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15th October 1966: Celtic v Airdrie League – Part One

11th October

As the first team prepared for the first of two games in quick succession against Airdrie, first in the league at Celtic Park and then in the semi-final of the League Cup, reflections in the press were about how comfortable the win over Queen’s Park in the Glasgow Cup semi-final had been, with two-goal Joe McBride getting a special mention;-

 McBride ‘Double’ Caps it for Celtic

12th October

Celtic received an offer to tour Argentina and Uruguay in July of the following year and play a well-known club from Argentina in December of this year.

 

13th October

nantesThe draw for the various European competitions is made at UEFA headquarters. In the European Cup, Celtic are drawn against FC Nantes, with the first leg to be played in France.

In the European Cup-Winners’ Cup, Rangers were drawn against Borussia Dortmund of West Germany.

While these draws were being made, the Celtic first-team squad was relaxing on the golf course at West Kilbride. Was I part of the group? Well, to be perfectly honest, I cannot quite recall whether I was or not. And that’s not because of any memory problems but is because a very special event in my life had taken place about then and I can’t be precise about that date either!

From my registration certificate with the General Dental Council, I can ascertain that I first became registered on 16th October 1966. It is easy to work out then that I must have passed my final exams – or got word that I had passed – in the two or three days prior to that date. Apart from my parents – who were the first to find out that I was now a qualified dentist – and my extended family, the next person that I was determined to tell was the Boss, Jock Stein.

The Celtic management and directors decide that they will fly direct to Nantes by private charter for the first leg tie on the 30th October.  The European draw was regarded with much favour. French football teams were not regarded by most of us at that time as having the quality of a Spanish, Italian or German side, so the draw was thought of as a good one and we were all pretty hopeful of advancement, or even confident!

 

14th October

There was a reserve match that Friday night at Broomfield, against Airdrie Reserves. It was, without doubt, one of the worst grounds in the Scottish First Division, with a decidedly sloping pitch from left to right in front of the Main Stand; an area under that stand which was covered in bits of wood and concrete – a death trap if ever there was a fire –  and the dressing rooms in a separate building to one side of the goal at the bottom of the slope. As well as a slope from left to right, there was another slope towards the bottom right corner. So, when I lined up that night in the right back slot, I not only was looking up towards the other goal, I also had to cope with a slope from the main stand towards my side.

Before the match, I managed to get a word with the Boss and tell him of my good news in passing my finals. He congratulated me and then discussed how I was going to bring myself back up to full fitness. I was all ears as I was desperate to get back in the first team.

The pitch might have sloped a bit but the surface itself was just the same as most other surfaces and we just got on with the match. Our team was;

Bent Martin, myself, Frank McCarron, Sonny Henderson, John Cushley, Jim Brogan, John Taggart, George Connelly, Jimmy Quinn, Tony Taylor and Lou Macari.

We put in a good stint and came away with a 4-0 win the goals coming from Brogie, Tony Taylor, John Taggart and Geordie.


Is it worth it?

The Glasgow Highway Committee recommended that 43 concrete boxes with trees and flowering shrubs be placed along streets ‘in the heart of town’ to make Glasgow more attractive.

Highways Convener Jeremiah O’Sullivan said “I think the cost of this experiment is worthwhile and I hope the citizens of Glasgow agree”. And that cost?…£516.

 

Lucky Break

4 East German youths tunneled their way to the West in Berlin, taking advantage of a power blackout which cut the searchlights in the border area. After the youths reached safety East German guards fired sub-machine volleys but no one was hit.

 

Some Story!

The court fight by actress Hedy Lamarr to try to prevent publication of the purported story of her life – ‘Ecstasy and Me’ – in which it is expected she will seek $6 million in damages.