Members of our board of directors have clubbed together to purchase an extremely rare piece of Morton memorabilia in order to put the gold dust collector’s item on display at Cappielow.
Rather fittingly considering tomorrow’s massive fifth round tie at Ibrox, the piece in question is the programme from our 1948 Scottish Cup final replay against Rangers at Hampden Park.
The item came up for auction at McTear’s on Friday 3 February and our directors felt it was a piece of club history that they could not allow to go to another home and paid £380 to secure the lot when it went under the hammer.
Ton director and McTear’s owner Brian Clements said: “A lady came into the auction house with a number of collectables and in amongst a bundle of cards and coins was this vintage Morton programme.
“I realised it was an important item in our club history and approached some of the other directors to discuss bidding when it came up for auction.
“We were delighted to win the item and our intention is to put this rare piece of memorablia on display at Cappielow so that it can be enjoyed by everyone associated with the club rather than in a private collection.”
Morton lost the replay 1-0 to the Gers in controversial circumstances. A chapter dedicated to the 1948 Scottish Cup final in Tom Robertson’s centenary book reads:
Morton were through to their second Scottish Cup final. As in 1922, Rangers were the opposition at Hampden Park.
Morton lined up: Cowan; Mitchell and Whigham; Campbell, Millar and Whyte; Hepburn, Murphy, Cupples, Orr and Liddell.
131,629 fans saw Morton take the lead after only three minutes play. Jimmy Whyte sent a long free-kick into the Rangers goalmouth, keeper Bobby Brown came out but completely misjudged the flight of the ball which swept on and in just under the crossbar.
Torry Gillick equalised with a fine shot ten minutes later, and although Morton had the better scoring chances, even half an hour’s extra-time brought no further score.
The replay on the following Wednesday evening brought out another huge attendance of 133,570, then a record for any game played midweek in Britain.
Morton were unchanged and there was plenty of excitement, but again after ninety minutes the sides were deadlocked at 0-0. So we were into extra-time with darkness setting in rapidly and no floodlights in these days.
With only 10 minutes remaining, Rangers were pressing hard and the camera flashlights which seared the goalmouth at every cross in the Morton area were a major problem for Jimmy Cowan.
The last minutes were ticking away when Rangers scored from a Billy Williamson header barely discernible in the gloom.
Morton made a last push up-field and Billy Campbell sent a great effort curving just over, but it wasn’t to be and the Cup went to Ibrox after four hours of tense football.
Image: Jonathan Mitchell