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16th April 1966: Hibs v Celtic – Part One

Anfield awaits

Anfield awaits

Reaction After Liverpool Match

Even after a period of reflection, press reaction was that Celtic had been the better team on the night but there was also worry that a one-goal lead might not be enough to see the Bhoys through.

Funnily enough, that had been the feeling of the guys sitting with me up in the Main Stand. Some of them had never had the chance to play for the first team but they were all Celtic fans at heart and wanted success for the club. However, the general feeling was that if Liverpool played for the whole of the return match in the way they had shown in flashes at Parkhead, then they might get the goals necessary. It wasn’t a gloom and doom forecast but it was a realistic appraisal of the situation.

At least, we would not have to wait long for the second leg, which was on the following Tuesday. In the meantime, quite a few of us had a big moment coming up 24 hours later, a Friday afternoon.

 

The Big Two Clash…At A Minor Level

On that afternoon, at Barrowfield, a Celtic X1 ran out to face Rangers in a Combined Reserve league match.

Fixtures between these clubs always attract a crowd; in fact, if you played it in a desert in Africa, all the neighbouring tribes would come along for a look. On that particular day, a bitterly cold wind was cutting through Glasgow but that did not stop several hundred fans from gathering round the touchlines to watch the action.

The Celtic team was Kennedy, Craig, Halpin, Henderson, ‘Newman’, O’Neill, Connelly, Sweeney, J Quinn, ‘Newman’, H Quinn. It was an unusual step for two trialists (the ‘Newmans’) to be fielded in what is always an important match but they must have done OK, as we won 1-0, the solitary goal coming from Jimmy Quinn.

These were very unusual – and occasionally difficult or even traumatic – matches to play in. There were no stands or terraces or anything like that at Barrowfield; the crowd was jammed right up against the field of play. So, not only did the crowd have to jump back whenever a tackle was put in near the touchline, the players could hear every word that the crowd was saying. Most of the comment was very encouraging, occasionally it was the exact opposite. Character-building! That’s what the guys who had been through the war called it!

Sammy Henderson, George Connelly and I had worked well down the right and, to be honest, I never gave the ankle a single thought. And I got a nice surprise at the end when the Boss told me that he wanted me to join the squad for the trip to Easter Road the following day.

 

Drawback

While I was pleased to be playing and so on, the fact that the Combined Reserve league match had taken place on a Friday afternoon meant another day away from my patients, with all the resultant problems of cancelling appointments. At the Dental Hospital, I think I was beginning to be regarded as something of a problem student!

 

 

Surprise

When I walked through the door of my parents house later, my Mum said “1-0; well done”. To say I was surprised it putting it mildly; how could she have known that? It transpired that my Dad was there for the second half. Dad was in charge of the furnishing department for Glasgow South Co-Op at the Bridge Street store, just south of the river Clyde.

On that particular Friday afternoon, a delivery had to be made to a customer in the East End, so Dad decided to go along with the guys in the van and after the object had been handed over, he told them to swing round via Barrowfield to see some action. Crafty old devil!


Question

Last time round, I asked which two English clubs had already won the European Cup Winners’ Cup; the answer was Tottenham Hotspur in 1963 and West Ham in 1965.

This week’s question is indirectly about the Old Firm. Most fans know that in the first encounter between the sides, Celtic had beaten Rangers 5-2 on their original ground, just round the corner from the present Celtic Park. It was fine effort in the new stadium but it was not the first match there. Three weeks before, two other sides had drawn 0-0 in the first-ever game in the stadium. Who were the teams?


 

Poor Weather

The rest of Europe was held in an icy grip as heavy snow and blizzards struck widespread areas. Holland had its coldest middle of April since 1917, Sweden its lowest for 50 years and Denmark shivered in its coldest snap since 1888.

 

An Unusual Suggestion

Men studying for the priesthood should see the occasional ‘smut’ film, read popular novels and study communism to help extend their perspective, Miss Ruth Warnerke, an American Library Association officer suggested in San Antonio, Texas, at the Catholic Library Association’s National Convention.

 

Peter Pan Crashes to Earth

4-year-old Martin Hallsworth tried to fly from his bedroom window after watching ‘Peter Pan’ on television and fell nearly 20 feet on to a concrete path yesterday. Martin, of Belper, Derbyshire, escaped with bruises.