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17th August 1968:  Celtic v Partick Thistle –  League Cup

15th August 1968

The headlines in the press offered great praise to the boys on the field –

Sizzling Celts

and also gave the fans good news about important players –

 

Old Firm’ Pair Should Be Fit

‘Rangers centre-half Ronnie McKinnon and Celtic left-half Jim Brogan had stitches put in gashed brows after last night’s game but both seem certain to be available for Saturday when Rangers face Morton at Ibrox and Celtic meet Partick Thistle at Celtic Park’.

 

And after two matches, the League Cup table looked like this –

Team P W D L F A GAv Pts
1 Celtic 2 2 0 0 6 1 6.00 4
2 Rangers 2 1 0 1 5 3 1.67 2
3 Partick Thistle 2 1 0 1 4 6 0.67 2
4 Morton 2 0 0 2 2 7 0.29 0

 

Celtic and Rangers will be well represented in the Coca-Cola Pro-Am golf tournament at Haggs Castle on Monday. Celtic will have three players in action – Bertie Auld, Ronnie Simpson and Stevie Chalmers; while Rangers will have manager Davie White playing as well as three players – Andy Penman, John Greig and Davie Provan.

 

While all this was being described in the papers, the players trained as usual at Barrowfield. As is always the case after a good win, the atmosphere was very light-hearted although even though the workload was pretty high. I felt that there was no point in talking to the Boss about my absence from the side. A comfortable 4-1 win does not set the scene for a team break-up and that is what I was looking for – at least in the right-back slot!

 

16th August 1968

Training was a bit more relaxed the day before a game, with a concentration on the short, sharp stuff. And as there was a reserve match on at Firhill at the same time as the first-team encounter at Parkhead, everyone was keen to see the teams and hear what was happening on the morrow.

 

The evening press summed the situation up quite succinctly –

Same Celts – Auld as Sub – Rangers Wait

While we were told nothing about this, there was a piece in one of the evening editions about a change in the date for our forthcoming European Cup tie –

‘The date of Celtic’s second-leg European Cup tie with Ferencvaros at Parkhead has been changed again.

It will now be played on the original date of 2nd October – not in October 1st.

The switch to the Tuesday night was made at the request of the Hungarian champions but they have now told Celtic that one night of difference will not be of great help and they have now asked, and manager Jock Stein has agreed, that the tie can go ahead on October 2nd’.

 

The match had aroused great interest in the football world and in the press, there were adverts for trips to the Hungarian capital –

 

 

The Day of the Match 17th August 1968

I don’t know if the first-team were given a lunch somewhere (I doubt it somehow) but the reserves certainly weren’t and we all reported around 1pm for the trip to Firhill. The other guys would have come in a bit later but even when we left, there were crowds gathering, all of them keen to see a few goals. They gave us a good send-off, though.

 

The Teams

Partick Thistle

Ritchie
Cumming, Brown
Cunningham, McKinnon, O’Neill
McLindon, Bone, Coulston, Flanagan,Duncan.
Sub: Gallagher

Celtic

Simpson
Gemmell, O’Neill
Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan
Johnstone, Connelly, Wallace, Lennox, Hughes
Sub: Auld

 

The Play

There was a good crowd inside Parkhead that day (it was later declared as 38,000) with most of them supporting Celtic. And, right from the start, they watched the Hoops swing into action, take possession of the play and put the Jags defence under pressure. The goals soon arrived –

6 minutes
cross by Jinky from the right, it was missed by keeper Richie and Wispy was right on the spot to take advantage of the mistake.  1-0 Celtic

29 minutes
Wispy latched on a loose ball some 20 yards out and fired a low shot into the corner of the net. 2-0 Celtic

43 minutes
Wispy got his hat-trick, managing to push his foot at a cross from Jinky.  3-0 Celtic

It must have been a pretty happy dressing-room at the break. Managers often make themselves pretty scarce at a time like that, merely coming in just before the players are about to go out again to say something really thought-provoking like ‘keep it going’.

There would have no reason for the Boss to feel anything other than happy, so I assume that scenario took place that night.

In the early moments of the second half, Yogi had the ball in the net but it was chalked off for offside; and Ritchie had a great save from a TG pile-driver. And it continued like that for the rest of the match, Celtic constantly attacking, the Jags defending desperately and Ronnie a virtual spectator. Wispy got a 4th goal 15 minutes from the end to help the goal tally.

