In the 1960-61 season Tottenham Hotspur became the first English side to win the League and Cup double in the 20th century. Boasting such legends as captain Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay and Chff Jones, Spurs always played with flair and won the title by eight points from Sheffield Wednesday. Blanchflower famously said, «The game is about glory…about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.» In the FA Cup final Bill Nicholson’s side had to work hard against Leicester City, but late goals from Bobby Smith and Terry Dyson proved enough to complete a historic double.
Tottenham Hotspur captain Danny Blanchflower shows off the League and FA Cup trophies to a couple of young autograph hunters.
On 28 January 1961 Manchester City were leading Luton Town 6-2 in an FA Cup fourth round tie when, with just 20 minutes remaining, the game was abandoned due to heavy fog. This was particularly painful for the Scottish international striker Denis Law, because he had scored all six of City’s goals and achieved an incredibly rare double hat-trick. The goals were cruelly wiped from the records due to the game being called off before full-time and to make matters worse City lost the rearranged game 3-1, although Law did score once again.
Denis Law trots away after beating Luton goalkeeper Jim Standen to score the first of his soon to be disallowed 6 goals.
Since 1872 England have played Scotland on 110 occasions, but never have they handed out such a beating to their neighbours as in April 1961 when they triumphed at Wembley. This was not a poor Scottish side – they had Denis Law, Ian St John and Billy McNeil – but they simply had no answer to the flair of Chelsea’s Jimmy Greaves, who scored a hat-trick, and Fulham’s Johnny Haynes, who scored twice. England established a 3-0 lead at half-time, Scotland hung in there and after 75 minutes had closed the gap to 5-3, but in the final 15 minutes England heaped on the misery scoring four times to win 9-3.
Jimmy Greaves makes sure of England’s third on their way to a famous thrashing of the ‘Auld Enemy’ in front of the Wembley faithful.
In April 1961 West Ham United appointed Ron Greenwood as only the fourth manager in its history. After a playing career largely in London with Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford, Greenwood honed his coaching skills as an assistant at Arsenal, and with the England youth and Under-23 sides. At Upton Park his innovative coaching methods, which Trevor Brooking said, «introduced a continental style of play based around possession and keeping the ball,» delivered the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup a year later, as well as grooming Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters to win the World Cup in 1966.
West Ham chief Greenwood talks tactics with new charges Malcolm Musgrove, Ken Brown, Bobby Moore, John Dick and John Bond.
On 5 March 1961 Pelé was playing for Santos against Fluminense at the Maracana when he collected the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and headed towards goal. On his way he beat six players and the goalkeeper before scoring a goal which would become known as a ‘gol de placa’, meaning a goal worthy of a plaque. The Sao Paulo newspaper O Espore erected a commemorative plaque at the Maracana Stadium, which reads, ‘On this field on 5-3-1961 Pelé scored the most beautiful goal in the history of the Maracana.’ Unfortunately, despite many searches, there is no footage of this goal.
Despite the maddening lack of footage Pele’s wonder strike at the Maracana for Santos in 1961 has firmly entered football folklore.
At the start of the 1960s the Football League decreed that the maximum wage a club could pay a player was £20 a week during the season and £17 a week during the summer. In 1961 chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association Jimmy Hill decided to challenge this rule. «The maximum wage had always riled me,» said Hill. «There were no other careers, sporting or otherwise, in which you had something like that … We were deadly serious about striking if we didn’t get our way.» The Football League eventually relented and abolished the maximum wage, and Fulham striker Johnny Haynes became the first footballer to earn £100 a week.
PFA secretary Cliff Lloyd with George Eastham outside the High Court after the landmark ruling in the player’s favour was announced.
SOVIET UNION WIN FIRST EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (1960)
While the inaugural European Championships, known originally as the Nations’ Cup, was a rather limp and unloved affair, the Soviet Union had few complaints as they became Europe’s first national champions. Only 17 teams entered the competition and over the course of a year a series of home and away games were played until they were whittled down to four – France, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia – who progressed to the final in France. In the semi-finals the Soviets overcame the Czechs 3-0 in Marseille with two goals from Valentin Ivanov and one from Viktor Ponedelnik, while Yugoslavia advanced after fighting out a thrilling 5-4 win over France.
