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2nd November 1966: Celtic v Stirling Albion League – Part One

31st October

Monday morning’s papers were full of reflections about the League Cup final. General opinion was that while Rangers had most of the pressure, they never looked particularly dangerous near goal and Celtic took their best opportunity to score;-

Lennox Uncorks Champagne Goal

Future Celt Willie Wallace’s harsh challenge on the Clyde keeper also got some press, the latter quite condemnatory in their assessment of the incident while the player himself was very conciliatory. I got to know Wispy well in the years to come and would readily admit that he could take care of himself but malicious he was not and I thought it would be interesting to see what the SFA would make of the case.

And Jock Stein came out with a surprising statement. “For the next fortnight the Celtic training will be stepped down. Instead of starting work at 10am, for the next two weeks training will begin at 11am”

 

1st November

There was training as usual the day before the next match, which was against Stirling Albion at Parkhead. The Binos were struggling in the bottom three and it was generally thought – at least by the press and the support – that the match against them would be straightforward. However, that type of thinking was anathema to a clear-thinking manager like Jock Stein. He was well aware that accidents happen, that teams rise to a challenge like playing at Celtic Park and that is very easy for a top side to under-estimate a lesser one. So, while the time of training might have been relaxed a bit, the intensity remained and he was very keen to stress that we must treat Stirling Albion as we would one of main rivals.

At the end of the session, I got a nice surprise. The Boss pulled me to one side and told that I would be on the bench for the match. I was delighted; I might not get on but at least it was a start and it was up to me, if I did come on, to make the most of the opportunity. I went home singing all the way!

 

2nd November

There was a report in the press that by winning the League Cup the previous Saturday, Celtic had already qualified for a place in the Fairs Cup for the following season. I could imagine that Boss would have regarded that as the least important competition he wanted us in the following season.

 

Eddie Turnbull, Aberdeen’s manager, who was also offered a similar job with Rangers, will give his decision to the Rangers Board tonight.

 

And down at Rugby Park that night, Kilmarnock were getting ready to take on Royal Antwerp in a second round, second leg tie in the Fairs Cup. Kilmarnock were 1-0 up from the first leg.


Pea Soup

Jets were diverted from London to Prestwick today when thick fog blanketed the huge Heathrow Airport.

The fog cleared later in the day and a queue of planes over London at last got the chance to land. At one point, visibility had had been down to as little as 10 yards.

 

Talented Man

A picture painted by Sir Winston Churchill and given by him to his bodyguard at Chartwell was bought by an American at Christie’s for 6,800 guineas.

 

Rise in Status

Denis Connaghan, a Glasgow wages clerk who only a few weeks ago was playing goalkeeper for Renfrew Juniors is given the toughest job in Scottish football on Saturday – keeping out the Celtic sharp-shooters at Celtic Park when he plays in goal for St Mirren.