 

Final Score     Celtic  4  Partick Thistle  0

 

Above the report in one of the evening papers that night was this headline –

Wallace Keeps Jagging Thistle!

 

Other results

At Ibrox, Rangers beat Morton 2-0

 

The Table

 

Team P W D L F A GAv Pts
1 Celtic 3 3 0 0 10 1 10.00 6
2 Rangers 3 2 0 1 7 3 2.33 4
3 Partick Thistle 3 1 0 2 4 10 0.40 2
4 Morton 3 0 0 3 2 9 0.22 0

 

Reserve Match

Over at Firhill, the reserve side also beat Partick Thistle reserves 4-0. The team was Fallon, Craig, Gorman, Cattenach,

Hay, Clark, Murdoch, Chalmers, McBride, McMahon, Macari; the goals came from Stevie Chalmers (2), Joe McBride and Davie Cattenach.

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14th August 1968:  Celtic v Morton – League Cup

12th August 1968

On the Monday after the Old Firm match, the press was still going on about the happenings off the pitch rather than those on it. This headline caught the mood –

Bigotry at Big Match Sickening

and the comments below matched the headline –

‘A sickening display of bigotry’ was how Glasgow stipendiary magistrate Mr Thomas McLaughlan today summed up the scenes after Saturday’s Old Firm match at Ibrox.

A score of fans appeared at two city police courts today, charged with after-the-match offences outside the stadium. One was jailed for 60 days and 19 others shared fines totalling £590.

41 more are appearing before the Sheriff later today’..

 

In the football reports, it was generally agreed that Celtic deserved to win the match, although there were comments in more than one paper about Rangers’ performance –

White’s Problem Greig Boobs Show Flaws

 John Greig did indeed have a bit of a nightmare match, twice mis-placing passes that led to the two Celtic goals. However, the main thrust of the articles was that the Rangers defence as a whole was poor – not just in this match but others recently – and that manager Davie White has a problem in that sector to deal with.

 

At Celtic Park, everyone was in for training. We did have some injuries, mainly knocks and so on, with Cesar the main casualty. However, none of them seemed to be in the serious category and most took part in what was a fairly relaxed session.

 

I had played well in the Reserve Old Firm match at Parkhead the previous Saturday but if there is one attribute that you pick up when you are a professional football player, it is realism. And realistically, in spite of what the Boss said the previous week, there was no chance of me coming back into the after a 2-0 win at Ibrox. I suspected that I might have to wait until a poorer result occurred and in the meantime, play out of my skin in the reserves.

 

13th August 1968

I was in action again, the match given this build-up in one of the evening editions –

‘Tonight, seven players whom most clubs would be happy to have in their first team will be in the Celtic Reserve side against East Stirling at Firs Park in a friendly. They are John Falon, Jim Craig, Joe McBride, Charlie Gallagher, Bertie Auld and John Clark’.

 

The Day of the Match 14th August 1968

It was announced in one of the morning dailies that centre-forward Joe Harper who was transferred from Morton to Huddersfield for £35,000 in 1966, re-joined the Greenock club yesterday and could play against Celtic at Parkhead tonight.

 

The Teams

Celtic

Simpson
Gemmell, O’Neill
Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan
Johnstone, Connelly, Wallace, Lennox, Hughes.
Sub: Clark

Morton

Russell
Thorup, Rankin
Arnetoft, Strachan, Gray
Stevenson, Allan, Mason, Sweeney, Taylor.
Sub: Harper

 

The Play

Pressie – released by Morton

Ex-Celt Jim Kennedy had been released by Morton at the end of the previous season but there still two ex-Celts in the colours of Morton, inside-left Gerry Sweeney and outside-left Tony Taylor.

These were tough matches for a player out of the first team to watch. You are caught between two stools, if you are being honest. Obviously, you want your team to win but, at the same time – and remember, you are desperately keen to get your place back – you are also hoping that they do not play brilliantly and just do enough to take the points. And if the guy playing in your position does not quite ‘star’, then all the better. Cynical, perhaps, but also a fact of footballing life!

