What Was On This Day? 20th May 1989 Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Scottish Cup Final

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.

fleck 20may


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.

Celtic              Rangers

1970         1980          1970      1980

League                                  6              4                    3                3

Scottish Cup                       5              4                    4                1

League Cup                         1              1                    4                6

One thought on “What Was On This Day? 20th May 1989 Celtic 1 Rangers 0 Scottish Cup Final

  1. What a day. It was my first Celtic v them Scottish Cup final as they didn’t happen that often. The previous being sat in front of the TV in 1980. After a poor season and Macca leaving I think Joe Miller was tried as a centre forward for the last 3 games. Dundee at home ? St Mirren away ? then the final, all 1-0 with Miller scoring them all (I think).

    That cup final win completed a treble that year as Celtic beat Liverpool to win the British Super Cup in Dubai and the BP Youth Cup 1-0 against D Utd at Tannadice.

    Happy days indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s