“O Conto de 63”
Today marks the greatest result in the illustrious history of Distillery – the night The Whites took on Benfica in the European Champions League in Belfast.
SL Benfica, arguably the best side in European football (and perhaps even World football) at that stage, had Eusebio in its ranks. Distillery had a mixture of part-timers and semi-professionals buoyed by the inclusion of Preston North End and England legend Tom Finney, coaxed out of retirement by the shrewd, great manager, George Eastham.
Against all the odds Distillery drew 3-3 at Windsor Park on 25th September 1963 – it was a scoreline that reverberated across Europe.
In another addition to his “Distillery Collectables” series David Hunter has just about finished “O Conto de 63” – the background to, and the story of, that memorable game, the return leg and more.
Similar in style to his last booklet “Illumination” – the story of how Distillery were the pioneers of floodlight football in the Irish League and on this island – the A5 booklet is in full colour with 16 pages of great reading and more – it costs £5.00. There is also a metal 45mm commemorative metal pin-button badge that goes with the booklet (whilst stocks last) – a small copy has been added to the cover image.
All the profits from his “Distillery Collectables” series have gone back into the club.
He writes; “If you know just a little of Distillery’s wonderful history, or even if you don’t, this is one result that jumps off the pages. Before embarking on this booklet, I knew some of what happened that night, my grandfather and father had been there, but as the research continued it proved fascinating to realise just how much this result stood out at the time.
In the booklet, I have acknowledged with thanks, all the help and sources that made its production possible, but I have to thank Philip Gowdy in particular for some great material that thankfully has been preserved detailing a wonderful ten days or so for Distillery Football Club.
Tonight at 7.45pm raise a glass and toast a great team that made history for a great club – by the time you have done that, The Whites were already one-up against Benfica all those years ago – 60 years on we have not forgotten our heroes.”
“O Conto de 63” should be available from David this coming Saturday.