Rare pictures show Dundee thrashing Sporting Lisbon during famous European Cup run

These rare pictures highlight one of Dundee’s greatest-ever performances – the defeat of Sporting Lisbon 60 years ago.

Some were published following the match on October 31 1962 but we’ve unearthed more from negatives which have lain in DC Thomson’s archives for six decades.

Some of this is previously unseen material.

Dundee put the Portuguese league title winners to the sword in the second leg 60 years ago. Image: DC Thomson.

So let’s go back to 1962 when Dundee defeated Cologne 8-5 on aggregate to qualify for a ‘first round proper’ match against Sporting Lisbon in the European Cup.

Portugal’s famous green-and-white hoops had qualified after winning the domestic title for the first time in four years, ahead of European champions Benfica.

There were eight international players in their ranks and the Portuguese cracks defeated League of Ireland side Shelbourne 7-1 on aggregate in the preliminary round.

Third game at the Parc des Princes?

A difference of opinion concerning a possible deciding fixture was settled amicably before the first leg took place on October 24 1962 at the Estádio José Alvalade.

There was an era when extra-time and penalties didn’t exist in football.

Both clubs eventually agreed that any third game would be played at the Parc des Princes in Paris if they failed to settle their European Cup tie over 180 minutes.

Initially Sporting wanted to fix up Real Madrid’s Bernabeu for any replay while Dundee’s first-choice was London with Paris being the suggested alternative.

Jubilant young supporters at Dens Park when the team scored four against Sporting Lisbon.  Image: DC Thomson.
Jubilant young supporters at Dens Park when the team scored four against Sporting Lisbon. Image: DC Thomson.

The Courier’s Tommy Gallacher described the first leg in Lisbon as “one of the fastest, most grueling but sportiest European Cup ties ever seen”.

Bob Shankly’s side kept Sporting at bay for most of the match and it looked like Dundee would hold on before disaster struck when Geo scored with 90 seconds to go.

Could Dundee overturn the one-goal deficit a week later at Dens Park?

The Portuguese party took almost 13 hours to get to Dundee and they arrived at the city’s Queen’s Hotel in Perth Road just before midnight.

Both sides lined up before the anthems were played at the start of the second-leg match at Dens.  Image: DC Thomson.
Both sides lined up before the anthems were played at the start of the second-leg match at Dens. Image: DC Thomson.

The Sporting players enjoyed a lie-in in the morning and finally left their hotel at 10.30am in driving rain.

They went round the Dundee shops and most of them were looking for Scottish souvenirs to send home.

The Sporting players arrived two hours before kick-off to limber up on what was being described as “the most thrilling midweek program in Scottish sport for years”.

Dunfermline against Everton in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and Tottenham versus Rangers in the European Cup Winners’ Cup were also taking place on the same evening.

Highlights of all three European games were being shown on both the BBC and STV.

Dundee skipper Bobby Cox and Hilário exchanging pennants before the match got under way.  Image: DC Thomson.
Dundee skipper Bobby Cox and Hilário exchanging pennants before the match got under way. Image: DC Thomson.

The gates at Dens Park opened at 6pm, ahead of the 7.30pm kick-off with six cash turnstiles operating for the sale of unsold tickets.

The Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch played from 6.45pm.

Around 32,000 fans were inside Dens Park and the center of the town was practically deserted including the pubs which were usually thronged all evening.


Dundee: Slater, Hamilton, Cox, Seith, Ure, Wishart, Smith, Penman, Cousin, Gilzean, Robertson.

Sporting: Carvalho, Lino, Hilário, Carlos, Lúcio, Júlio, Figueiredo, Osvaldo, Mascarenhas, Geo, Morais.


Victory was never in doubt from the first minute and although Alan Gilzean was the hat-trick hero in a 4-1 win, it was 38-year-old Gordon Smith who ran the show.

Smith was the real architect of the victory and had a hand in three of the four goals.

On 13 minutes Dundee broke the deadlock when Smith beat two men before sending a perfect ball through to Gilzean.

Alan Gilzean was in the form of his life during Dundee’s European Cup run in 1962. Image: DC Thomson.

Gilzean ran on to beat Carvalho with a low drive from 15 yards.

