Humble Hibernian, Background Barça – part 4
Hibs v Real Madrid, Easter Road, October 7th, 1964. In theory, a ‘friendly’ game.
To give you some context to this game I’m going to tell you how amazing Real Madrid were at that time.
The European Cup was started in 1955. Madrid won the first five cups. Some people think that the greatest football match ever was the Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankfurt final at Hampden Park, Glasgow, 1960. 135,000 people were in the stadium to watch the match! Madrid won 7-3. Puskas scored 4 goals, Di Stefano 3.
In 1962, Madrid lost the European Cup final to Benfica 5-3, but Puskas scored another three goals.
In 1964, four months before playing Hibs, Madrid lost the same final again to Milan, 3-1. But Madrid were still the most famous team in the world. In 1966, they won the European Cup again, 2-1 against Partizan of Yugoslavia.
About this time, Hibs were still one of the better Scottish teams. Seven members of the Hibs team were international players for Scotland and Ireland. Nothing compared to Madrid.
Jock Stein was the manager. He was later manager of Celtic and Scotland. A fantastic man. On 10th September 1985, he had a heart attack as he watched Scotland draw 1-1 with Wales to classify for the 1986 World Cup Finals. He died a little later in the stadium. His assistant was Alex Ferguson.
At the start of the 1960s, Pat Stanton was starting his career with Hibs. By the end of the 1960s, start of the 1970s, he became one of the best ever Hibs players. Actually, he became a Hibs legend.
But, none of that is important. Real Madrid were going to kill us!
So, on the night of the game in Edinburgh, 30,000 people came to see the match.
The proud Real Madrid didn’t think it was a friendly and took it very seriously. Hibs played one of their best games in the history of the club.
In the first half, supported by the fans, Hibs dominated more and showed great strength. Young Peter Cormack and Willie Hamilton caused Madrid lots of problems. Some reports say that Cormack scored the first goal. Other reports say that it was Hamilton. Who cares?! They both became heroes of the club later. Zoco of Madrid scored an own goal. Hibs won 2-0! Hibs beat probably the best team in Europe at that time.
There exists a pdf report from the Spanish ABC newspaper in their library where you can see a report about this match. It starts with a report about Barça, and then the Hibs-Madrid game. (This is where I found it, but it might not work. ABC_08.10.1964-pagina 067 hibs madrid.pdf (secured) – Adobe Reader)
Next time, I’ll tell you more about Hibs and Barça, ok.