Sportsnight #42: 1973, Scotland v Czechoslovakia

by Charlie_East_West on November 27, 2014

Good evening and welcome to a special edition of Sportsnight. Tonight’s action comes from Hampden Park, and a crucial World Cup Qualifying match between Scotland and Czechoslovakia in 1973. A huge occasion. A win, and Scotland qualified for the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1958. The game was a sell-out of 100,000. Coronation Street was even rescheduled to accommodate the live broadcast.

Scotland won the game 2-1 with a memorable goal from the fearsome Joe Jordan. What a header. Centre forwards were a different breed back in 1973. All hair and no teeth. Jordan epitomised the hairy arsed 70’s striker.

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Scotland went on to the World Cup Finals and came home undefeated – including a 0-0 draw v world champions Brazil. It marked the start of five consecutive World Cup Finals where Scotland managed to qualify. Sadly, those days are past now, and it appeared that in the past they must remain – until recently, where Gordon Strachan has finally breathed some life into the rotten old husk that is the Scottish international football team.

But, the reason for tonight’s action is out of tribute to Arthur Montford. The doyen of Scottish football commentators died at the age of 85 today. Montford was renowned for two things. Simple but effective commentary and loud and very effective tweed sports jackets. He was yet another of the dying breed of sports commentators that understood that actions spoke louder than words.

Montford’s commentary in tonight’s match is outstanding. From “disaster for Scotland” – a well worn phrase used by many Scottish football commentators over the years – to his complete surprise, excitement and celebration over Jordan’s historic winner.

RIP Arthur Montford.

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