Mens Team

The European final City fans couldn't watch...

The European final City fans couldn't watch...
Our 1970 European Cup Winners’ Cup final triumph stands as one of the proudest moments in City’s illustrious history.

Yet, the irony is our historic 2-1 final triumph over Gornik Zabrze, the 50th anniversary of which we celebrate today, wasn’t even televised live in the UK.

Back then, of course, the broadcasting landscape was unrecognisable from today’s multi-platform, multi-streaming options.

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Dedicated sports channels were still a pipe dream 50 years ago, with viewers in the UK restricted to a choice of just three terrestrial channels – BBC 1, BBC 2 and ITV.

And with tradition dictating that the FA Cup final was still regarded as one of the crown jewels in the nation’s broadcasting schedules, the fact the 1970 FA Cup final had gone to a replay – and was scheduled on the same night as our European Cup Winners’ Cup final - meant that took precedent for the schedulers.

Much to the bemusement of the City players – and many thousands of frustrated fans back home - that decision meant that on what was one of the most memorable nights in the Club’s history, supporters had to make do with brief snippets of action instead of following all the European drama as it unfolded.

Goalkeeper Joe Corrigan recalls: “The ironic thing is that the game was televised live throughout the rest of Europe.

“But because our final was the same night as the Chelsea v Leeds cup final replay at Old Trafford, it wasn’t televised over here.

“Looking back now, of course, it’s incredible to think of.

“They wouldn’t believe you if you told people that an English side had won a major European trophy and it wasn’t televised back home.”

Corrigan’s team-mate Mike Summerbee – who was forced to miss the final through injury – was another left scratching his head at the virtual blackout.

“Obviously in those days there was very little coverage of European football. That was accepted as just one of those things,” said Buzzer.

“But I have never, ever heard of any other major final not being show in the UK. There were just brief snippets, that’s all.”

Francis Lee, whose first-half penalty ultimately proved the match-winner in Vienna, was equally bemused by the lack of coverage.

“It seems incredible to think that our fans over here instead had to watch the Chelsea v Leeds replay,” said Franny.

“That had been a real kicking match at Wembley, and it was just as bad in the replay at Old Trafford.

“Looking back now, it seems unthinkable.”

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