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Mclean07

Kilmarnock v Leeds United

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Our " 1967 " featured in a good article in the Record today. Shows a photo of the match programme, which I bought a couple of weeks ago on t'internet. I was at the game but I don't remember much about it. The Celtc v Inter Milan match was on the next night on the telly and Rangers Cup Winners Cup Fnal the following week. We surely have the greatest history of any provincial club in Scotland. 

As an aside, Tommy McLean could perhaps counsel Boyd on how to be a Rangers fan, but still show total respect to the other major club in your playing career. His autobiography also shows that affection and respect.

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As I recall,the game was pretty much a non event as a spectacle. Leeds came for a draw and got it easily due to their negativity and 'professionalism'.

I remember (as a ten year old) shouting abuse at Bremner and my dad threatening never to bring me back.

The previous evening he had taken me to the Marine Hotel in Troon where the Leeds team were staying to get autographs.

Wee Billy was a really nice down to earth guy who spoke to us for a while with a fag hanging from his mouth.

Absolute pri**k on the park tho'.

Agree with the McLean/Boyd comparison too. 

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22 minutes ago, Hawkeye the Gnu said:

As I recall,the game was pretty much a non event as a spectacle. Leeds came for a draw and got it easily due to their negativity and 'professionalism'.

I remember (as a ten year old) shouting abuse at Bremner and my dad threatening never to bring me back.

The previous evening he had taken me to the Marine Hotel in Troon where the Leeds team were staying to get autographs.

Wee Billy was a really nice down to earth guy who spoke to us for a while with a fag hanging from his mouth.

Absolute pri**k on the park tho'.

Agree with the McLean/Boyd comparison too. 

Go and Google the tournament entrants for that season,the quality will blow you away.

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1 hour ago, Hawkeye the Gnu said:

As I recall,the game was pretty much a non event as a spectacle. Leeds came for a draw and got it easily due to their negativity and 'professionalism'.

I remember (as a ten year old) shouting abuse at Bremner and my dad threatening never to bring me back.

The previous evening he had taken me to the Marine Hotel in Troon where the Leeds team were staying to get autographs.

Wee Billy was a really nice down to earth guy who spoke to us for a while with a fag hanging from his mouth.

Absolute pri**k on the park tho'.

Agree with the McLean/Boyd comparison too. 

Absolute winner on the park. How we could do with someone who has that mentality.  

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In only their third European campaign, Killie were in the Semi-final!

A rematch with Eintracht was still possible, and arguably the best route to the final as the other qualifiers were Dinamo Zagreb and Leeds Utd. But it was to be the fearsome side managed by Don Revie which stood between Killie and a home-and-away final.

By the time the matches were played, the league seasons had finished and Leeds had come fourth, five points behind champions Manchester United. They were also losing FA Cup semi-finalists.

Killie had finished disappointingly seventh in the league. Apart from anything else, they would have to win the Fairs Cup to qualify again for Europe. But their preparations for the match could not have been worse as the entire squad signed a round robin transfer request over a bonus dispute!

To make matters worse, key forwards McLean and McInally were unavailable and manager MacDonald opted to replace them with Pat O’Connor and Craig Watson.   

In Killie’s favour was that this was, incredibly, United’s sixth match in 17 days as they coped with a fixture backlog. Goalkeeper Gary Sprake recalls:

“For the first time in a long while we went into the match with carefree abandon. The domestic season had finished and we felt relaxed. The boss, though, was his usual methodical self; the night before the game we had the same old team meeting. Which opponent kicked with his left, who tried to beat a man on the inside, while all we wanted to do was go out and show the public that we could beat anyone on our day, or any other day come to that."

Elland Road’s third largest crowd of the season, including a large contingent from Ayrshire, piled in on Friday 19 May. Whatever Killie’s game plan was, it lay in shreds after only four minutes. The 21 year-old striker Rod Belfitt was to enjoy the best match of his indifferent Leeds career by netting a hat-trick and he struck in the first minute as McGrory and keeper Ferguson left a ball to each other. Three minutes later and the lead was doubled as Belfitt scored with a superb diving header.

Killie struggled to gain a foothold in the game but they did so and McIlroy netted in the 21st minute. It was end-to-end frenetic stuff and Belfitt completed his hat-trick after only 31 minutes, set up by Eddie Gray and Johnny Giles.

If United had been complacent at 2-0, it is scarcely credible that they should be so again at 3-1 but the normally ultra-disciplined United seemed to abandon any defensive discipline, and Gray's back pass to Sprake after 35 minutes held up in the mud, allowing McIlroy to pull a second goal back.