Gilzean then troubled Sporting again with a 25-yard attempt that was followed up with another strong effort, which hit the side netting.

Dundee almost went two up in 35 minutes when Smith shot on the turn.

Dundee's 38-year-old winger, Gordon Smith, ran the show against Sporting Lisbon.  Image: DC Thomson.
Dundee’s 38-year-old winger, Gordon Smith, ran the show against Sporting Lisbon. Image: DC Thomson.

Sporting could have gone ahead on aggregate three minutes later but Bert Slater threw himself full-length to touch a pile-driver from Geo behind for a corner.

Crucially, Dundee scored again on the stroke of half-time when Cousin jumped highest in the box to head home off the underside of the crossbar from Smith’s cross.

The break didn’t stop Dundee’s momentum and they came flying out of the traps but Sporting were still dangerous on the counter-attack.

Cousin's header drops over the line from the bar for the goal that put Dundee 2-0 up.  Image: DC Thomson.
Cousin’s header drops over the line from the bar for the goal that put Dundee 2-0 up. Image: DC Thomson.

They created an opening but Figueiredo struck straight at Slater before Dundee went three up on 53 minutes following some more Smith magic on the wing.

He managed to pick out Gilzean with the perfect pass and Dundee’s top scorer ran 25 yards before letting fly with a drive from the edge of the box that beat Carvalho.

On 59 minutes Gilzean got his hat-trick – his second in the competition – when Andy Penman put in a low cross that was clinically poked home from close range.

A hat-trick high jump by Alan Gilzean after his third goal in the European Cup tie.  Image: DC Thomson.
A hat-trick high jump by Alan Gilzean after his third goal in the European Cup tie. Image: DC Thomson.

Sporting fought back desperately and managed to reduce the deficit six minutes later when Figueiredo was completely unmarked and beat Slater at his far post.

Sporting almost got another goal with six minutes left to make things nervous but Slater got to the ball first as Mascarenhas lined up a shot from inside the six-yard box.

Dundee held on for a 4-1 win.

One of the many negatives which have been published for the first time in 60 years. Image: DC Thomson.

They would now take their place in the last eight of the European Cup alongside AC Milan, Dukla Prague, Benfica, Feyenoord, Stade de Reims, Galatasaray and Anderlecht.

The atmosphere was incredible and the huge crowd meant chaotic traffic scenes – in some places motorists taking 10 minutes to drive a few hundred yards.

The situation was exacerbated by thousands of spectators walking along the road after pouring out of the ground in celebration.

Dundee were dominant for most of the match and Sporting Lisbon simply couldn’t cope. Image: DC Thomson.

There were mixed fortunes for the two other Scottish clubs in European action.

Jock Stein’s Dunfermline scored a 2-0 victory against Everton at East End Park for a 2-1 aggregate win in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

In that night’s other Battle of Britain contest, thousands of Rangers supporters flocked to White Hart Lane only to see their side ripped apart 5-2 by a rampant Tottenham in the first leg of their European Cup Winners’ Cup clash.

Ian Ure mops up a rare Sporting attack during what was another unflappable performance.  Image: DC Thomson.
Ian Ure mops up a rare Sporting attack during what was another unflappable performance. Image: DC Thomson.

Hero of the hour Smith was in no doubt that Dundee could go all the way to Wembley.

He said: “Dundee can win the European Cup.

“After beating teams of the caliber of Cologne and Sporting, I see no reason why Dundee need to be afraid of any team in the competition.”

The Dundee fans cheer their heroes back up the tunnel at full-time.  Image: DC Thomson.
The Dundee fans cheer their heroes back up the tunnel at full-time. Image: DC Thomson.

Dundee were paired with Anderlecht in the quarter-final and ran out 4-1 winners at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels before finishing the job with a 2-1 win at Dens Park.

Shankly’s men were defeated by AC Milan in the semi-final, losing 5-2 on aggregate to the side that would go on to beat Benfica in the Wembley final.

No school in the morning?  These young fans were loving every minute of the evening.  Image: DC Thomson.
No school in the morning? These young fans were loving every minute of the evening. Image: DC Thomson.

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[Rare pictures show Dundee thrashing Sporting Lisbon during famous European Cup run]

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