Time may be a healer, but Davie Hay still believes referee Bobby Davidson denied Celtic the chance to win seven domestic trophies in a row 48 years ago.
Celtic, with six major honours in a row, had also just beaten Leeds United in the first leg of the European Cup semi-final en route to their second final in three years when they faced Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final.
They were massive favourites but Davidson awarded a penalty for a Bobby Murdoch hand ball – scored by Joe Harper – and chalked off a Bobby Lennox goal as Aberdeen secured a famous 3-1 victory, made possible by Derek ‘cup-tie’ McKay, who scored twice.
The circumstances are similar tomorrow as Brendan Rodgers aims to make it seven in a row with Aberdeen once again considered huge underdogs. Celtic legend Hay, pictured, said: “Aberdeen got a rub of the green courtesy of Mr Davidson and they won the cup. Mentioning that, it sounds like it’s detracting from Aberdeen winning it and they deserved to win. They had a good team at the time and a good manager in Eddie Turnbull.
“We were distracted by the referee. The penalty decision went against us and we were always told not to let things like that affect us. But unfortunately it definitely did that day. Aberdeen had a good side and, as I say, they deserved it – ably assisted by Mr Davidson!
“It may sound like sour grapes but that’s the way I remember it.”
Hay suffered again at the hands of the Dons when he was manager in 1984 and Aberdeen won the Scottish Cup final in extra-time after Roy Aitken was controversially sent off for a foul on Mark McGhee.
He said: “That decision swung the final Aberdeen’s way. People will say, ‘Oh there’s Davie Hay on about refs again’ but I think it’s with some justification.
“All credit to the team that day because [after Aitken was sent off in 38 minutes] they came back and Paul McStay equalised to take the game to extra-time.
“Then the guy who seemed as though he was really hurt when Roy challenged him, Mark McGhee, scored the winner. Having said that I did sign him for Celtic a year later.”
Hay can’t see past a Celtic win tomorrow. He said: “If Aberdeen sit back and let Celtic dictate I think we all know what the outcome will be.”