ATLETICO BILBAO 3 CITY 3
European Cup Winners Cup 1st Round 1st Leg
17th September 1969
City Young,(42), Booth(68), Echeberria(86 og)
Bilbao Argoitia(9), Clemente(12), Uriarte(57)
Ref Ferdinand Marschall
City Corrigan, Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Young, Bowyer – subs Mulhearn, Bowles, Connor, Towers, Owen
Bilbao Iribar, Saez, Aranguren, Igartua, Larrauri, Echeberria, Uriarte, Rojo, Argoitia, Clemente, Arieta – subs Estefano(63), Ortuondo(67)
THE PLAYERS ARRIVE IN SPAIN
NEIL YOUNG SCORES CITY’S FIRST AND TOMMY BOOTH GRABS THE SECOND
FROM AN ARTICLE ENTITLED SLOW STARTERS QUICK FINISHERS BY SECRETARY WALTER GRIFFITHS, PUBLISHED IN THE CITY PROGRAMME 24TH SEPTEMBER 1969 … We made a very slow start on our journey to Bilbao for our European Cup Winners’ Tie with Atletico but never was the old saying more true that all’s well that ends well.
Everyone reported at Manchester Airport at 9.45 a.m. on Tuesday and after the usual formalities we were inside the departure lounge by 10.30 a.m. only to be disappointed at an announcement saying the plane had develop¬ed engine trouble in London and further information would be given at 12 noon. To cut a long story short another plane was put into service, one or two minor defects were put right and eventually we took off at 2.50 p.m. Some of us in the party have done quite a lot of flying in the last few years but for my money this was the smoothest flight I have ever had from take off to touch down which brought a round of applause for the Captain’s handling of the aircraft as it finally came to rest on the tarmac.
We were warmly welcomed by the President and Officials of Atletico, and after half an hour’s drive through Bilbao we were at the hotel, rooms were allocated and in no time at all the players were in their training gear ready to go to Atletico’s practice ground to be put through their paces by Malcolm Allison and David Ewing.
For the players it was early to bed on Tuesday night but for the Directors and Officials an informal dinner was given by the Atletico Club at which Ronnie Allen their Manager trans¬lated his President’s speech into English andtranslated our Chairman’s reply into Spanish. A very cordial and pleasant evening which we hope to reciprocate when Atletico come here for the return game.
On Wednesday morning the players went through another training stint and after lunch they rested before taking their pre-match meal at 4.30 p.m. And so on to the Stadium where a capacity crowd of 45,000 was expected, 32,000 of whom could be seated. When we arrived there about 7 p.m. there were only about 2,000 inside the ground and it looked as if it was going to be a disappointing attendance but by 7.45 p’.m. the ground had filled con¬siderably and at kick-off time it was thought that the attendance was in the region of 40,000.
Much has been written about the match itself and the score is now in the record books but you had to be there to appreciate the fight back of the City team from 2-0 down after ten minutes, 2-I just before half-time, 3-I down soon after the interval, a tremendous fight to level the score, and I am sure that had the game gone on much longer victory would have been certain for City. A truly magnificent effort which provided the crowd with thrills from start to finish and if the game was any¬thing to go by the return leg should be a cracker by any standards.
On Thursday we took off right on time in torrential rain and mist but once again superb handling of the aircraft gave us a very smooth flight and we landed ten minutes ahead of schedule to give us a quick return after a slow start.
THE EQUALISER! IAN BOWYER TURNS AWAY AND CELEBRATES AN OWN GOAL FROM BILBAO