Celtic went into top gear right from the start of the match and had their supporters in the 41,000 crowd soon celebrating a goal –

7 minutes
cross from the left from Willie O’Neill and Willie Wallace was quicker to get his head to it than the Morton defence.   1-0 Celtic

And 14 minutes later, Celtic had another-

21 minutes
John Hughes scored direct from a corner.  2-0 Celtic

Celtic looked very comfortable and although they made further chances in the first half, they were not taken and at the break it was still 2-0. Celtic started the second half in the same frame of mind and soon got another –

50 minutes
fine pass by Yogi and Bobby Murdoch got his first of the season. 3-0 Celtic

 

The Hoops continued to control the play but were a bit lapse at the back at one point and suffered for it –

68 minutes
Joe Mason took advantage of some indecision in the Celtic rearguard and flicked the ball home from the inside-right position.  3-1 Celtic

But only two minutes later, Celtic made sure of the points –

70 minutes
left-back Rankin was adjudged to have fouled Bobby Lennox and Tam Gemmell made no mistake from the spot.

 

Final Score  Celtic  4  Morton  1

 

As you might imagine, it was a pretty happy dressing-room afterwards, although the Boss was quick to remind everyone that we had another League Cup match – this time against Partick Thistle – coming up in three days time. By then, though, he was preaching to a very experienced group of players who knew how to celebrate with caution, so no one was going to go over the score. He still gave the warning, though.

Results

In the other sectional group match at Firhill, Partick Thistle were beaten 5-1 by Rangers.

 

 

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10th August 1968:  Rangers v Celtic – League Cup

7th August 1968

We were all back in for training this morning and did a pretty strong session. Even the guys who had played at Hamilton the previous evening had been told to turn up. Sean Fallon was in charge of affairs as the Boss had travelled down to Leeds who that same evening were playing Ferencvaros in the first leg of the Fairs Cup final. Trust the big guy not to miss a major occasion.

 

In one of the evening dailies, this headline and comment appeared –

Celtic’s Unusual Request To Fans

‘As the Celtic and Rangers players sweated in the sunshine today to get their play honed to a fine edge for Saturday’s big League Cup tie, the Celtic View came up with a most unusual request.

They asked supporters ‘who have no desire to get into trouble of any kind but who may be tempted to retaliate when provoked’ to stay away on Saturday.

Celtic will almost certainly announce their team when Mr Stein returns tomorrow morning but Rangers are likely to delay until Friday or Saturday’.

 

8th August 1968

The Boss is back – having seen Leeds win 1-0 – and we go through the motions again. As we came back into the foyer at Celtic Park after the session at Barrowfield, I got the call to report to the Boss’s office. It always felt like visiting the head teacher’s room back at school, when it was usually for a misdemeanour rather than for praise. But on this occasion, it was just for a chat. He explained that Sean had been very pleased with my performance at Hamilton and thought that my injury worries were nearly at an end. I listened carefully, waiting for the ‘however’ and sure enough, that word soon fell off his lips.

“If it was any other match, Cairney, I would have no hesitation in putting you in. However, it is an Old Firm clash and if there is the slightest possibility that your fitness might let you down, we can’t afford to take a chance. So, I’m going to play you in the reserve match against Rangers at Parkhead and if you come through that OK, then you will be in for the next match – OK?”.

What could I say? He was the man in charge and I had to go along with his decision. I was disappointed, though.

 

9th August 1968

After a light session, the Boss announced the 13 players who would travel to Ibrox…..and naturally, my name was missing. Instead, it was on the sheet pinned up in the dressing-room for the reserve match at Ibrox. However, the one name that caught the attention in the first-team list – and also was the subject of major headlines in both the evening press of that day and the following day’s morning dailies – was that of teenager George Connelly, paired with Jimmy Johnstone on the right wing.

There was one other story about a future Celtic assistant manager, although at that time he was a player with the Jags – ‘Davie McParland, who has been a ‘fixture’ at Firhill for 13 seasons, ended his difference with Partick Thistle and re-signed as a player again.

 

The Day of the Match  10th August 1968

As I was not involved in the first-team match, I have not the foggiest idea what they did on the morning of the match. Presumably, for such a major occasion, they would probably have gone somewhere for a pre-match meal but I cannot say with any certainty that they did.

In my own case, I reported to Celtic Park at 2pm for a 3pm kick-off.

