How Bayern brought the original 'Ol' Big Ears' home in 1976
On 12 May 1976, FC Bayern became part of an elite circle of just three clubs. Exactly 44 years ago to the day, the Reds secured Europe's biggest club title for the third time in a row with a 1-0 victory in the final of the European Cup. Only Ajax and Real Madrid have ever matched this success. At that time, there was also a special UEFA rule governing the hat-trick stating that a club was allowed to keep the trophy permanently after three successive cup wins. The original Ol' Big Ears (as the trophy is known) is now displayed in the FCB Museum.
Saint-Etienne – dangerous opponents ––––––––––––––––––––
However, things did not run smoothly for Bayern on the evening of 12 May 1976 in Glasgow - at least not at first. St. Etienne made life difficult for the Bavarians at a rainy Hampden Park. In a largely even game, the French side threatened to take the lead several times in the first half and twice struck what was in those days still an angular crossbar (as opposed to today's round ones).
'Bulle' Roth on hand
From about a quarter of an hour after the break, FCB had the momentum in the match. Gerd Müller won a free-kick in a promising position in the 57th minute, and Franz Beckenbauer and Franz Roth lined up to take it. The Kaiser tapped the ball and 'Bulle' (the Bull) put all his power into the shot - 1-0 for the Reds! "If the goalkeeper had gotten his fingers to the ball, they'd have ended up in the net too. After all, I was the 'Bull' - I had enough power," Roth later reminisced on the goal in an interview with the football magazine '11 Freunde'.
Maier keeps a clean sheet
As in the previous year's final, FCB goalkeeper Sepp Maier did not concede a goal. FC Bayern had triumphed 1-0 over a very competitive St. Etienne side, with Roth scoring the decisive goal in a European final for the third time in his career. It was the crowning moment of what is arguably the most successful decade in the club's history to date and Ol' Big Ears moved into its new home in the Bayern trophy cabinet.
Franz Roth recently celebrated his 74th birthday, and fcbayern.com looked back on the career of the 'Bull'...