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Cup Fever in Greenock

The recent postings I made on the Sons glory years (courtesy of Shanghai Jimmy) reminded me of a post I made on the old blog, part of which I have reproduced below, owing to the fact it is Scottish Cup Day tomorrow.

Sons cross the river to take on first division Morton at Greenock. I have rarely seen us lose there so who knows? Hopefully the weather will improve, it’s currently blowing a rather wet gale.

The Sons have appeared in five Scottish Cup Finals but have won the trophy only once (in 1883) and all their final appearances were before 1900! They were the Dundee United of the nineteenth century it would seem. One can only dream of a time when three of the biggest clubs in Scotland were situated within three miles of Dumbarton but this was most definitely the case. Renton, a village next to Dumbarton were at one time World Football Club Champions and many of the Renton players and officials were involved in the founding of Celtic.The team the Sons defeated to win the cup in 1883 were Vale of Leven (from Alexandria). The result was 2-1 after a replay the first game having been drawn 2-2 in front of 15,000 fans at Hampden.”Rover” in the Lennox Herald had commented that some of the Sons players had been below par in the first game due to having “drunk too much whisky” (the timing of the said imbibing was unspecified) This fascinating passage about the victory celebrations comes from the club history by Jim McAllister (paraphrased slightly)

” Back in the town of Dumbarton some 2,000 people had collected near the Post Office with many others milling around Dumbarton Cross. Rumours were spreading but not believed. Then a public telegram with the final result was read out in the High Street. The level of excitement was high and hats were thrown in the air and loud cheering resounded throughout the burgh. A huge number of people welcomed the team back at Dumbarton station at 9:30 pm as brass bands formed a parade and played “See the conquering hero comes”. The team then were taken to a heroes’ reception at the Elephant hotel.”

I look forward to similar scenes tomorrow night outside the Counting House!

Footnote: The celebrations were somewhat marred on the Monday following the victory when some of the Dumbarton team and their friends were returning from Loch Lomond in two wagonettes. As they passed through the Vale, emboldened it would seem from excessive refreshment, they made plain to the locals how proud they were of their victory on the Saturday. The Valeites took exception to this effrontery and unseemly affray followed including the pouring of two pails of slaughterhouse blood over the wagonettes!

The Vale – Providing a warm welcome for visitors since 1883!


One Response

  1. […] Go here to see the original: Cup Fever in Greenock « The Ben Lomond Free Press […]

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