Celtic Versus Rapid Vienna

1984 European Cup Winners Cup

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1984 was the year and the old UEFA Cup Winners Cup was the competition. Rapid had won the bad-tempered first leg in Vienna 3–1. Alan McInally was sent off and Peter Grant accused of stamping on one of the Austrian players. This got the tie off to a fiery start and set the second leg up to be a tense affair.

The atmosphere in the second leg at Celtic Park was hostile to say the least. The hostility towards Rapid helped rally Celtic as they won 3-0 to turn the tie around and win 4-3 on aggregate. However, the tie was not to be settled that night. During the game the tackles were flying in and both teams were being aggressive in their approach.

At one point in the game, a bottle was thrown from the Celtic support and landed near Rapid’s goalkeeper, Herbert Feurer. Feurer collapsed in a heap seeking the abandonment of the match. He was unsuccessful, and the match continued and finished, only for it to come out later that the linesman had been struck by missiles from the Celtic support. Rapid lodged a formal complaint to UEFA and the match was to be replayed at Old Trafford in Manchester.

celtic v rapid vienna at old trafford

Remarkably, more people attended the match in Manchester than the tie at Celtic Park! Rapid won the second leg reply won 1-0 which gave them a 2-0 aggregate win and they progressed to the next round. The reply of the second leg was not devoid of any violence.The keeper was targeted by the Celtic fans and another Rapid player took a kick to the groin as the teams were escorted off the pitch at full time. The Parkhead side were fined £17,000 and ordered to play their next home European game behind closed doors.

Fast forward to season 2009/10 and Celtic drew Rapid Vienna in the group stages of the Europa League. The club billed the tie “25 years on” in their marketing campaign leading up to the match, but Peter Lawwell insisted that the focus was on the football.

Gordon Smith, who was the chief executive of the SFA at the time, stated “I think we have to call for calm. It’s moved on 25 years, it’s different people at the clubs, different players. It’s not like it happened 18 months ago.”

However, regardless of whether they still felt any true feelings of hate, Celtic will always try to make Celtic Park as intimidating as possible for the opposition and this provided ammunition for the banners that night, as they joined together to say “We Still Hate Rapid”

celtic rapid 1984
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