Hibee History: Players flee as Cagliari mob chase referee

Peter Cormack opened the scoring but was then sent off
Peter Cormack opened the scoring but was then sent off
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Hibs, playing as Toronto City, were involved in a brawl when their North American League game against Cagliari (Italy) was abandoned seven minutes from the end after hundreds of angry Italian fans had invaded the Varsity Stadium pitch in Toronto.

The angry scenes followed a winning goal for Hibs in 83 minutes.

Cagliari players protested that referee Art King was wrong in awarding a free kick to the Easter Road team.

Pat Quinn slipped the ball to Colin Grant who steered the ball into the net to secure a 2-1 victory – Hibs’ second win of this series.

Irate fans ran on to the pitch and headed for the referee who was pushed and hit by the mob. The few police on duty tried to protect the referee and the Hibs players were told to leave the pitch for their own safety.

It was the second time in three days that Cagliari had been involved in a fight, and there is talk of sending them home in disgrace.

All through the game there was a lot of dubious work by the Italians. Longoni was ordered off for butting Jim Scott, and Peter Cormack, after being kicked and punched, retaliated and was also given his marching orders.

Cormack had given Hibs a first-minute lead with a shot from 12 yards, and this early reverse upset the temperamental Latins, who were desperate to avoid another defeat.

Hibs remained as cool as possible, although Alan Cousin was injured in the first half and Alan McGraw took his place.

Cagliari tried every trick they knew – and few of them were legitimate, and in 70 minutes they were overjoyed when Boninsegna headed a goal.

It looked like ending up as a draw but a slick free-kick routine from Hibs provided winner... and sparked off the row.

Hibs manager Bob Shankly rated it as “the worst exhibition of football I have witnessed in my career.”

Hibs: Allan; Duncan, Davis; Stanton. Madsen, Cousin (McGraw); Quinn, Cormack, Scott, Stein, Stevenson.

Referee: A King.