.

The match https://youtu.be/zkSUfNJyHZ8

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