THIS week marked the 40th anniversary of one of the more entertaining and noteworthy Scottish League Cup finals when Celtic defeated Hibernian 6-3 at Hampden Park.
The nine goals shared on 26 October, 1974 included hat-tricks by two players, John “Dixie” Deans of Celtic, and Joe Harper of Hibs. It remains the only occasion on which two players have scored three goals in a major Scottish final.
Deans also earned a unique place in the record books that day as the only player to score hat-tricks in both the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup finals, as he had grabbed a treble in the 1972 Scottish Cup final, also against Hibs. Deans and Harper are members of an elite band who have scored hat-tricks in major Scottish finals.
DR JOHN SMITH
For Queen’s Park v Dumbarton in 1881 Scottish Cup final replay.
Born in Mauchline in 1855, Smith was one of Queens Park’s earliest stars, a commanding and versatile footballer, equally at home in any forward position. Smith scored all three Queen’s goals against Dumbarton in their 3-1 victory at Kinning Park. There is some dubiety about his hat-trick. Some sources list three but other contemporary newspaper sources and a Queen’s Park history credit him with two. Smith also scored a treble in Scotland’s 6-1 victory over England in 1881 at Kennington Oval. Smith won ten caps, scoring ten goals.
for Celtic against Rangers in 1904 Scottish Cup final.
This was the first final played at the present Hampden, and the newly completed stadium got the final it deserved as Celtic came from behind to win 3-2. The match also cemented Quinn’s legendary status with Celtic supporters as this powerhouse of a player almost single-handedly overturned a 2-0 deficit to win the cup for Celtic. The winning goal was typical Quinn, a lung-bursting run as he held off several challenges to score.
for East Fife against Falkirk in 1947-48 League Cup final replay.
Left winger Duncan scored the first ever hat-trick in a League Cup final in a 4-1 victory as the Second Division Fifers kick-started their remarkable sequence of three League Cup final wins. Duncan capped his great season with three Scotland appearances, scoring on his debut.
for Hearts against Motherwell in 1954-55 League Cup final.
Talismanic centre forward Bauld was the main man for Hearts as they defeated Motherwell 4-2 to win their first major trophy since 1906. A header in nine minutes, and a smooth finish in 16 minutes gave Hearts a 2-0 lead before Motherwell pulled a goal back. Jimmy Wardhaugh made the score 3-1 at half-time, and Bauld completed his treble with another header on 87 minutes.
for Celtic against Rangers in 1957-58 Scottish League Cup final.
Celtic’s most famous victory over Rangers (7-1) featured a second half hat-trick by elegant centre-forward Billy McPhail. His first and Celtic’s third goal demonstrated his phenomenal heading ability, his second was an ice cool finish. Celtic’s sixth goal and McPhail’s third was a brilliant solo effort.
for Rangers against Morton in 1963-64 League Cup final.
Nineteen-year-old Forrest created a British cup final record which still stands more than 50 years later by scoring four goals, all in the second half. The match was tied 0-0 at half time, and the final score of 5-0 was cruel on Morton, but Rangers took control in the second half with Jim Baxter’s promptings and Forrest’s pace and clinical finishing too much for the Morton rearguard.
for Celtic against Hibernian in1968-69 League Cup final.
Jock Stein’s Celtic were at their imperious best against a porous Hibs defence, at one stage leading 6-0 until Hibs restored a modicum of respectability with two late goals. Lennox, the joint all time League Cup top scorer (with Ally McCoist) gave a master class in finishing, his treble consisting of a near post flicked header, a tap-in and a trademark burst of pace ending in a deft outside-of-the-foot finish.
for Celtic against Hibernian in 1972 Scottish Cup final.
Dixie celebrated his hat-trick with somersaults and tears as he helped destroy Hibs 6-1 in a devastating Celtic display. His first goal was a simple header, and his third a toe poke that could have been saved, but his second goal has entered Celtic folklore as he slalomed his way past the Hibs defence including goalkeeper Jim Herriot twice, before slamming the ball home.
for Celtic against Hibernian 1974-75 League Cup final.
Deans entered the record books as the first and so far only player to score hat-tricks in Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup finals. If there was a touch of luck about Deans’ third goal when his flying header diverted Jimmy Johnstone’s wayward shot into the net, it was tempered by admiration for his anticipation and lightning reflexes.
for Hibernian against Celtic in 1974-75 League Cup final.
Harper never quite gelled with the Hibs support, many of whom blamed his signing for the break-up of Turnbull’s Tornadoes, but it could all have been so different if his brilliant hat-trick had actually won the trophy for Hibs. Harper’s three goals demonstrated his mastery of the striker’s art. His first, an acrobatic, hooked volley, gave Hibs some hope at 2-1 and his other goals were typical six-yard finishes, but it wasn’t to be for Harper and Hibs.
for Rangers against Celtic in 1983 League Cup final.
This was the match that more than any other healed McCoist’s fractious early relationship with many Rangers’ fans. A penalty just on half-time, and a trademark, in the right spot at the right time, finish in 61 minutes gave Rangers a 2-0 lead, but Celtic scored twice to take the match to extra time, with McCoist conceding the penalty for the equaliser. He redeemed himself in extra time, however, with yet another penalty, sweeping home the rebound after Pat Bonner had saved his spot kick.
for Rangers against Hearts 1996 Scottish Cup final.
Durie’s 20-minute second-half hat-trick in the 5-1 victory over Hearts makes him the last player to score a hat-trick in a Scottish Cup final. Durie played in Brian Laudrup for Rangers’ first goal, and then himself profited from Laudrup’s exemplary service. The pick of the bunch was Durie’s first as he glided the ball home with the outside of his right foot, but with Laudrup in irresistible form, Durie couldn’t help but capitilise. Indeed he could have doubled his total and, if so, may have won the man-of-the match award rather than the brilliant Dane.
for Celtic against Kilmarnock 2000-01 League Cup final.
Larsson’s first full season after breaking his leg was his annus mirabilis in which he scored 53 goals in just 50 appearances, and won the European Golden Shoe. His hat-trick in the 3-0 victory over Killie may have included a slice of luck with a deflection for his second goal, but the acrobatics for his first and his step over when on a one-on-one with the goalkeeper for his third were quintessential Larsson.