 

The Teams at Ibrox

Rangers

Martin
Jackson, Mathieson
Greig, McKinnon, D Smith
Henderson, A Smith, Penman, Ferguson, Persson.
Sub: Jardine

Celtic

Simpson
Gemmell, O’Neill
Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan
Connelly, Johnstone, Wallace, Lennox, Hughes.
Sub: Clark

 

The Play

According to the reports in the press, it was Rangers who took control right from the start of the proceedings, forcing Ronnie to make a fine save from a ball sweeping in from the right-wing. But Celtic withstood the attacks and soon took the lead-

9 Minutes
A slip by John Greig gave the ball to Jinky and he raced in on goal. Norrie Martin came out to block the shot but it landed right at the feet of Wispy and he hammered the ball into the net.
1-0 Celtic

The goal gave us a real boost but to give them credit, Rangers refused to buckle and for the next 25 minutes, the play went from one goal to the other, the one notable difference between the teams being the poor finishing of the Light Blues, who came into the box on several occasions but did not take advantage of their chances. Then we got a second –

Wispy –
a brace

35 Minutes
John Greig, operating in the left-back role, cut the ball square back to Norrie Martin along the 18-yard line but for some unaccountable reason, the keeper missed it completely and it landed at the feet of Wispy, who had the simple of tasks to score the second.
2-0 Celtic

Just before the break, Ronnie had to make great saves from a Persson shot and a Ferguson header but once the second half started, the Rangers players seemed a little low in spirit. However, to be fair, they did snap out of that and although Celtic probably dominated the play, the Light Blues did have other good chances. However, Celtic did have an even better one and Lemon should have scored with a great opportunity from eight yards.

It had been a good, exciting match for the crowd of around 80,000 to watch but when referee Jim Callaghan blew the whistle for time-up, it was still 2-0 to Celtic.

Other Result

In the other match in Section Four, Morton lost 1-3 to Partick Thistle at Cappielow, which put Celtic and the Jags level on points at the head of the table.

 

The Reserve Match

At Parkhead, Celtic beat Rangers 2-1 in a reserve League Cup tie. Our team was;

Bobby Wraith
myself, John Gorman
Pat McMahon, Davie Hay, Davie Cattenach
Steve Chalmers, Joe McBride, Jimmy Quinn, Charlie Gallagher and Lou Macari

Both goals coming from Joe McBride.

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6th August 1968:  Hamilton v Celtic –  Friendly

5th August 1968

In the days after the defeat by Leeds United at Hampden, the comments in the press were still fairly uncomplimentary about Celtic’s loss while at the same time recognising the quality of the English side. One headline singled out the visiting keeper for a special mention –

Celtic KO’d by Super Sprake

There could be little doubt that Gary Sprake in the Leeds goal had played a stormer at Hampden but it was also true that most of the boys had been a bit below par, only a few rising to the level of which they were capable. That was the reason why we had lost.

The whole squad had been given the day after the match off but then we were all back in again on the 5th and it was business as usual. There was firstly a lengthy discussion about the Leeds encounter – what we did wrong and how it all could be corrected – and then we all took part in what turned out to be a quite competitive practice match, with our supposed defects being pointed out and dealt with.

We were all a bit surprised by the intensity of the morning, especially as a few of us were going to be in action the following night against Hamilton in another friendly but at least we were not brought in again in the afternoon!

 

In the press later that day, Jock Stein was quoted as saying that Ronnie Simpson – in goal against Leeds – would also be playing at least part of this game –“Ronnie looked as though he could do with another game quickly so I have listed him in my team along with John Fallon for tomorrow night’.

 

Day of the Match

The chosen squad all reported in the late afternoon to Parkhead and left by coach for Douglas Park. To be honest, everyone was taking the occasion very seriously. All the players involved were out of the first team at that time and were desperate to get back in again, so matches like this were an opportunity to make one’s presence felt and we were all keen to take advantage of it.

 

The Team

Simpson
Craig, Gorman
Connelly, Jacky Clarke, John Clark
Wilson, McBride, Quinn, Gallagher and Davidson.

 

The Play

It turned out to be a very competitive match during which Hamilton gave as good as they got. However, we got off to the best possible start thanks to centre-forward Jimmy Quinn, grandson of the famous player of the early years of the 20th century.

