It was of the most shameful days in the history of Scottish football.

A violent pitched battle between Celtic and Rangers fans at the end of the Scottish Cup final at Hampden in May 1980 that was shown around the world and watched by millions of people.

The actions of the hooligans prompted a major police investigation and led to far-reaching changes in the laws of Scotland that still impact the lives of football fans to this day.

Glasgow Times:

The match represented a last chance of success in the 1979–80 season for the traditionally dominant Old Firm.

Only weeks earlier Aberdeen had won the Scottish league championship, under their then charismatic young manager Alex Ferguson.

Celtic had finished above Rangers in the league, but Rangers went into the match as bookmakers' favourites because Celtic were missing three key players due to injury.

There was not much incident in the game, which finished goalless after the regulation 90 minutes.

This necessitated an extra time period of 30 minutes, during which Celtic scored the only and therefore winning goal of the match.

Defender Danny McGrain took a shot that looked to be heading wide, but striker George McCluskey redirected the ball past goalkeeper Peter McCloy and into the goal.

After winning the match, the Celtic players went to celebrate with their supporters, as was the normal practice.

The Scottish Football Association had given both teams permission to parade the Scottish Cup trophy on the pitch after the match.

They had also recently installed a 10-foot-high perimeter fence around Hampden, which they were certain would deter any invasion by members of the 70,000 strong crowd.

However a group of supporters managed to scale the giant fence and joined the players on the pitch.

Some of the Rangers fans had stayed behind, despite their team's defeat.

One of the Celtic fans ran to the end of the stadium occupied by the Rangers fans, and kicked a ball into the goal at that end.

In response to this, some Rangers fans invaded the pitch to charge at the Celtic fans, who in turn confronted their rivals.

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Glasgow Times:

Bricks, bottles and cans were soon being thrown along with fans using iron bars and wooden staves from terracing frames as weapons to attack each other and the police.

Supporters from both sides fought each other on every spare blade of grass, including the penalty boxes.

The police had insufficient manpower inside the stadium to quell the disorder.

Most of the 500 officers had been sent outside during the second half to control the fans in the street after the game..

The thin blue line of police found themselves overwhelmed as supporters descended upon them from both ends of the ground, scaling the much-vaunted safety fences with ease.

No sooner did the first wave of Celtic fans cross the half-way line than a large number of Rangers fans went to meet them.

BBC match commentator Archie MacPherson famously described the riot as follows: "This is like a scene now out of Apocalypse Now.

"We've got the equivalent of Passchendaele and that says nothing for Scottish football. At the end of the day, let's not kid ourselves. These supporters hate each other. "

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Glasgow Times:

As the night went on, the BBC studios at Queen Margaret Drive in Glasgow received a steady flow of calls from broadcasters across the world looking for their pictures of the riot. Within hours, Scotland's humiliation went global.

Both clubs were fined £20,000 after the riot and more than 200 arrests were made both inside snd outside the ground.

One newspaper photographer who was hit on the head by a heavy cider bottle, suffered a fractured skull and was off work for six months.

Joe Jackson, then a Detective Inspector, was on duty in charge of a 20 strong team from nearby Gorbals Police Office targeting stadium pick pockets and other petty criminals.

He was shocked to discover that most of his uniform colleagues had left the ground before the end of the game, which he felt was a departure from tried and tested police procedure Mr Jackson believes that it was done to save money which explained the unusual presence of the then Chief Constable Patrick Hamill and his deputy William McMaster at the game to see how the experiment worked out.

In an interview in 2020 on the anniversary of the riot, he said:"It took us almost two hours to restore order and we were lucky no one was killed.

"I remember speaking to Mr Hamill and Mr McMaster on the pitch once it calmed down afterwards and they were both as white as sheets.

"Had anyone died that day there would have been a public inquiry and their careers and reputations would have been in tatters."

The same police who had just left the stadium had to be summoned back into the ground.

Mr Jackson added:"It was too late by then.

"The remaining officers were doing their best but they were outnumbered and the fans were already out of control.

"We were lucky that no one was killed."

Mr Jackson watched the violence unfold as he stood in the Hampden tunnel at the end of the game helping the players and match officials to safety.

He also rescued an STV match producer who had fainted with shock and then ran on to the pitch to arrest one of the rioters.

Mr Jackson went on to head the Strathclyde Police Serious Crime Squad and retired in 1992 at the rank of Detective Superintendent.

The police and the SFA had assumed that the perimeter fences would prevent fans from invading the pitch, but the fence was later described as being completely inadequate.

In the aftermath Celtic, Rangers and Stathclyde Police blamed each other.

George Younger, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, blamed alcohol.

Tough new laws were then brought in the following year banning booze from all sports stadia and outlawing supporters taking drink into grounds, entering stadiums under the influence or carrying alcohol on coaches and trains.

The ban was partially lifted in 2007 to allow the sale of drinks at international rugby union matches played at Murrayfield Stadium.

But it is still in place today and football fans can't buy alcohol and watch the game at the same time.

The only exception is for hospitality packages for supporters dining within the stadium itself.

Even then these drinks must be consumed away from the seated area of the ground and not during the match.

The scandal of the riot was discussed in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, in the Church of Scotland and the Catholic church.

In an interview in 2010, Chief Inspector Iain McKie, who was on duty at the game, said of the pitch invasion:"I'd watched it from the tunnel.

"I can't remember who I was with, but there wasn't many of us.

"With the fences in place there didn't seem any chance that the supporters would try and get on to the pitch, "So the vast, vast majority of our presence was in the streets around Hampden and on the route back into the city.

"It was then when we realised that our manpower was drastically short.

"Once the boys started scaling the fences it just became a general battle.

"Bricks and bottles flying. I don't know where they got the bricks, but some went over my head and I was thinking to myself, 'What am I doing here? And where the hell is the cavalry?'"

A dozen mounted police took to the field, among them a 22-year-old WPC called Elaine Mudie who was riding a white horse called Ballantrae and famously managed to clear many of the hooligans off the pitch.

Chief Constable Hamill was later criticised for positioning too few men inside the stadium at the end of the match.

'The barriers were completely inadequate,'' he complained later. ''They acted as no deterrent.''

At the height of the trouble, there were 500 police back inside the stadium, helping to quell the riot.

More than 160 people were arrested inside the ground and 50 others outside.

Glasgow Times:

At that time Glasgow was investing a lot of time and money to change it's "No Mean City" reputation.

Our sister paper the Herald thought the appalling scenes at Hampden put the whole of Scotland, and especially Glasgow, in a shameful light and undid all that good work.

Their report concluded:''Years of patient effort to persuade industrialists and others that Glasgow is a desirable place to live are easily negated in a few moments on the national television news.''