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12th January 1966: Celtic v Dynamo Kiev – Part Two

What the Papers Were Saying

Big Yogi and Wee Jimmy Could be the Aces v Kiev

Celtic are relying on the same players who beat Rangers 5-1 and Dundee United 1-0 to see them through their European Cup Winners’ tournament quarter-final first leg tie against Dinamo Kiev at Parkhead tonight.

This means, of course, that Billy McNeill, Ian Young and Bobby Lennox will be spectators, while much-less experienced players like right-back Jim Craig and centre-half John Cushley will be facing the Russian cracks.

Celtic’s fate may depend on how the long and short of it on their extreme wings perform. If Yogi and JJ hit a game then I look for a Celtic win – and with goals galore as well!  

Surprise Meeting

I was going into the Dental Hospital on the morning of the match when I saw the Dean standing in the foyer. Much to my surprise, he waved me over; he was very pleasant but as formal as ever;-

“Big night tonight, Mr Craig”

“It is” I replied.

“Do you have patients this afternoon?”

“Just the one…at 2pm”

“Right..well, then, just leave after you have finished”. He smiled, “we don’t want the Hospital to get the blame for your team not winning tonight”.

It was a nice gesture but unfortunately, I would not have time to go home and then back out to Celtic Park. So, after finishing the patient, I spent the afternoon – including eating the pre-match meal – in the hospital canteen. At least it was a bit different from what the other players involved in the match were doing?

 

Pre-Match

I got out to Celtic Park via the usual bus journey and even though this was around 6pm, the crowds were gathering.

There was an air of excitement inside the ground as well. The snooker table was still in place at this point and a few players were using it but the rest just sat round, most making derogatory comments about the play, some going outside to hand late tickets to friends etc. while all through the activities the normal banter of any dressing- room – getting louder as the nerves kicked in – reverberated around.

Once we started getting ready for the fray, putting on the all-green strip, I noticed that new boy Bent Martin was changing too. This was a surprise to me but I was informed by Ronnie Simpson that the Dane was going to do a little work-out before the match to let the fans see him; some of the reserve team players would be firing in shots at him. And we had also been told that at half-time, young

George Connelly showing off ! © Daily Record

George Connelly – half time show-off !
© Daily Record

George Connelly would be putting his ‘keepy-uppy’ skills to the test out on the pitch. I had seen George do this at training on numerous occasions and he was really excellent.

After a warm-up out on the pitch, we came back in for a quick drink, a final chat from the Boss and then the referee, Herr Baumgarten of West Germany, having been in once to check boots etc. came back in again and called us out for the contest. As we walked down the tunnel, the atmosphere was quite amazing, the noise level unbelievable.

I thought at the time – and fortunately was to experience the feeling on numerous occasions in the future – that there must be nothing quite like Parkhead on a European evening!

 

 

 

The Play

It was a good result for Celtic on the night but not everyone was pleased with the level of performance. One correspondent summed it up beautifully; –

‘The Celtic juggernaut, though its engine coughed distraughtly at times last night, rolls on’.

It would be true to say that we dominated the play from start to finish but did not always get the final pass right.

The goals came as follows;-

Tommy Gemmell and Bobby Murdoch - on target against Kiev

Tommy Gemmell and Bobby Murdoch – on target against Kiev
© Daily Record

27 minutes
the ball ran loose to Tam Gemmell, whose shot from 35 yards seemed to be covered by the goalkeeper. On the way to the goal, though, the ball must have been deflected on the turf, for it straightened out and rolled into the net.

64 minutes
a right-foot shot by Bobby Murdoch took the ball past the Kiev goalkeeper, squeezing it in at the near post.

84 minutes
another Murdoch drive, this time from 25 yards, which swerved and dipped just under the cross-bar.

 

Reaction Inside the Club

It was a 3-0 win and everyone was delighted, as the result set us up for the second leg, wherever that would be played. So there were celebrations inside the dressing room, in the foyer, among the fans outside the stadium and all the way home. It had been a great night and I had been pleased by my own performance against a small opponent – never the easiest of circumstances for my 6 feet 1 inch – as well as being part of a defence which did not lose a goal. And most importantly, the Boss seemed pleased too!

 

The Press Reaction

This was mixed. Most were pleased by the result and thought that it would certainly be enough to take us through. There were warnings, though;-

‘One would say categorically that the margin was sufficient to carry Celtic into the semi-final round were it not for the reminder that two seasons ago their 3-0 win over M.T.K. Budapest was not enough in the return’

 

‘Celtic are a now more consistent team but, in truth, the traffic was so one-way towards Bannikov [the Kiev goalkeeper] in the second half that this ought not to have been the third occasion this season when a Celtic forward failed to score’

 

But there was also a touch of realism, perhaps, in the final summing-up;-

‘Thus the sounds of revelry – wisely; perhaps, not completely uninhibited – were heard again round Celtic Park. But can 64,000 people ever be completely dissatisfied at a result which marked Celtic’s 24th successive match without defeat and, for them, augured the possibility of greater things to come?

 


 

A Game from the Past….and a Moment to Remember

 

Sponsored by the Jim Craig CSC

 

A Game from the Past…..in the early days, Celtic had two goalkeepers by the name of John Kelly, one who played in season 1888-89 and the one we are dealing with here, who made his first-team debut in a league match against Hibs on 2nd November 1929.

And a Moment to Remember….unfortunately, John was at Celtic Park at the same time as John Thomson, so his chances were limited. However, as a result of Thomson receiving severe injuries in a match against Airdrie on 5th February 1930, John Kelly got a run of 7 matches in the side, the highlight of which was the 7-0 victory over Dundee United on 1st March 1930.

John Kelly later moved on to Carlisle United and then Motherwell.


 

A Load of Money

Richard Burton has been signed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer to play the title role in a film based on the James Hilton novel ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’. He is guaranteed 1 million dollars ( £357,000)

 

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