In the days before the start of the 21st Century, the League Cup final was held before the Festive Season every year and in 1997, on this day, a crowd of 49,305 was packed into Ibrox for the occasion, as Hampden was under re-construction.
The decade of the 1990s had not been a very fruitful one for Celtic up to that point. In fact, they had won only the one trophy – the Scottish Cup in 1995 – and to say that the support was disillusioned, to say the least, was an under-statement. In the League Cup run that season, Celtic had beaten Berwick Rangers 7-0, St Johnstone 1-0 (aet), Motherwell 1-0 in the quarter-final and Dunfermline 1-0 in the semi-final.
In the final, manager Wim Jansen sent out a team of Gould, Boyd, Mahe, McNamara, Rieper, Stubbs, Larsson, Burley, Thom, Wieghorst and Blinker. Celtic got the breakthrough in 20 minutes when Marc Rieper got on the end of a Morten Wieghorst cross to head home; four minutes later, Henrik Larsson intercepted a pass in midfield and raced towards the box, his shot from 20 yards or so deflecting into the net for number two. And in the 59th minute, Regi Blinker showed some nice skills out on the left flank, beating two men before sending a fine cross into the middle where Craig Burley headed home.
So, a 3-0 victory for Celtic and a League Cup won without conceding a goal in four matches. Morten Wieghorst was named Man of the Match; it was a first trophy for manager Wim Jansen; and the victory doubled the number of trophies Celtic had won during the 1990s.