Wednesday, May 9 – 1973
Rain stopped play at Anfield last night in this UEFA (EUFA) Cup Final first leg. Torrential rain turned the pitch into a pond and Austrian referee Erich Linemayr had no alternative but to lead the players off after a goalless 27 minutes.
Comics on the Kop had been calling for the lifeboat to be launched, but lost their good humour when the referee called a halt.
He suspended the action for 20 minutes pending a pitch inspection and then finally abandoned the game as the rain continued to lash down.
The Kop choir started chanting “We want football . . . we want football . . . we want football . . .” But by now pitch was fit only for water polo.
Liverpool and Borussia officials immediately agreed on a return match for tonight – rain gods permitting.
Admission to all parts of the ground will be a nominal 10p and stand ticket holders will get their same seats provided they produce last night’s ticket stubs.
There is no truth in the rumour that Liverpool manager Bill Shankly is trying to sign Mark Spitz for tonight’s return. Shankly said:
“The conditions became farcial. There is nothing else the referee could do.
Referee Linemayr commented:
“I have never known anything like it. There was only slight rain before the match but as soon as we started it was suddenly water . . . water . . . water. I just had to abandon.”
Liverpool at least know what to expect when they face Borussia tonight. The West Germans concentrated on a contain-and-counter policy, striking with quick breakaway raids from a springboard of deep defence.
Liverpool kept up non-stop pressure during last night’s brief battle but they were continually bogged down in a morass of mud.
The instant re-match means that England trio Ray Clemence, Emlyn Hughes and Kevin Keegan will be a day late joining Sir Alf Ramsey’s squad for the Home Championship internationals.
(Daily Express, 10-05-1973)