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1st October 1966: Celtic v St Johnstone League – Part One

 

29th September

There was good news and bad news for Celtic in the morning papers. The not-so-good news was summed up by this headline;-

Murdoch – Report Goes to FIFA

 

Chopper Shopped to FIFA! © Daily Record

Chopper: Shopped to FIFA!
© Daily Record

Why a simple booking should be surrounded by a considerable amount of fuss was beyond the comprehension of most fans? Presumably the two Zurich players booked would also be reported to the governing body but they were not mentioned in the newspaper reports, or at least the Scottish ones.

The good news was the apparently unanimous opinion of the Swiss players and management that;

No team in the European Cup, and that includes Real Madrid, could possibly beat Celtic on last night’s display’.

A gracious compliment, considering that the second leg of the tie was still to be played.

Another piece of good news was that Celtic emerged from their European Cup tie without any serious injuries. Jock Stein was obviously delighted and went on to say

“several players are being treated for knocks but that is only to be expected after a European Cup game. However, we don’t think any are serious”.

A new manager took up the reins at one of Scotland’s top clubs. Tynecastle chief scout and former Scotland trainer Johnny Harvey has been appointed caretaker manager of Hearts and took over his duties today.

 

30th September

As you might imagine, there was a great atmosphere round the park at that time. Everything was going well on the pitch and if there were any players at loggerheads- either with a colleague or the management – then their troubles were kept very low key.

I was in the strange position of being part of the squad while at the same time not taking part in every aspect of training and playing. My finals were coming up the following week and I was finding life pretty tough. Those of you who have gone through exams like that will remember the strain; you feel as though you have forgotten more than you could recall and it gets to the point when you imagine that your brain could not possibly take in any more information.

The boys in the club – with the exception of John Cushley, who was a graduate in languages – had no experience of what I was going through but, without them realising it, their good humour and kind wishes were invaluable to my spirit at the time and I have always been very grateful to them for that.

 

Joe McBride still led the First Division scoring charts ;-

15………. McBride (Celtic)

11………..Mclean (Rangers)

10………..Scott (Hibs)

9…………Marshall and Murray (Airdrie)

7………..Smith and Winchester (Aberdeen), Chalmers (Celtic)

6………. Mitchell (Dundee United), Robertson (Dunfermline), Wallace (Hearts) Campbell (Motherwell), Forrest (Rangers).

 

The Opposition

St Johnstone had finished 14th in the 18-team league the previous season and were holding roughly the same position at that time of season 1966-67. The main problem in both seasons was in the goals-against column, where the Saints were leaking over two- and-a-half goals per game. And when they were scoring just about one-and-a-half goals per game, then the situation is likely to lead to serious problems.

By contrast, Celtic were scoring nearly three goals per game and only losing a goal a game. It looks as though there would be only the one winner in this contest.

 


Sensible Move

Scots policemen are queuing up to emigrate to Canada and senior police officials, already faced with a severe manpower shortage, are seriously worried.

Lured by salaries ranging from £1874 to £2160 for constables, more than 600 Scots policemen have applied for vacancies in the Ontario police force.

In Britain, a constable under 22 starts at £700 a year. After 9 years service, this rises to £1040. Constables with 17 years service receive £1070 while after 22 years the top pay of a constable in £1105. No wonder they want to head for Canada!

 

Tragic Loss

The search for two Ayr students missing from a dinghy which overturned off Prestwick was resumed at first light.

The 15-foot sailing boat capsized at 4pm yesterday in choppy seas and high winds and rescue experts now believe there is little hope of the two young men – both aged 21 – having survived in the conditions.

 

What’s On?

Films in Glasgow that weekend ;-

Green’s Playhouse…..Dentist in the Chair

Bedford………………L’il Abner

La Scala……………..The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Regent……………….Last Days of Pompeii

And there was news of a special attraction on the following Friday and Saturday at Green’s Playhouse Ballroom, when Humphrey Littleton and his Band would be playing.