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31st December 1966: Dundee United v Celtic League – Part One

In the days following the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie, both the morning and evening papers were full of varied and interesting stories.

26th December

Johnstone in Training

Jinky – Back in Training!

Jimmy Johnstone trained alone at Parkhead today – and that adds up to some first-class Boxing Day news for the already happy Celtic supporters!

On Saturday, Johnstone was suffering from such a heavy cold that he was left behind in Glasgow while Jock Stein and his unbeaten team made the long journey to Aberdeen to come back with another league point from the 1-1 draw.

Nowadays, it is dangerous to be ill or injured at Celtic Park because competition for places in the side is so fierce that a casualty could be out of action for weeks- even after recovery.

Mr Stein said “I want every man on the books to be 100% fit for this week. The hardest three league matches of the season are coming up. Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday; Clyde here on Monday; and Rangers at Ibrox on Tuesday. That is why Johnstone trained today when all the other players got the day off.”

27th December

Bad Blow for Bobby Seith

‘Not a happy Christmas for Rangers – or their new coach Bobby Seith. After only four days in his new job, Mr Seith had to telephone manager Scot Symon last night with the news that his wife was ill and that she would be seeing a specialist today.

Said Mr Symon “This is a bad break for Bobby. I am not sure when he will be back – he must look after his family first”.

What a Bargain

‘The Peter Pan of Scottish goalkeepers, Ronnie Simpson, would be my nomination in any football personality of the year competition – and I suspect that a certain Aberdeen right-half would agree with this.

On Saturday, Frank Munro hammered in a fierce drive which seemed a winner all the way until the amazing Simpson, who is 37, rose with an incredible leap to tip the ball over the bar’.

Slavs Refuse Celtic Offer to Switch Tie

Yugoslav champions Vojvodina have turned down a suggestion from Celtic that the 1st leg tie in their European Cup clash should be switched to Celtic Park. Obviously the Yugoslavs regard the Glasgow tie as being the more difficult and if the venues had been reversed, they would have had to play without inside-left Trivica and outside-left Pasobrik, both of whom were ordered off versus Atletico Madrid last week. These players can’t turn out in the first leg but they can in the second.

28th December

Southport Football Club’s main stand, comprising the entire seating accommodation, dressing rooms and offices, was burned down. The only thing left standing on the main side of the ground was the office safe, which contained the takings from Saturday’s home match with Wrexham, at which Southport had their best crowd of the season – 8179 – but the money could not be immediately retrieved because the safe handle had been burnt off.

29th December

Tannadice Kick-off on the Dot

‘Celtic’s important league game with Dundee United at Tannadice Park on Saturday will start at 2.30pm on the dot – even though thousands of latecomer fans could be still queuing at the turnstiles.

Said manager Jerry Kerr “Celtic are anxious that their supporters should be back in Glasgow in time for the New Year. They asked us to bring the kick-off time forward to 2.30 and we agreed. The game will definitely start at the advertised time”’.

Will Celtic Play Hughes Against Rangers?

‘John Hughes, out of the Celtic team since the League Cup Final on 22nd October, may play against his old ‘enemy’ Kai Johansen at Ibrox on 3rd January.

Manager Jock Stein said that Hughes would definitely play in 2 of the 3 holiday games, adding “the underfoot conditions will be an important factor”.

I think that Celtic will want to have Hughes in the ‘Old Firm’ game, if at all possible. He has had some good jousts with Johansen in the past and if he does play, this clash could go a along way to deciding the outcome’.

Manager Jock Stein will not name his Celtic team for each of the 3 holiday games until shortly before kick-off. These are against Dundee United, Clyde and Rangers.

The Celtic boss said “we will name our team for each game from our pool of 16 first-team players. Ground conditions will play a major part in deciding each formation”.

30th December

Celtic’s European Dates Confirmed

Celtic and Vojvodina will play their European Cup games on Wednesday March 1st in Yugoslovia and Wednesday March 8th at Celtic Park.

McBride Blow to Celts

Joe McBride is OUT of tomorrow’s Celtic side to play Dundee United at Tannadice. McBride was injured in training and is now being treated for a slight leg injury.

However, manager Jock Stein is confident that McBride will be fit in ample time for Monday’s game with Clyde and Tuesday’s with Rangers.

18 players have been listed, only two of whom, goalkeeper John Fallon and midfielder Davie Cattenach, have not played in the first team. The other 16 are Simpson, Gemmell, O’Neill, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Auld, Chalmers, McBride, Wallace, Lennox, Young, Craig, Johnstone, Hughes and Chalmers.


Black Day

It was a black Boxing Day on Scottish roads. 4 people were killed, 32 severely injured and 38 slightly injured.

In England and Wales, 19 people were killed on the roads on Boxing Day.

Quiet Streets

Plans for ‘walkers only’ streets in Glasgow will be discussed at a symposium sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce to be held next spring.

There will be visual displays of how Sauchiehall Street would appear as a pedestrian area.

Trapped

11 fishermen are believed to be trapped alive below decks of the fire-ravaged Hull trawler St Finbarr which is being towed into St John’s Newfoundland.

13 other crew members were reported to be safe on board another trawler which took the St Finbarr (1139 tons) in tow after fire swept over her on Christmas Day, 600 miles NW of St John’s.

Still smouldering, the St Finbarr was being towed through heavy seas, gales, snow, sleet and rain.