Jimmy knocked in two goals in the 6th and 8th minutes and although Hamilton pulled one back before the interval, we held on to the lead till the end.

One of the evening papers did a little critique of the first team players involved as follows –

*Jim Craig and John Clark – both played their usual efficient game without trying to be over-elaborate.

*Joe McBride – tried to find the goal form of earlier seasons but his luck was out.

*Charlie Gallagher – showed once again that he has few peers in passing the ball to a team-mate in a better shooting position.

 

The report also mentioned that the star of the evening was Hamilton keeper Billy Lamont, ‘who time and time again thwarted the best-laid scoring schemes of Celtic, particularly in the second half of a game which provided first-rate entertainment for the 6,000 fans’.

Final Score  Hamilton Academical  1  Celtic  2

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3rd August 1968:  Celtic v Leeds United – Friendly

21st July 1968

A Sunday, which meant that I had to run the gauntlet of Celtic fans after Mass. It was getting to the ridiculous stage where even grannies who had never been to a game of football in their lives were asking questions about what was going on at training, what was Jock Stein like and so on. And, of course, the priests who said the Mass liked to have me to themselves for a short time afterwards to ask their own questions. Eventually, my Mum and Dad just went home, leaving me to deal with – as my Mother once said – my public!. And not a cup of tea in sight!

Read More →

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Pre-Season 1968-69

It was an interesting summer. Initially, while the playing party was in North America, I did the occasional training session in Bellahouston Park, just along from my parents’ house. It was quiet and I could get on with my work without any outside interference. Read More →

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Post-Season Affairs Part 6

27th May 1968

The day after the initial match against AC Milan was spent in New York, with the boys out and about sight-seeing and generally enjoying the atmosphere in this most fascinating of cities.

 

28th May 1968

The Celtic party headed for the airport and caught a flight to Toronto, where they booked into the Royal York Hotel. After the allocations of rooms and so on, the boys had a light lunch then were taxied to a specially-chosen venue for a training session.

 

29th, 30th and 31st May 1968

The squad just enjoyed themselves in the Canadian city. They were occasionally brought down to earth with some light sessions but apart from that, the weather was apparently wonderful, the city fascinating and a good time was had by all.

 

While the Celtic squad was enjoying the delights of Toronto, the players of Dunfermline were having a much tougher time on their tour of the USA. In the match between the Pars and Kansas City, for instance, played on the 30th May, both teams went to war and after pitched battles and two players going off, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The match lasted 46 minutes longer than usual because of the fights and other interruptions. One Kansas City player had to go to hospital for treatment. Still, the crowd of 10,507 certainly got their money’s worth – a match lasting for 136 minutes, punch-ups all the way and two goals thrown in for good measure. What more could you ask for!

 

One other British side was on tour at that time in the USA. Manchester City were beaten 2-1 by Borussia Dortmund in Chicago; while in Holland, Scotland drew 0-0 with the Netherlands at Zandvoort.

 

1st June 1968

A crowd of 30,121 – the biggest-ever for a football match in Canada – was at the Exhibition Stadium for the second meeting of the sides. Celtic were getting to the stage where they were running out of players and for this occasion, Jock Stein fielded an eleven of Simpson, Brogan, O’Neill, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Wallace, Lennox, Chalmers, Gallagher and Hughes.

This was described in the local press as a ‘robust game’, with Celtic showing much better form than in the first meeting of the pair. The most crucial moments came after half-time. In the 47th minute, a shot by Wispy was deflected down by keeper Belli but only as far as Lemon and he fairly blasted the ball home for the opener.

Then, in the 64th minute, Yogi went on one of those meandering runs before passing the ball to Charlie Gallagher who calmly stroked it home.

From then on, the Celtic defence held out, although Ronnie had to be on form to deal with shots from the West German Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, the Italian Giovanni Trapattoni and the Swede Kurt Hamrin.

 

Final Score  Celtic 2  AC Milan 0

 

 

 

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Post Season Affairs Part 5

16th – 23rd  May 1968

According to the chats I had with the guys after they returned from the North American tour of 1968, a good time was had by all when on holiday at the beginning of the tour in Florida.

After the journey across the Atlantic from Prestwick to New York, there had been a much shorter flight to Miami, where the party was put up at a magnificent hotel situated right on the beach at Newport, a suburb of Miami.

