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18th May 1966: North American Tour – New Jersey All-Stars v Celtic

jeseyAllStars6-0On the morning after the match against Bermuda YMCA, the Celtic party travelled north to New York, their hotel just a few minutes from the Empire State Building in Manhattan. The next match would be on Wednesday 18th May and would be against the New Jersey All-Stars in Kearney, a place visited by Celtic side in the past.

‘Wilbur’ Cushley was out but the sunstroke victims were back in action again and the team which ran out was Ronnie, Ian, Tam, Chopper, Cesar, Luggy, Jinky, Stevie, Joe, Bobby and Bertie. In the Scottish press the following day the headlines told the story of the match ; –

 

Stein All Stars Stole the Show

‘They made a bad blunder here in the Kearney Stadium last night. In the advance publicity they billed the opposition as the New Jersey All Stars. A much more accurate line would have been the Celtic All Stars versus New Jersey for once again, Jock Stein’s boys were in top form and before the night was out and the locals outclassed, the score was up to six – and Ronnie Simpson and then John Fallon had scarcely laid a glove on the ball’.

 

Celtic obviously played a quick-fire game which the locals were not used to and it paid off. Bobby got the first in 11 minutes and in the next 20 minutes, four more followed from Chopper, Joe (2) and Bobby again.

 

5-0 up at half-time, the Boss made some changes, pulling off Ronnie, Chopper and Bertie, putting on John Fallon ( Peter), Charlie and new boy Frank McCarron. The tempo was perhaps the same in the second half but the goal scoring rate dropped, Bobby picking up the only one for another hat-trick to make the final score ;

New Jersey All Stars 0  Celtic  6

 

The local Celtic fans were delighted and showered the guys with praise. As Ronnie put it in a column he was writing for a Glasgow evening paper –

‘In New Jersey, we were given a great reception by the Kearney Celtic Supporters’ Association and the banquet they put on for us had to be seen to be believed. I reckon we will have to go into special training to take off some of the weight we put on that night’.

 

And as the boys celebrated their success, news came from across the Atlantic that Jock Stein had been chosen as British Manager of the Year, picking up another £500.