Forty Years On

Last updated : 27 April 2003 By Ed_ScottishFitba
Nearly 40 years ago, Scotland met Austria at Hampden in what was described as a friendly. Let's hope that Wednesday's game is not a repeat of that fixture as the game was abandoned after two Austrian players were sent off and one had been carried off. However, it would be great if the crowd turned up in similar numbers. 94,596 paid to watch Scotland take on Austria on 8th May 1963. It will be interesting to compare Wednesday's crowd to that figure. The 1963 game would be remembered more for the way the tempers frayed rather than the result. Scotland were leading 4-1 when the game was abandoned with 11 minutes to go. Scotland's goals came from Davy Wilson (2) and Denis Law (2) which Austria's solitary effort came from Anton Linhart. In between times, Horst Nemec was sent off for spitting while disputing Scotland's opening goal; Friedrich Rafreider was carried off; Erich Hof was sent off for a 'diabolical tackle at waist -height'.

The Austrians felt they were hard done by and were happily kicking lumps out of Laws legs to ease their frustrations. Dave Mackay remembers the atmosphere of the game. He said: "I think it all started with them spitting at us. It was never a friendly. The really disappointing things was that the referee (Jim Finney of England) let then off the hook. We were trying to protect Denis (Law), who they were chasing like a rabbit. They were really going crazy, they were off their heads." The game on Wednesday is unlikely to end early as it did 40 years ago. So perhaps the good old days were not so good after all.

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