Over the following few days, the players occupied their time with deep-sea fishing and golf during the day and as for the evening activities, well, I think we will draw a veil over them. Let’s just say that all the boys seemed to enjoy themselves. At the same time, as there were matches coming up, there were some training sessions down on the beach but it was nothing too strenuous. In fact they were quite light-hearted.

While this was all going in the USA, Rangers were playing a couple of games on their tour in Denmark. On the 20th, they beat Frem in Copenhagen 4-1 and then on the 22nd, had a 2-0 win over Odense.

And Hibs were in action in Nigeria, firstly drawing 1-1 with Green Eagles in Lagos, then beating Northern Lions 1-0 in Kaduna.

In a friendly at Wembley, England beat Sweden 3-1; while in the first leg of the Fairs Cup semi-final in Budapest, Ferencvaros beat Bologna 3-2.

Back home, the draw was made for the sectional stages of the League Cup and for the second consecutive season, Celtic and Rangers were paired together in Section 4, along with Morton and Partick Thistle

 

24th May

The Celtic party said good-bye to Newport and headed for the airport, where they boarded an early flight for the trip back to New York, just in time to book into their hotel and then head by taxi to Madison Square Garden, where Bob Foster was meeting Dick Tiger for the Light-Heavyweight Championship of the world. There was an early finish to the fight, with Foster knocking out Tiger in the fourth round.

 

25th May

A light warm-up in Central Park in the morning then after a quick lunch, the boys were taken, again by taxi, to New Belmont Racetrack for an afternoon’s entertainment. That night, for probably the first time on the trip, Jock Stein had a chat with the players about the match on the morrow.

He apparently told the guys that they would have to at their best, a comment that would have been treated with amusement. They were all well aware that the opponents, AC Milan, had won the European Cup-Winners’ Cup the previous week when they beat SV Hamburg 2-0 in Rotterdam. So, all the boys knew that the opposition would be quality and the Boss’s comment was probably a trifle un-necessary?

 

26th May

The Celtic party was taken by bus just after lunch on this Sunday to Jersey City and the Roosevelt Stadium, for the clash with AC Milan. The team was

Simpson, Cattenach, O’Neill, Clark, McNeill, Brogan, Chalmers, Murdoch, Wallace, Gallagher and Lennox.     Subs…Quinn and McBride.

According to the reports, Celtic had the better of the first half, with AC’s keeper Belli having more to do than Ronnie. Celtic also got an early lead when Charlie Gallagher’s powerful shot re-bounded off Belli and the ball was pushed in by Wispy.

Only eleven minutes later, though, the Italians equalized, Angelino scoring from Sormani’s short pass.

In the second half, Milan pushed much harder and Celtic were back in defence, although there were not many clear-cut opportunities. One of these came nine minutes from time, when a Trappatoni shot hit a post, the ball came out to Sormani and his well-hit shot was equally well saved by Ronnie.

Final Score  AC Milan 1  Celtic  1

The name of Tam Gemmell was noticeably missing from the left-back slot. Tam injured a groin at training before leaving for the USA and it was hoped that he would recover during the stay in Miami. Unfortunately, that did not happen, he missed this match and the decision was taken to send him home later that week.

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Post Season Affairs Part 4

12th May 1968

I dropped into the park around lunchtime and found the guys just winding down after training. Had a chat with Jinky, who, like me, was going to miss the tour to North America and Mexico. Instead, he was organising a motoring holiday for himself and his wife Agnes on the Costa Brava. Very nice, I thought at the time. Afterwards, though, I wondered ; was he going to drive all the way? He was not a happy traveller on a plane?

 

13th May

Cumbernauld United stars Freddie Pethard and Kenny Dalglish have a special reason to play well against Celtic in the special challenge match organised for tonight, when Jock Stein opens United’s new ground – Ravenswood Stadium.

For both Fred and Kenny are booked to turn senior with Celtic. Jock Stein has also named Dalglish in the Celtic youth party to compete in an international tournament in Italy next month.

 

14th May

Cumbernauld had a gala night last night when Jock Stein opened the local United’s new ground and kicked off. Then Celtic’s European Cup-winning team took over and played United in a 15-minute each way game, which they won 2-0, the goals coming from Lemon and Wispy.