Belfitt was not finished however and, four minutes later, he earned a penalty-kick when McGrory handled and Giles stroked home the sixth goal of an amazing half.

Half-time came as a welcome chance for the 43,000 crowd (and radio listeners like myself) to draw breath and wonder where on earth the scoring might end. As is so often the case after a high-scoring first-half, it ended there despite United hitting the woodwork three times and Killie once after the interval.

The second leg was amazingly only five days later. Killie supporters were not optimistic as United were the absolute masters of strangling the life out of a game.

Sprake again: “We had defended ineptly in the first leg and the boss was none too pleased, so we knew what to expect when he unveiled the team and tactics. It was no surprise that we were going to operate with a lone striker and throw a blanket defence around our two goal advantage."

You said it, pal! They rarely gave Killie a sniff of goal and some “high-jinx” between the two sets of supporters was about all I can remember of the match. Oh, and Billy Bremner jogging 40 yards just to take a throw-in! Leeds had their full complement of hatchetmen out, Jack Charlton excepted, and Messrs Reaney, Bell, Madeley, Bremner, Cooper and Norman “bites yer legs” Hunter were in no mood to let an opponent pass easily. Perhaps a British referee would have offered more protection than the weak Belgian who took only one name, that of Eric Murray!

A contemporary report describes the United team as having “wound its coils round the Kilmarnock attack like a boa constrictor and finally crushed the life out of it”. I couldn’t put it better! Leeds won no friends and made more than a few enemies in Ayrshire that night.

In the other Semi-final, Eintracht Frankfurt beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 in the first leg, only to surrender 0-4 in the second (what’s German for “Lightning striking twice”?!) and the Yugoslavs went on to win the final. It is pleasingly ironic that they did a “Leeds” on United, taking a 2-0 advantage to Elland Road and grinding out a goal-less draw (what’s English for “Getitupyous?!).

Due to fixture congestion, the final was not played until 30 August and 6 September! To quote the title of an album by The Doors released that same September, Strange Days!

By not making the final, Killie failed to complete a full house of finalists for Scotland. The Original Rangers lost to Bayern Munich in the Cup Winners Cup final and the other lot did not too bad in Lisbon! Add a Scotland victory over the reigning world champions at Wembley and you would be justified in hailing 1966/67 as a high-water mark in Scottish football.

It had been a marvellous run by Killie but it marked the beginning of the end of the club’s golden era. Bobby Ferguson departed to West Ham United for £65,000, then a world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper. Younger players such as Eddie Morrison, Robin Arthur, Brian Rodman, Billy Dickson and John Gilmour were brought in to replace the likes of McInally, Sneddon, Black and Matt Watson as the league-winning team was broken up. Home gates fell to – and sometimes below – 3,000, a harbinger of doom to come.

 

INTER CITIES FAIRS CUP

Second Round

25/10/66 – Royal Antwerp 0 (0) Kilmarnock 1(1) (Att. 10,000)
Scorer: McInally

02/11/66 – Kilmarnock 7 (3) Royal Antwerp 2 (0) (Att: 11,963)
Scorers: McInally 2, McLean 2 (1 Pen), Queen 2 (1 Pen), C Watson

Third Round

14/12/66 – Kilmarnock 1 (1) ARA La Gantoise 0 (0) (Att: 8,612)
Scorer: Murray

21/12/66 – ARA La Gantoise 1 (0) Kilmarnock 2 (0) AET 1-0 after 90 mins (Att: 9,500)
Scorers: McInally, McLean

Quarter-final

19/04/67 – Lokomotiv Leipzig 1 (1) Kilmarnock 0 (0) (Att: 30,000)

26/04/67 – Kilmarnock 2 (1) Lokomotiv Leipzig 0 (0) (Att: 15,595)
Scorers: Murray, McIlroy

Semi-final

19/05/67 – Leeds United 4 (4) Kilmarnock 2 (2) (Att: 43,000)
Scorer: McIlroy 2

24/05/67 – Kilmarnock 0  Leeds United 0 (Att: 24,831)

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It was a really good article in the Record it has to be said (and quite a surprise!). Amazing to think Killie were in a European semi and Celtic and Rangers were in European finals in the same season (very nearly in the same week).

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Blair's ex press secretary Alistair Campbell tells the story of going to the Leeds V Killie tie with his dad & his uncles who came down from Killie for the game. His mum was from Killie. He gets asked quite often who are his Scottish team and he replies Killie because of his mother. Unfortunately he also lists Celtic because of Lisbon.

