If You Know The History: 18th May 1985 Scottish Cup Final Celtic 2 Dundee United 1

18th May 1985 Scottish Cup Final  Celtic 2 Dundee United 1

For this Scottish Cup final on this day in 1985 – the 100th to be held at Hampden Park – 60,346 were present to see Celtic take on Dundee United. The Celtic side was Pat Bonner, Willie McStay, Danny McGrain, Roy Aitken, Tom Macadam, Murdo MacLeod, Davy Provan, Paul McStay, Mo Johnston, Tommy Burns and Frank McGarvey.

Both sides were reluctant to sit back and defend so the play was pretty open but by the interval, it was still goalless. United opened the scoring in 54 minutes and suddenly Celtic were up against it, the Tangerines playing with confidence and beginning to dominate. Then manager Davie Hay decided on a tactical change, moving Roy Aitken forward to take up a midfield role and this gave Celtic more momentum.

In 74 minutes, Eamon Bannon fouled Murdo MacLeod just outside the box and Davy Provan sent the resulting free-kick soaring high into the roof of the net for the equaliser; and only six minutes from normal time, Roy Aitken charged down the right wing, shrugged off a challenge and sent a high cross into the middle. As it dropped, Frank McGarvey threw himself at the ball and headed it past Hamish McAlpine in the United goal for the winner.

It was a result that delighted the Celtic support and they gave their heroes a rousing reception. The players were also given a handsome financial reward for their efforts and headed off for their summer holidays. Unfortunately, for one of them, the future quickly turned less rosy. Only 25 days after scoring the winning goal in the Scottish Cup final, Frank McGarvey was transferred to St Mirren.

Jim Craig

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