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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK
When Euro glory evaded Rangers
By Keir Murray

Roger Hynd led the Rangers attack in Nuremburg
Rangers reached the final of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967
When Rangers headed off to Nuremburg to play Bayern Munich in the final of the European Cup-Winners' Cup, they left behind a footballing landscape that remains incomprehensible 40 years on.

On 25 May 1967, Celtic won the European Cup against Inter Milan, becoming the first British side to lift the continent's premier trophy.

The previous month, Scotland had beaten

world champions England 3-2 at Wembley.

Elsewhere Kilmarnock had reached the semi-final of the Fairs Cup, losing 4-2 to Leeds United on aggregate.

Incredibly, Dundee United, in their first European tie beat the holders of the Fairs Cup, Barcelona, home and away, a feat they were to repeat 20 years later.

In the next round, United lost to Juventus, though not before registering a 1-0 victory over the Italians at Tannadice.

However, not every aspect of Scottish football was in rude health.

The Rangers squad
The Rangers squad included talents like John Greig and Kai Johansen

Before the Old Firm competed in their European finals, Third Lanark had played their last match.

The Thirds, a founding member of the Scottish Football League, went into liquidation that summer.

Six days after Celtic's victory in Lisbon, Rangers were feeling the pressure ahead of kick-off.

Their great rivals had won the European Cup at their first attempt and had made a clean sweep of the domestic honours.

After the shocking exit to Berwick Rangers in the Scottish Cup at the start of the year, Rangers captain John Greig and his team-mates knew their season rested on one match.

Other factors also weighed heavily on Rangers; they were playing for Glasgow and Scotland, not just the club, for a victory over Bayern Munich would mean the top two European trophies heading to the same city for the first time.

Rangers had progressed to Nuremburg by beating Glentoran 5-1 on aggregate in the first round, and then knocked out holders Borussia Dortmund.

In the quarter-final against the tournament favourites Real Zaragoza, Rangers went through on the toss of a coin when extra-time could not produce a winner.

In the semi-final, Rangers won 1-0 in each leg of the tie against Slavia Sofia.

The Rangers manager, Scot Symon, would lead Rangers to his and the club's second European final, the first being a 4-1 aggregate defeat to Fiorentina in the Cup-Winners' Cup six years earlier.

Symon had concerns over Rangers' low scoring record, and his worries were shared by club chairman John Lawrence, who said before the match that Rangers would need to buy some new strikers in the summer.

After the defeat by lowly Berwick, Lawrence said certain players wouldn't play for the club again, and indeed that was the case for Jim Forrest and George McLean.

The match programme
Rangers and Bayern Munich met in the Nürnbergerstadion in Nuremburg

Alex Willoughby had come into the team after Berwick and had scored 17 goals in three months, yet Symon dropped him for the final, favouring defender Roger Hynd in attack.

The final was only Hynd's fourth appearance for Rangers that season.

The final itself wasn't much of a spectacle.

For Bayern Munich, the match in Nuremburg was almost like a home tie; they were a team on the up, with players of the calibre of Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller.

The strongest part of each side was its defence, particularly so for the Germans, who moved the great midfielder Beckenbauer back to the sweeper role.

With the Bayern full-backs closely marking wingers Willie Johnston and Willie Henderson, Rangers were starved of an outlet, and the willing Hynd struggled against Beckenbauer.

The match went into extra time at 0-0, and with just 11 minutes left, Franz Roth took advantage of hesitancy in the Rangers defence and lobbed Norrie Martin to score the decisive goal. It was Scot Symon's last full season in charge of the team.

He summed up the match perfectly: "Our players all fought hard. We had our chances but we were just not quite sharp enough to take them."

Roger Hynd threw his runners-up medal into the crowd.

It's worth pondering: would any Scottish player disregard a European finalist's medal nowadays?

Bayern Munich: Maier, Nowak, Olk, Roth, Beckenbauer, Kupferschmidt, Nafziger, Ohlhauser, Muller, Koulmann, Brenninger

Rangers: Martin, Johansen, Johansen, Provan, Jardine, McKinnon, Greig, Henderson, A Smith, Hynd, D Smith, Johnston

Goals: Roth 109.

Att: 69,000

Referee: Lo Bello (Italy)


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