Celtic vs Aberdeen 1937…The Largest Soccer Crowd in European History
We would to start by saying that originally, Glasgow Living were going to include the 1937 Scotland vs England match as one of our greatest list, on account of an enormous 149, 415 people officially watching inside Hampden. (Still a European record). Sadly there didn’t seem to be any video highlights of the match.
We turned our attention to the next largest attendance on our Hampden list.
The 1937 Scottish Cup Final between Aberdeen and Celtic, had an official crowd of 146, 433, a world record at the time and to this day it still remains a European record.
It was Aberdeen’s first chance at glory and Celtic were already chasing their fifteenth Scottish Cup, although the match had a decidedly sportsman like tone to it, considering the Aberdeen manager Paddy Travers was in fact an ex Celtic player.
(Interesting fact, Aberdeen along with Celtic remain the only two teams never to have been relegated in Scotland.)
Celtic proved to be too strong for the team from the North. Aberdeen having successfully reached the Scottish Cup Final thanks to their fabulous wingers, but a strong Celtic side managed to limit the danger from Aberdeen’s wing play.
Taking a well deserved lead in the 12th minute Celtic looked to be on course for a convincing win, but shockingly and heavily against the run of play, Aberdeen scored less than a minute after the match resumed.
With Aberdeen in the ascendancy it seemed like there could be shock on the cards, before the match Aberdeen was considered massive underdogs, Aberdeen being a relatively new team in the Scottish League.
The crowd was deemed to be less than partisan thanks to Hampden Park being mere miles away from Celtic’s natural habitat in the East End of Glasgow.
Aberdeen were not however lacking in fans, the game had piqued the interest of fans across the country and they travelled to Hampden, hoping to watch the young pretenders of the north, take on an already well established Celtic team.
Celtic however proved too strong for Aberdeen and after being a little shell shocked following Aberdeen’s initial goal, began to dominate the match, although Celtic failed to find the killer goal needed to seal the win.
Eventually after what seemed like constant pressure from the Celtic side and as Aberdeen began to tire, Celtic struck with the killer blow.
Celtic’s Jimmy McGrory setting up Willie Buchan to slot the ball past the distraught Aberdeen goalkeeper. Claims for handball were waived away and following a late Aberdeen fight back, Celtic had achieved their 15th Scottish Cup Final win.
Aberdeen were left devastated at holding out for nearly three quarters of the match but took solace in the fact they had battled well against the might of Celtic.
Celtic might have triumphed in lifting the cup, but a new giant of Scottish football was born.