The 1994 Scottish League Cup Final was played on 27 November 1994, at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow and contested by Raith Rovers and Celtic. Raith Rovers won the final on a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 2–2 draw.
Rovers were by far the underdogs playing in a division below the Glasgow side, albeit Celtic were going through a trophyless barren spell stretching back five years. Rovers took the lead in the 19th minute but found themselves going 2-1 behind in the 84th minute when Charlie Nicholas (now a well-known football pundit in the UK) netted from close range. The lead however lasted just two minutes as Rovers stunned the vast majority of the crowd thanks to a goal from all-time record scorer Gordon Dalziel (now a well-known football pundit in Glasgow) headed in from even closer range after an error from the Celtic keeper.
Extra time brought no goals and so went to penalties. The first 11 kicks were successfully converted before Paul McStay, the Celtic captain and regarded by all and sundry as a legend for club and country, saw his effort brilliantly saved by Scott Thomson in the Rovers goal.
This was one of the biggest days in the history of the Rovers and was by far the biggest occasion since I had started going to watch them some six years earlier when my best mate had signed for them. But on 27 November 1994 I was thousands of miles away on a beach in Antigua, a holiday which had been booked some three months earlier when nobody ever imagined my team would make the final.
That particular Sunday was right in the middle of two-week break and while I did try to get it rescheduled through the travel agent it was going to be far too expensive. I might have made more of an effort if my mate hadn’t suffered a serious Achilles injury some six weeks earlier and was therefore never going to be fit for the game, and so I had to make do in that pre-internet age of continually phoning my mum and dad for updates from a beach bar and then watching the re-run on video when I got home a week later.
I did however, celebrate furiously on the day on the beach wearing my replica shirt very very proudly.
This is the song most belted out that day by the Rovers fans and I make no apologies for breaking my self-imposed non-google rule
PS : As is customary at this time of year, the Villains are about to go off on holiday as from 30 November; as such the postings for the next few weeks have been written well in advance and I’m sorry to say that I’m unlikely to be able to read any blog related e-mails or deal with any queries from the postings until mid-December.
mp3 : Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn