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Dundalk Make History: Zurich 1963

// 25 Sep 2013

This feature first appeared on dundalkfc.com on the 50th anniversary of becoming the first Irish team to win an away match in European competition.

Dundalk Football Club became the first Irish club to win an away match – this night 50 years ago on the 25th September 1963. Dundalk FC – with the help of some long-term supporters will be commemorating that event over the next few weeks – with the Dundalk FC Matchday Magazine for next Monday’s Derry match having a 1963 theme.

As we reflected two weeks ago, Dundalk lost the 1st Leg 3-0 in Dublin (the match being played at floodlit Dalymount Park – with Dundalk wearing Arsenal jerseys belonging to the local junior club of the same name thanks to Mickey Fox’s connections!). Dundalk set out to attempt to claw their way back into the tie.
1963 Team Not 630x370
Some of the team members who helped bring the league title to Dundalk in 1963 – including coach Colm Bellew who tragically died before the European campaign.

The Dundalk side reached Zurich with a party of 42 people – including 15 players, club management and supporters club members. “We have to beat them by four goals, which is a bit of a tough proposition” said Dundalk’s chairman Benny Kennedy.

Dundalk Team 1963

Dundalk became the first Irish team to ever when a European match when they beat FC Zurich 2-1. This was quite an achievement and it’s importance was not lost on the Irish Media. The Dundalk Democrat summed it up well: “Mark the significance of this feat, because it is history making which goes to the credit of Dundalk. Let us exult in it, shout about it from the rooftops, and rub it in where it needs to be rubbed”.

A rare photograph of the match in Zurich.

The main reason for this victory was the excellent display by the Dundalk forward line with Jimmy Hasty and Francie Callan playing blinders. Dundalk’s first goal came on 30 minutes. The ball broke to Hasty in the box and his shot was blocked by a Zurich defender. From the rebound he passed to Cross who from 10 yards smashed it to the net. Dundalk were 2-0 up on 57 minutes.

Jimmy Hasty won possession on the left, nutmegged a Swiss defender and, just as the keeper was coming out to claim the ball, Hasty slid in and toe poked it to the net. Dundalk looked good to level the game on aggregate but on 80 minutes Feller scored for Zurich and ended the tie. A great night for Dundalk FC and there small band of traveling support.

Team: Barron, Murphy, McKeown, Rowe, O’Reilly, Dalton, Kennedy, Callan, Hasty, Cross, Pownall.