Rangers had drawn Juventus in the first round of the European Cup, it was curtains because Juve' contained nine members of the Italian world cup squad just returned from Argentina. John Greig was in his first season as Rangers Boss, moved directly from the dressing room to the Manager's hot seat. Ham and Egg decided Derek Johnstone should take over as Club Skipper and return to centre half. In European games, this left Gordon Smith as a loan striker, the left over space in the team was for Sandy Jardine playing Euro sweeper.
A credible 1-1 draw in Turin was surpassed by a comfortable two-zip victory at the Stadium, thus Rangers had progressed 3-1 on aggregate against the pre-tournament favourites for the big eared cup. The next favourites were the UEFA Cup holders, PSV Eindhoven and they had NEVER lost a home European match in the Philips Stadion. The first leg was at Ibrox and the scheduled Wednesday evening game had been postponed because of fog. The match kicked-off on the Thursday and finished nil-nil. It could have been so different before half time, Tam Forsyth played two quick one-twos that took him through the high PSV off-side line. He was one on one with the Goalie and managed to shoot high and handsome over the bar.
I have the above information from a telephone conversation with Old Man. I had attested at the RMA Sandhurst in the second week of August and had endured ten weeks of character building within the walls of Old College. I had applied to attend Victory College, the Graduates' College and had been accepted; however, Victory College was also responsible for running what was known as, 'the Vicars and Tarts Course'. A short eight weeks commissioning course for professionally qualified Lawyers, Accountants, Clergymen, Veterinarians, Doctors, ........ etc entering the various appropriate administrative Corps as Captains. We marked time in the Queen Ann block house until the accommodation for ninety Cadets became available. My course had already binned 29 applicants in ten short weeks.
The Vicars and Tarts had a midweek passing out parade and we were given four days leave, from Monday until Friday morning. Surrey to Harwich then a ferry to the Netherlands. I traveled with Hamish, an Old Etonian whose family owned most of Caithness. He knew nothing of football but enjoyed adventure and cheese. As the snow flurried, we arrived at the temple to Philips electrical prowess to find nearly five thousand Rangers supporters, mostly in short sleeved shirts singing the praises of a 17th century Dutch King. The Dutch inside the Stadion were signing the praises of the Van de Kerkhof brothers, van der Kuijilen, Deijkers, Poortvliet, ......... etc. Spirits were high on the terrace behind the goals.
The mercury plummeted within the first minute, PSV drove forward on the flank and a low cross was met by Lubse without breaking stride, his shot found the Rangers net. Honestly, I do not think the majority of Bears registered the goal, they continued to sing. The team quickly found their metre, a Parlane header drew a wonder save from Van Engelen, then he eclipsed it by fisting a Kenny Watson thirty yarder over the bar. Either side of the break, the rookie PSV Keeper finger tipped a DJ nod and scrambled a Forsyth attempt off the line. The break through arrived courtesy of a McLean chip being met by a diving Doddy header. There was half an hour left to play and we were through on away goals, game management please?
Two minutes later, PSV restored their lead. A bouncing ball in our box had been met decisively by a Deijikers overhead kick. Rangers were awarded a free kick wide outside the box. McLean lined to cross the ball, instead slipped it right for Watson to drive. DJ provided the deflected header into the roof of the net. Again, it is 2-2 with twenty remaining on the clock; game management please? You know the gig, the entire terrace was heading and kicking every ball clear. We were shouting for every decision. The Rangers goal was under heavy siege then, with less than two minutes to go.
DJ towered above everyone to win a defensive header in our box, the ball looped to Gordon Smith who flicked it on the Tommy McLean. The scream was, "hold it, take it in". Calimero saw Bobby Russell making a diagonal run into the PSV half and played it down the line. The scream became, "take it into the corner". Bobby looked up, saw the advancing Keeper and decided to curl the ball fully forty yards around Van Engelen, one bounce and into the back of the net. Hamish wrapped in a Barbour was slumped and burst. Everyone else went into a state of exuberant celebration.
Russell's exquisite goal kept me warm for the ensuing eight months in Camberley. I hope we can find a hero tomorrow evening?