The 1960s were a very difficult time for the club. The greatest successes in this period were Cup final appearances, while the lower dome of the league suddenly became Hajduk's reality. A particularly difficult season was 1965/66 when five points were docked due to the so-called Planinić affair, and for the first time ever club was involved in a relegation battle.
After six rounds, Hajduk still had a point below zero and was last in the standings. Fans from all over Dalmatia came to the club's rescue, redoubling their efforts: Stari Plac was sold out to the maximum twice in four days, and Trešnjevka and Rijeka were dispatched with 5-0 and 4-0 respectively. This strong declaration of fan fidelity became a turning point in the club's fortune. On the field, Hajduk's hero that season was Petar Nadoveza, the league top scorer with 21 goals.
A 1:1 away draw with Dinamo at Maksimir witnessed the first appearance of papelitos, or confetti thrown by the fans. When Nadoveza put the ball in the net, thousands of Split traveling fans opened the cardboard boxes which they had brought, and the memorable ensuing scene on the Maksimir stands proved another "first" for Hajduk.
After falling at the last hurdle three times (twice to BSK in 1953 and '55, and to Dinamo in 1963), Hajduk finally won the Cup in 1967. The final against Sarajevo, which was the strongest time in Yugoslavia that season, was played in Split moreover, with again a fabulous atmosphere on the stadium near the old gas storage. The final scoreline was 2:1, with goals by Ferić and Obradov.
A curious detail about this Cup final is that a small boy who as usual "guarded" the trophy during the match, was one Jurica Jerković, then of Hajduk's youth academy. This boy would grow up to one of the club's all-time greats, would in fact make his mark on the following decade, the most glorious and successful in the club's history.
The following season Hajduk acquired two players, Miroslav Vardić and Dragan Holcer, the latter becoming another legend on the field, and arguably the club's greatest-ever defender.
The same year saw the debut of Hajduk in major international competition. In the Cup Winners' Cup, the Whites were unlucky to draw mighty Tottenham, and despite losing 0:2 in Split and 3:4 in London, managed nonetheless to give a good account of themselves.
Material from publications by Jurica Gizdić used with permission: Hajduk in Official Competitions, 100 Years of Hajduk, Hajduk's Presidents and Hajduk's Coaches. The History of Hajduk by decades was prepared by Dag Baldasar.