The kidnapping of Dutch industrialist Tiede Herrema was the big news story in Ireland on this week back in 1975. David Essex with 'Hold Me Close' was top of the charts.

However, the footballers of Athlone Town were also making the headlines when they took on Italian giants AC Milan in the second round of the UEFA Cup at St Mel's Park.

It was Athlone's first foray into European football and not surprisingly a huge crowd of over 10,000 packed into St Mel's to see them take on a Milan side in their first-leg encounter. Indeed, it was a Milan outfit that included one Giovanni Trapattoni as part of the coaching staff.

The League of Ireland side certainly held their own against their Serie A opponents on that Wednesday afternoon 40 years ago, gaining a creditable 0-0 draw.

Indeed, it could have been so much better as the Town's John Minnock had his penalty saved by Milan netminder Enrico Albertosi.

A fortnight later, the midlanders headed to the San Siro for the second leg. For 70 minutes they dared to dream, with the game scoreless. However, their resolve was ultimately crushed as the Italians scored three late goals to ensure their passage to the next round.

RTÉ Sport's Adrian Eames got the views of Athlone stalwarts Paul Martin, Eugene Davis and John Minnock on what it meant to the people of Athlone to have football aristocracy on their doorstep; the missed penalty in the first leg and meeting Bianca Jagger in a Milan hotel.  

To mark the 40 years since Athlone Town held AC Milan to a scoreless draw a group of fans have come together to organise a gala dinner which will be held in The Sheraton Hotel, Athlone on Friday 6 November.