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Programme Review
by Eddie McDowell

Mortons first and, to-date, only excursion into European competition was in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup of 1968-69 where they met Chelsea over two legs.

The match programme bore a picture of the Queen Elizabeth on the front, and cost the princely sum of a shiny sixpence. (that's 2.5p for those of you too young to remember when there were twelve pennies in a shilling!). Your investment got you a twelve page programme which contained the "Cappielow Comment" editorial (from which we quote below), a fixture list and some player statistics, the team lists for this match, a detailed two-page "who's who" section on the visitors and some Chelsea records and statisitics.

As well as the footballing information and Club history old programmes contain there is always a social and local history content which makes them interesting as well. The older Morton supporter may remember some of the local businesses which advertised in this programme; Calders music shop, Edmonstons home bakery, Lawsons, and Doigs are all gone now and adverts in old match programmes and old copies of the Greenock Telegraph are all that remain. Business must have been booming at both of the local Morton shops. Yes, Morton had TWO shops in the area; one at 43 Westburn Street in Greenock and one at 25 Ardgowan Street in Port Glasgow. Changed days!

Chelsea had humped Morton 5-0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge which made the return leg at Cappielow a bit of an exercise in futility. The programme editorial put it this way: "Chelsea's 5-0 win over us in London has placed them in a practically unassailable position but our boys will be going all out for a victory that will at least narrow the aggregate score".

It appears that, in the eyes of the programme editor at least, Morton were unlucky to have been beaten by five lucky goals against the run of play. The editorial continued: "Although Chelsea were worthy winners at Stamford Bridge we could very well have been in the lead at half time instead of two last minute goals down. Had fortune been kinder to us during the first half there is no saying what the final result might have been.". Quite.

The Morton team of this time featured a number of Danes; Arentoft, Jensen and Thorup were all listed in the starting line-up and Per Bartram was on the bench. Also appearing in the Morton team for this game was a promising youngster called Joe Harper. The Chelsea team also contained a few well-known names; Peter Bonetti, Ron "Chopper" Harris, Peter Osgood were all there along with four Scots; International full-back Eddie McCreadie, half-back John Boyle, reserve goalkeeper Tommy Hughes and forward Charlie Cooke, who was brought up in Greenock!

The full team lists were:

Morton:

Crawford, Thorup, Sweeney, Atertoft, Gray, Strachan, Harper, Jensen, Mason, Allan, Taylor.
Subs: Rankin, Stevenson, Bartram

Chelsea:

Bonetti, Harris, McCreadie, Hollins, Webb, Boyle, Baldwin, Cooke, Osgood, Birchenall, Tambling.
Subs: Hughes, Hinton, Houseman

Chelsea scored their sixth goal in the first minute of this match, but Morton fought back with goals from Thorup, Mason and Taylor to make the score 6-3 on aggregate. The second-half was to prove an anti-climax for the 'Ton support and Chelsea won 4-3 on the night an 9-3 on aggregate.

The Fairs Cup had previously been won three times by Barcelona, twice by Valencia, and once by Roma, Real Zaragoza, Ferencvaros, Dinamo Zagreb and Leeds United. Unsurprisingly, Mortons name was never to appear on this list.

 

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