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3 hours ago, Squirrelhumper said:

Did we take a big support to leeds? 

From my failing memory we were in a big terrace behind a goal and we lookeda relatively small group.I'm sure there were others elsewhere  but game was over within 20mins so nothing to cheer about. I think it was live on TV. 

Over 20years later could still get a video of game in their shop.

 

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4 hours ago, Squirrelhumper said:

Did we take a big support to leeds? 

I think the majority were under six feet. Most people were smaller in those days, Squirrel.

Edited by Mclean07

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30 minutes ago, dimi said:

I think it was live on TV. 

I'm sure it wasn't. Neither leg. Not in Scotland, anyway.

Live football in those days was very, very rare. Three channels, Friday evening? No chance!

I don't remember even seeing highlights, certainly not of the match in Leeds. 

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2 hours ago, harley said:

Blair's ex press secretary Alistair Campbell tells the story of going to the Leeds V Killie tie with his dad & his uncles who came down from Killie for the game. His mum was from Killie. 

I heard him say on Radio Scotland a couple of weeks ago he used to visit family in Moscow every summer.  Interesting, he pronounced it totally differently from the pronunciation we use for the Russian capital.

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6 minutes ago, skygod said:

I'm sure it wasn't. Neither leg. Not in Scotland, anyway.

Live football in those days was very, very rare. Three channels, Friday evening? No chance!

I don't remember even seeing highlights, certainly not of the match in Leeds. 

After the game went down to Sheffield to get the overnight train to Killie and Glasgow so we could get a compartment to ourselves and a good sleep before any rush at Leeds. I remember the Scottish commentors unhappy that we were stretched out sleeping and banging the door when they moved on. But perhaps it was only highlights 

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3 hours ago, Pelesboots said:

I heard him say on Radio Scotland a couple of weeks ago he used to visit family in Moscow every summer.  Interesting, he pronounced it totally differently from the pronunciation we use for the Russian capital.

Did he pronounce cow as in the animal, if so that is the correct way for the Ayrshire Moscow.

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I remember the game at Rugby Park very well. I cant tell you much about the game eight days ago at Firhill but almost 50 years ago - no problem. Dirty, Dirty Leeds and I refer to both their fans and their team.

Of course there was no segregation in those days so you were cheek by jowl with their proto boot boys. Jostling and flying fists were the order of the day on the packed east terrace. Their leader aff up on some fat yorkie's shoulders with no top on. Anybody remember that? Still a good few of them got sore faces as they made their way out.

On the pitch, as others have said on here and as it was reported, they killed the game. Suffocated the life out of it giving us not a sniff. They certainly did not endear themselves to the locals. So when I read and then later saw The Damned United the 1967 experience at Rugby Park helped to understand it and what an odious club they were.

But my god - what a massive crowd and event the Leeds game was. Naively I thought such games would be regular occurrences. Twenty years later we were getting humped by East Fife and Clydebank. We were waiting, waiting, hoping for the good times to roll again. Bye bye Laughlan era and they did. Now we need bye bye MJ for future good times. 

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I remember it well. I missed the away game but my dad and his pals went down. The return match Killie were turned down a couple of good penalty claims. The early goals we lost in the first leg cost us. The home match v Leipzig was one of the best performances I have seen from a Killie team. I remember big Frank being absolutely immense.

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16 minutes ago, Riccarton Bluebell said:

I remember it well. I missed the away game but my dad and his pals went down. The return match Killie were turned down a couple of good penalty claims. The early goals we lost in the first leg cost us. The home match v Leipzig was one of the best performances I have seen from a Killie team. I remember big Frank being absolutely immense.

The Leipzig away leg in East Germany is on Youtube,the home leg was filmed but I have no idea where the highlights are.

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My vivid memory of this game was the journey with my Dad from my aunt's house in  Congleton,where we were staying,driving at 15mph through really dense fog to Leeds. Thankfully the fog cleared as we got to the stadium.Despite losing,we were in good spirits on the return journey as the fog had lifted and Killie had played well enough for us to look forward to getting Leeds back to Rugby Park.

Unfortunately,Leeds gave a very professional,sometimes cynical,display and despite a lot of pressure, Killlie were unable to convert it into the goals we needed

However, I still look back on the match with fondness and pride that our wee team managed to really compete with one of the best teams ever in England

 

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On 08/01/2017 at 2:31 PM, Squirrelhumper said:

Did we take a big support to leeds? 

My dad was there and reckons 6000. Special trains and factories shutting at lunchtime to let folk go. 

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