With the hosts out a crowd of only 18,000 bothered to watch the final at the Parc des Princes. Yugoslavia took the lead two minutes before half-time through Milan Galic, before the Soviets replied with two goals. The first was from Slava Metreveli and then in extra-time Ponedelnik scored the winner.
Action from the final as the Soviet Union strike force bear down on the Yugoslavian goal.
Following the success of the first five seasons of the European Cup, a sister competition, the Cup Winners’ Cup, was launched for the 1960-61 season. The format was a knock-out competition between the winners of each European nation’s domestic cup, but the concept initially received a lukewarm reaction, with Spanish Cup winners Atletico Madrid and French Cup winners AS Monaco turning down invitations to the inaugural tournament. From a field of ten clubs, Fiorentina and Rangers reached the first final. Over two legs the Italians beat Rangers 2-0 in Glasgow and 2-1 in Florence to win 4-1 on aggregate.
Rangers captain Erie Caldow exchanges pennants with his Fiorentina counterpart Alberto Orzan before the 1961 Cup Winners final got underway.
In June 1960 the Uruguayan side Penarol became the first winners of the Copa Libertadores, the tournament for the national champions of each of the South American nations. The champions from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia contested the first tournament. In the first round Penarol beat the Bolivian champions Wilstermann 8-2 before overcoming the Argentinians San Lorenzo 3-2 in the semi-final. In the twolegged final Penarol triumphed 2-1 on aggregate over Olimpia of Paraguay. Penarol would successfully defend their title in 1961 with victory over Palmeiras in the final.
Penarol in action during a friendly against Celtic. The Copa Libertadores, however, was always fiercely fought with national pride at stake.
In front of an awe-struck record crowd of nearly 128,000 crammed into Hampden Park, Real Madrid produced arguably the greatest ever performance by a club side to win their fifth consecutive European Cup, as they swept aside Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3. «We were aware that the day was something special, even for us,» recalled Francisco Gento. «I do not think any of us wanted the referee to end the game and I think that was true for the crowd also. I think it was our best display because of the quality of the goals.»
In a repeat of two of their previous four European Cup finals, Madrid actually conceded the first goal when Richard Kress scored from Erwin Stein’s cross after 18 minutes. This roused Madrid and they would score an incredible six unanswered goals in the next 55 minutes with a wonderful display of fluid, attacking football. «It was a fantasy staged in heaven,» said Celtic’s 1967 European Cup winner Jimmy Johnstone, who was in the crowd that night.
Alfredo di Stefano scored twice to put Madrid in front, before Ferenc Puskas powered in a third to give the Spanish club a 3-1 lead at half-time. Nine minutes after the interval Puskas scored again from the penalty spot and soon after he completed his hat-trick with a rare header from a Gento cross.
Greedy for more, the Hungarian became the first, and so far only, player to score four goals in a European Cup final, when he got another on 69 minutes. Stein pulled one back for the Germans, before Di Stefano completed his own hat-trick straight from the restart. Stein scored again after 74 minutes and it ended 7-3.
Ferenc Puskas sends the Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Madrid’s heroes, Alfredo di Stefano and Puskas celebrate the win.
SPANISH RIVALS CONTEST EUROPEAN CUP SEMI-FINAL (1960)
In the 1960 European Cup semi-final it was the Spanish champions Barcelona who stood between Real Madrid, who had been European champions for the previous four years, and a fifth consecutive final. Before the tie Barcelona’s manager Helenio Herrera asked his players to place a hand on a football and chant, «The European Cup – we shall have it, we shall have it.» It made no difference, however, as Madrid won 3-1 in the Bernabeu with two goals from Alfredo di Stefano and 3-1 in the Nou Camp with two goals from Ferenc Puskas.
Real Madrid’s Santamaria, Canario and Vidal in action during training in preparation for the all-important semi-final against Barcelona.
In 1960 a crowd of more than 30,000 flocked to Deepdale to see Tom Finney play his final game for Preston North End-a 2-0 win over Luton Town. Before the game Finney walked through a guard of honour and then stood on a table at the side of the pitch to give a farewell speech to the crowd. Finney, who was born next to the ground, spent his whole career playing for Preston, amassing 433 appearances over 14 years, as well as 76 caps for England, but was forced to retire by a persistent injury.
Finney addresses the crowd and watching media. His fellow players also stand and listen to show their respect for the Preston legend.