The Celtic starlets then replaced the top men for the remainder of the game and won 4-1. The ground was packed to its capacity of 4,500 and there was a celebration banquet after the match.

 

15th May

Celtic’s tour of Canada, America and Mexico may be cut from four games to THREE – and manager Jock Stein and his players are delighted.

Today, news reached Parkhead that the match due to be played against Rochester Lancers, in New York on 28th May, is likely to be cancelled. No official reason has been given but if the game is off, it will suit Celtic ‘just fine’, manager Jock Stein said today –“In terms of the number of matches played, this may not be a strenuous tour but the main opposition is going to be formidable. We want to come back to Scotland on 9th June not merely with an unbeaten record but with victory in all our games. If the game with Rochester is called off, it will allow us to get to Canada as soon as possible and start preparing for the match with AC Milan on 1st June”.

In the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Real Madrid and Manchester United drew 3-3 in the second leg of their European Cup semi-final, a result which put United through to the final on a 4-3 aggregate.

 

16th May

Celtic were one hour behind schedule as they flew across the Atlantic today because of a traffic build-up at Prestwick Airport. The players on the trip were Simpson, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan, Quinn, Wallace, Gallagher, Lennox, Hughes, Fallon, Cattenach, O’Neill, McBride, Chalmers and Clark.

Celtic full-back Chris Shevlane joined Hibs today and he will travel with his new colleagues for a three-match tour of Nigeria and Ghana.

 

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Post-Season Affairs  Part 3

9th May 1968

The players apparently had the day off for training. I was at work at the dental practice and then, in late afternoon, when everyone else was at their dinner, I did a bit of running in the park near my parents’ house. I wasn’t killing myself but it felt quite good.

 

10th May

The press reported that John Fallon will keep goal for Celtic in the Inverness Select match.

Regular keeper Ronnie Simpson will play for the Reserves in a friendly at Ashington, Northumberland and Celtic Boss Jock Stein has decided that Fallon and Bobby Wraith, who joined the club recently from Dalry Thistle, will be the goalkeepers in the travelling party to the Highlands.

Celtic will leave Glasgow early on Saturday morning for the train journey north. They will spend Saturday night in Inverness and travel home on Sunday. On Monday, the first team regulars will be in action at the opening of Cumbernauld Juniors’ new ground.

Football clubs in general are not very good at letting their players know about future events so the players would have found this information – from one of the evening papers – very helpful –

‘Celtic will leave Prestwick Airport on Thursday 16th May at 1.20pm to start their tour which involves a week’s holiday in Miami before playing games in New York, Toronto and Mexico.

The Celts are due to arrive in Miami late on Thursday and they will stay there until May 24th, when they move on to New York. They will play the first of their two matches against Inter Milan on the 26th May.

On May 28th they leave for Toronto and will stay there until June 2 when they leave for Mexico. The return journey starts in Mexico on June 8th at 11.30am and ends almost exactly 24 hours later with the arrival at Glasgow Airport at 11.35am.

Join Celtic and see the world!’

 

Goals by Portugal’s World Cup heroes – Eusebio and Torres – gave Benfica a 2-0 victory over Juventus in Lisbon last night in the European Cup semi-final first-leg tie.

 

It was announced that Scottish Cup winners Dunfermline Athletic will leave Prestwick Airport for their tour of North America on 13th May.

 

11th May

There was a crowd of 10,000 inside the ground for this match between an Inverness Select and Celtic, the latter fielding a side of Fallon, Gemmell, O’Neill, Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan, Johnstone, Gallagher, Wallace, Lennox and Hughes. A disappointing feature for the home fans was the absence of Celtic manager Jock Stein, on business elsewhere.

Celtic started the better and soon took the lead when Wispy took advantage of a defensive slip-up. However, the Inverness Select equalized when Lazenby back-headed a Neil cross past John Fallon.

Celtic were taking more and more control of the game and got further goals in the first half through a Tam Gemmell penalty – after Yogi had been brought down – and a fine drive by Bobby Murdoch right on the half-time whistle.

In the second- half, Celtic continued to dominate and got three more through Chopper (56), another TG penalty (72) and an OG.

 

Final Score Inverness Select 1  Celtic  6

 

Reserves

In the match arranged in Northumberland, the final score was Ashington  3  Celtic  4.

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