In the 1989 Scottish Cup run, Celtic beat Dumbarton 2-0 in round one, Clydebank 4-1 in round two, Hearts 2-1 in the quarter-final and Hibs 3-1 in the semi-final. That put them into the final, the game played on this day in 1989, when the teams were;
Celtic – Bonner, Morris, Rogan, Aitken, McCarthy, Whyte, Grant, McStay, Miller, McGhee and Burns
Rangers – Woods, Stevens, Munro, Gough, Sterland, Butcher, Drinkell, Ferguson, McCoist, Brown, Walters.
From the start, the crowd of 72,069 watched a Celtic side – which had been dismissed before the game as having no chance – rise to the challenge, scrapping for every ball and pushing their opponents back into defence. Eventually, Rangers resorted to a long ball game which, in spite of the occasional presence of Richard Gough and Terry Butcher in the attack, was dealt with comfortably by Mick McCarthy and Derek Whyte.
The outcome was settled by a single goal; it arrived in the 42nd minute, the result of a series of errors. Peter Grant lobbed a high ball into Rangers penalty area; Gough headed a poorish clearance away ; Mark McGhee and Butcher fought for the loose ball; Butcher proved the stronger and squared the ball to Gary Stevens, who attempted a pass-back.
Unfortunately for him, the attempt was short and an alert Joe Miller swooped on the ball and sent a low shot past Chris Woods into the corner of the net.
NB If we compare the winning statistics of Celtic and Rangers in the three domestic competitions for both the 1970s and 1980s, we can see a gradual shift towards the latter.
1970 1980 1970 1980
League 6 4 3 3
Scottish Cup 5 4 4 1
League Cup 1 1 4 6