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22nd January 1966: Celtic v Motherwell – Part One

Reaction to the Defeat By Aberdeen

Celtic’s loss to Aberdeen at Pittodrie was very definitely a surprise to the press corps and they gave the story a lot of coverage. It was surprising that few gave much publicity to the conditions, especially the state of the pitch, which at training in the days that followed, was much highlighted and discussed by the players. Still, it would not the first time that players and reporters saw things differently!

What was clear to Celtic fans, though, was that a fair percentage of the press corps ( the actual figure I will leave up to the reader) was not unhappy to see Celtic lose at Pittodrie. Not for any reasons of bias, you understand, oh! dear me no, it was the fact that it would make the chase for the title so much more interesting? So there!

The Kiev Match

This was still a major topic of discussion in the papers and the whole saga seemed to be now coming to some sort of conclusion. For instance ;-

 

Tuesday 18th January

The Celtic- Kiev Dynamo match has now been fixed to go ahead on 26th January.

 

Wednesday 19th January

Celtic have now arranged to fly to Tbilisi from Prestwick on Monday. The only Parkhead casualty is John Hughes. While the rest of the players were at Seamill yesterday, Hughes was receiving treatment for a knee injury at Celtic Park.

 

Friday 21st January

Celtic have had straw on the Parkhead pitch since Monday and so have avoided much of the week’s hard frost.

Last night, Jock Stein admitted that, despite the protection, the pitch is hard but playable.

Celtic are keen to play the game and to get back on to a winning streak again after their defeat at Pittodrie.

Incidentally, the man who will referee the Celtic game in Russia has been named. He is an Italian called  Antonio Bardelia

 

As I read that final piece on the Friday, little did I realize what a major effect Signor Bardelia was going to have on my life only a few days hence!

 

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As can be gleaned from the pieces above, the frost had come down again in Glasgow with a vengeance and the straw was back on the pitch. The full-timers were bussed out every day to Seamill, where, although the cold was still be in evidence, the chances of frost were slight and training could go ahead on suitably nice conditions.

That was not the case for the part-timers back at Celtic Park in the evenings. Training conditions were horrendous!

The track was like a sheet of ice but we were still expected to perform on it; the areas behind the goals (not protected by the straw) were lumpy and rutted; and since that hidden pitchfork had flown up into the air on a previous occasion when someone had accidentally stood on it, no one wanted to run across the straw!

To be honest, at this time of the season, all of us were quite fit and there was really no need for some hard work to be done. It was the case in those days, though, that coaches did not feel that they were earning their corn unless their charges were working hard, so as the track was the least dangerous of the options, that was where we spent most of our time on the Tuesday and the Thursday. You could just feel the muscles tightening as we ran along!

 

Good News

From one of the evening papers;-

One interesting decision at a meeting of the Scottish League was much in Celtic’s favour yesterday. It was decided  that in future, the winners of the League Cup would qualify for a place in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. It means that Celtic, as this year’s League Cup winners, are already assured of a place in Continental football next season.

Of course, the Parkhead target is something higher. They want to win the League and get into the premier European Cup tournament.

 

Big Night

One of the highlights – indeed, probably the major occasion – of the final year in dentistry was the Final Year Dinner, held in The Royal Stuart Hotel. All through the years of one’s training, one kept contributing money to help pay for the evening.

Everyone in the year attended, the Director and the teaching staff were invited, a General Committee ran the show, a book was brought out with all our photos and a ‘Quotes’ Committee dug up appropriate words to go alongside our name.

These folk in that ‘Quotes Committee’ were a pest all through the year. There were five of them – and we all knew who they were – so when one of them sat down at your table in the canteen, you kept your mouth shut, or at least tried not to say anything that might be used against you.

One or two of my colleagues did say something memorable. “I’m not as stupid as some people think I am, so I’m not” was one of my favourites in the book. “Even I’m not infallible” and “The girl I marry will be damned lucky” were two comments made in the comfort of the beer bar, while one of the quietest – and most pleasant – guys in the year, who admittedly got a little under the weather after a Field Day sporting contest in Dundee brought this accolade from a Tayside policeman – “Get this dross on the bus!”

Possibly my favourite, though, was a quote about one of the lecturers, a rather rotund gentleman and another most pleasant man –“He must have had a magnificent build before his stomach went in for a career of its own”.

My own quotes were pretty tame and are reproduced here, so I think that I got off lightly;

 

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Not bad, eh! Anyway the reason I mentioned the dinner in the first place was to publicise the date, show here;

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Yes, after paying for the dinner for all those years, I missed it because of the Dynamo Kiev match!

 


 

Question

Last time, I mentioned that the red jersey of Aberdeen was only introduced in 1939 and asked what colour they had played in

before that? The answer was Black and Gold stripes.

This week’s question is about that Inter-Cities Fairs Cup mentioned above. Which Scottish club had reached the semi-final of

the competition in season 1960-61?


 

No Firing

A four-day cease-fire in the Vietnamese war went into effect yesterday in honour of the Buddhist lunar New Year holiday.

But one intelligence source said he had information indicating that the cease-fire, called by the Viet Cong, would not involve American troops. It would be a truce only between the Viet Cong and the South Vietnamese Government troops.

 

Danger

Ice and high seas played havoc with shipping in the English Channel yesterday.

The biggest ship in trouble was the West German freighter Kremsertor (12,889 tons) which had been drifting with a 45-degree list.

The tug Atlantic was unable to get a tow aboard and she sank at 5pm.

Two Royal Navy helicopters rescued 7 men, including the captain.

 

Luck Boy

The third day at work did not quite go to plan for 16-year-old Ian Hutchison of Beechwood, Dundee.

Last night, 3 days after starting work on the Tay Road Bridge, he fell from the temporary bridge structure into the freezing cold waters of the Tay.

He was swept 200 yards downstream by the ebbing tide before he was picked up by the bridge rescue boat. Later, however, back in his home, Ian said “I’ll be going back in the morning”.