A few days away from it being 53 years since we locked horns with Real Zaragoza in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup at Dens Park, there is no better time to have a look back at the matchday programme from that very tie.
There’s not many pages to look at, eight in total, so let me try and give you a little bit more information about this tie.
Dundee gained entry to the 1964-65 Cup Winner Cup despite being beaten by Rangers in the Scottish Cup the previous season due to the Glasgow club winning the League title. The team were also giving a bye from the first round along with old enemies, Sporting Lisbon.
In the second round, we would be paired up with Spanish side Real Zaragoza.
Zaragoza had the season before won the Inter Cities Fairs Cup with a 2-1 victory over fellow Spaniards Valencia at the Nou Camp. They also finished fourth in the La Liga behind winners Real Madrid, Barcelona and Real Betis.
Their first tie in the Cup Winners Cup seen a resounding 8-1 aggregate score Malta side, Valletta. A 3-0 win in Malta was followed by a 5-1 thumping at the La Romareda.
So Real Zaragoza rolled into Dundee on the 18th November 1964 to take on Dundee at Dens Park with no fewer than SIX internationals in their team: Severino Reija, Jose Cuellar (Pepin), Santos, Marcelino, Juan Manuel Villa and Carlos Laperta.
Dundee would be missing their lethal marksman Alan Gilzean even though the striker had just signed a two-month deal in October after he had initially refused to sign a new contract in the summer that year. Back then many moons before the Bosman ruling, Gilzeans refusal to pen a new deal meant he couldn’t not only play for Dundee but also he wasn’t allowed to sign for another team unless the club agreed a fee to sell him.
The deadline for signing players to play in Europe was on August 15th and despite last minute appeals, it would prove to be fruitless and Dundee would have to do without their star-man.
In front of 21,000 fans and our first European tie since our 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the European Cup Semi-Final, Dundee were back in Europe.
Donaldson, Hamilton, Cox, Cousin, Beattie, Stuart, Penman, Murray, Waddell, Houston and Robertson lined up that evening and the team started brightly when Steve Murray headed the Dee into an early lead but two goals in three minutes from Santos and Villa put the Spanish side ahead. It would take a last-minute goal from Doug Houston to level things and the tie would end two-a-piece.
In the return tie, Roque Olsen’s side would beat Dundee 2-1 to go through to the next round 4-3 on aggregate. Hugh Robertson would give us an early lead but just like in the first leg, two quick goals this time from Laperta would give Zaragoza the win.
Real would make it to the Semi-Finals after defeating Cardiff City 3-2 over two ties in the next round. They would not make it past that stage though, being beaten to eventual winners West Ham.