The scene was set. Blizzard conditions had laid siege to Scotland in the days leading up to this final and with the national energy crisis that stemmed from the miners strike, it was agreed that the kick-off time would be brought forward to 1.30pm in case the match went to extra-time and would need the extra daylight.
In all, it took the teams coach three hours to reach Glasgow and there was even reports of Dundee supports busses being sent back by the Police who told them the game had been called off. Thankfully for the Dee, this would not be the case.
The 70's would often see Dundee drawn against Celtic in the cup competitions, with the Glasgow club coming out on top in near enough all of them. In the League Cup we seen Celtic eliminate Dundee in the Quarter Finals in 1970, 72 and 78. While in the Scottish Cup, we would fall to them in the Semi-Final in 1970, 73, 74, 75 and 77. An exit to them would also occur in the fourth round in 1972.
1973 would however have a different ending, much to the delight of the Dark Blues.
Despite neither club wanting the match to go ahead, Bobby Davidson would give the tie the green light to kick off in what would be his fifth League Cup Final to officiate in. His last came in 1967 when Celtic beat Dundee 5-3 which was looked upon as one of the best games of that season.
So the game kicked off in front of a crowd of 29,974, the lowest ever for a final in this competition, with the conditions worsening. The pitch had took a battering and this effected the way Celtic played and by half time, Dundee were the ones who had created the better and more chances. It was in the second half that we would see one of the clubs make the breakthrough and that club would be Dundee!
There was only fourteen minutes left to play when Bobby Wilson took a free-kick from the halfway line which landing at Gordon Wallace who had his back to the Celtic goal. With Celtic shirts surrounding him, the striker took the ball on his chest, before turning and placing the ball behind Ally Hunter.
The Dark Blues would hold out and when the final whistle went, players and supporters would forget all about the appalling conditions surrounding them and start celebrating the club lifting it's first piece of silverware since Dundee won the league in 1961-62. It was the fifth major honour the club had won and also the third time they have came away celebrating success in this tournament.
Gordon Wallace was asked about his goal and his reply was: "Ach, I just turned and hit it!"
The players would celebrate the night away in the old Angus Hotel but a few of them would sneak away from the reception to secretly visit former coach Jim McLean who they feel, helped improve the team. McLean had of course took over the hot seat at rivals Dundee United in 1971. Unsurprisingly, Dundee manager Davie White wasn't impressed at all with this and fined each player.
None the less, it was a great achievement for the club but it would also be the clubs last so far. Trips to Hampden have been few and far between and with no major silverware lining the cabinets of Dens Park since, fans like myself often look back at this victory with immense pride but with even more frustration that the club has been starved of any success since.
Still, that Dundee team of Allan, Wilson, Gemmell, Ford, Stewart, Phillip, Duncan, Robinson, Wallace, J. Scott, Lambie will be fondly remembered.
The first programme we will look at is from our very first match in a European competition, which is also our largest ever victory in the competition and to this day, our opponents biggest defeat.
I give to you, Dundee 8-1 FC Cologne.
Being paired up with the early favourites of the European Cup, Dundee welcomed the West German Champions FC Cologne to Dens Park as we looked set to tussle with the crème de le crème of the top European teams.
With ten West German internationalists in their team and labelled one of the early favourites to win the trophy, this looked like a daunting task for The Dee. When the full-time whistle went though, it was the Germans who were shell-shocked after the Dark Blues had blasted eight past them.
We can maybe take into consideration that the German keeper was knocked out only a few minutes into this game and he only lasted until half-time when he failed to return to the field. Back in them days, there weren’t any substitutes so Cologne had to play the reminder of the game with only ten men.
Our goals came from Alan Gilzean (who bagged a hat-trick), Bobby Wishart, Hugh Robertson, Gordon Smith and Andy Penman. Our first goal was scored by Matthias Hemmersbach who headed the ball into his own net.
As you can see, DC Thomson published a souvenir programmes for this and all of Dundee’s other games in the European Cup and unsurprisingly, the first one featured the team with the Scottish League title. A photo that gives ever Dee a sense of pride.
At only sixpence a programme, it's no doubt a steal on how much I had to pay for my own copy 50 odd year later!