St Johnstone’s Hamburg night tops Rosenborg win

ST JOHNSTONE legend Henry Hall insists the 1971 Uefa Cup win over top German club Hamburg still rates as the Perth club’s all-time European high.

But the former Saints and Scottish League inetrnational, who netted in a memorable 3-1 home win over a side boasting World Cup winners, admits the shock Europa League win over Rosenborg in Norway last week is a contender.

And he echoed manager Tommy Wright’s warning that the class of 2013 have to complete the job they started in Trondheim at McDiarmid Park tomorrow.

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Prolific goalscorer Hall, now 68 and an integral part of Willie Ormond’s side, said: “I keep being reminded of that win over Hamburg more than 40 years later so it must have been some result.

“They were a top German team and it was probably the equivalent of beating Bayern Munich in today’s terms.

“That probably gives us the edge compared to the club’s first ever away win in Europe last week in Norway.

“Don’t get me wrong, that was a fantastic result in the first leg against Rosenborg and I see their manager and players being quite complimentary about the Saints performance.

“I know they have a good pedigree in Europe and they top the Norwegian league but that is nowhere near as strong as the Bundesliga,

“That Hamburg side were top notch with the likes of Uwe Seeler and Willie Schulz in their line-up.

“We got a deserved draw in Hamburg despite a Hamburg goal Willie Ormond labelled utterly disgraceful and finished the job at Muirton Park with a 3-1 win. It was against all the odds and in that sense the current team are in the same boat if they see off the Norwegians. There were around 15,000 in the ground and the atmosphere was fantastic.

“Hopefully it will be the same at McDiarmid for the return tie with Rosenborg.

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“Saints have to make that first-leg win count by making sure they progress to the next stage.

“I see Tommy says they won’t change their game to face Rosenborg and that’s the way we played Hamburg. Wee Willie just told us to play our usual attacking style, play to our strengths and we were never really in bother.

“I scored but had to come off after half-time with an injury. But it was a fantastic night for St Johnstone and hopefully there’s another one this week.

“All the pressure was on Hamburg in ’71 and now it is on Rosenborg because they are the team expected to go through.

“It would be wonderful if my old team get another big scalp in Europe. I certainly hope they pull it off.

“But I still say our win over Hamburg tops it – but you could say I am biased!”