BERWICK Rangers legend Russell Craig will never forget the hair-raising achievement of dumping Rangers out of the Scottish Cup – and he says it’s a cup shock that will never be beaten.
The ‘wee’ Rangers take on their Glasgow counterparts at Ibrox tonight for a place in the last eight of the Ramsdens Cup some 46 years after Craig and his team-mates pulled off the most remarkable upset in the history of the Scottish game.
It was on 27 January, 1967 that football was rocked off its foundations when Sammy Reid scored the only goal to send Scot Symon’s Rangers crashing out of the Scottish Cup at Shielfield Park.
Tough midfielder Craig, who has been growing his impressive beard almost ever since, believes it is the greatest giant-killing act of all time
The self-confessed Rangers fan said: “I know Inverness went to Parkhead and beat Celtic back in 2000 but I believe our victory over Rangers in 1967 is better and will never be beaten,
“We were all part-time then and on £5 per week. It was an unbelievable achievement but we deserved it on the day and it was all down to our player-boss Jock Wallace. He had us so fit and he got the tactics absolutely perfect. He had us so wound up and he told us all to stare into the eyes of the Rangers players when they arrived at the ground to try to put them off a bit.
“It may be 46 years ago but people still talk about it and I’m sure they will for many years to come. I used to go and watch players like Willie Henderson and Davie Wilson because I was a Rangers supporter, so to go out and beat these guys was amazing.”
The fall-out from Berwick was massive with strikers Jim Forrest and George McLean blamed for the defeat and they never played for the club again.
Wallace went on to join Rangers as Willie Waddell’s assistant, was the coaching brains behind the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph, then won two Trebles in the space of three years as manager in the mid-1970s.
Tactfully, Craig is not going to predict tonight’s Ibrox meeting with the winners going on to meet Queen of the South in the quarter-finals on 7 September. He said: “I hope the better team wins. Sadly I don’t think I’ll get to the match, because, believe or not, I have to be in Berwick early on Wednesday morning.”