Flashback Special: Rovers in Munich - Lennon thought it was Raith’s night

Danny Lennon scores his famous free-kick for Raith Rovers against Bayern Munich on October 31, 1995
Danny Lennon scores his famous free-kick for Raith Rovers against Bayern Munich on October 31, 1995

Danny Lennon will be preparing his Alloa Athletic side for a match against Queen of the South today. But he may take a few moments to think back to the night, 20 years ago today, when he scored one of the Raith Rovers’ most famous ever goals in the Olympic Stadium in Munich ...

Lennon thought it was Raith’s night:

MAN-of-the-match Danny Lennon thought he’d set Raith up for a miracle in Munich when he scored the opener in the Olympic Stadium.

The possibility of Rovers pulling off the biggest European shock in Scottish footballing history disappeared when Jurgen Klinsmann equalised for Bayern - and the brave Kirkcaldy club were finished off when a scrambled second goal from Markus Babbel gave Munich a 4-1 aggregate win.

But the memory of Lennon’s goal - and of Raith going in 1-0 up at half-time - will live long in the memory.

The former Hibs midfielder, who saw his free-kick deflected past keeper Oliver Kahn by Andreas Herzog, admitted: “I got a wee bit of luck for the goal but I hit a really good one against Rangers on Saturday and didn’t get the luck.

“When it went in I didn’t know what to do - it was a big shock. I said before the game that I didn’t really mind who scored but if we were 2-0 and it went to extra time I fancied nicking the third.”

Lennon has scored in all three rounds of Raith’s European debut run and he honestly felt Rovers were in with a shout of turning Bayern over after the goal.

“We went in at half-time and the gaffer was really getting us going.”he said. “The players could sense it from when Papin missed the penalty that we could create an upset.

“We could tell from the way the fans were reacting that we were doing well. Bayern had a lot of possession but they were going across the park.

“The way they scored their first goal was a bit unfortunate for Ronnie Coyle. We know a team like that are always going to create chances but the way they scored was a bit of a downer. It really put the tie out of our hands.

“Overall I think our performance was brilliant and there didn’t deserve to be three goals between the teams.

“We’ve gone to the Olympic Stadium to play Bayern Munich renowned as a great team in world football, and we’ve done Scottish football proud.”

(Interview by John Greechan, October 31, 1995)