It was 50 years ago today...
Cliff Jones will never forget the night he stepped out at Glasgow’s Ibrox Stadium - December 11, 1962.
The occasion was the second leg of the European Cup Winners’ Cup second round tie against Glasgow Rangers, the ‘Battle of Britain’ between these two great teams from England and Scotland, both in the competition as respective FA Cup winners in 1962.
“The atmosphere was amazing,” recalled the legendary winger. “I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced a sound like it. The cheering was so loud, it almost hurt. My ears were pinging. It was incredible.”
Rangers were the team’s first opponents on a road that would take the glory, glory nights all the way to Rotterdam and a first European trophy for a British club when Athletico Madrid were put to the sword 5-1 in that memorable final of May, 1963.
In the context of the overall tie, Bill Nicholson’s men did all the damage in an outstanding performance in the first leg at the Lane on October 31, 1962.
In front of almost 60,000, goals from John White (2), Maurice Norman, Les Allen and an own goal secured a 5-2 win.
It left Rangers with a mountain to climb, but Cliff feels the atmosphere at Ibrox stemmed from the home side’s belief that they could turn it around on the night.
“We’d beaten them 5-2 in the first leg at White Hart Lane and no doubt the Scottish press had whipped them all up into a frenzy - if they needed it - and they were really up for it.
“They came at us from the off but then within about 10 minutes, Jimmy Greaves scored and that sound disappeared. It was quite eerie in many ways.
“The contrast was amazing from coming out, the crescendo of noise, but Greavsie stuck that ball in the back of the net and it was all over really.
“I remember we clapped them off at the end out of respect (pictured above). It was a fantastic couple of matches, a great tie in what was a memorable run.”
It ended 3-2 to Spurs at Ibrox as Bobby Smith netted twice to secure an aggregate of 8-4 in our favour.