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7th May 1966:  Motherwell v Celtic League – Part One

Press Reaction

On the Thursday after the Dunfermline match, the main story in nearly all the papers was that Celtic were now almost certain winners of the league title. On this particular topic, there were no dissenters among the press corps but manager Jock Stein was not as convinced as others : “what if Motherwell beat us 4-0” he told the journalists. But for probably the first time ever, comments from the Boss were treated with a little bit of scepticism!

Training

At training on the Thursday night, everyone was in really good mood and rightly so. The first team was looking likely to win the First Division title; while the reserves, who had played the previous evening at Dunfermline and beaten the Pars 4-1 (Brogan pen, Henserson, Sweeney and McGowan) had effectively wrapped up the Reserve Team League.

It would have been difficult to think of a happier training session than on that night. As we did our stuff on the track at Celtic Park – we even got a workout with the ball on the grass behind one of the goals – we could vaguely hear the noise of cheering coming from the direction of Hampden Park.

 

The Final

And over at Hampden Park, a crowd of just over 41,000, about 25,000 of which were Liverpool fans, was watching the Reds play Borussia Dortmund in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Unfortunately for the Reds’ fans, after the tie finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, the match went into extra-time and after 17 minutes Reinhard Libuda scored the winner for the West Germans.

As I was to find out when I met the rest of the first-team squad on the Saturday, I was not alone in thinking that if we had been playing Borussia Dortmund – especially on what might be described as ‘home territory’ – we would have had more than an even-money chance of picking up the trophy ourselves!

 

The Venue

firparkI always enjoyed playing at Fir Park. It had been opened in 1895 – when Celtic beat them 8-1 – originally on a wooded parkland, although by 1966 there were only a few trees left in the surrounding area. The Main Stand was only re-developed in the early 1960s and by the time I played there in 1966, it did not look quite finished. However, I liked the overall ambience and also the fact that the crowd was right up against the pitch.

 

 

 

 

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League Table

For some of the teams at the top of the table, the season was finished; Celtic still had the one left to play. The position at the top was ;-

 

P W D L F A Pts
Celtic 33 26 3 4 105 30 55
Rangers 34 25 5 4 91 29 55
Kilmarnock 34 20 5 9 73 46 45
Dunfermline 34 19 6 9 94 55 44

 

Reserves 

On the Friday evening, at Celtic Park, the Celtic Second team drew 0-0 with Hibs in the first leg of the Reserve League Cup. The team was Fallon, Young, McCarron, Brogan, Cushley, O’Neill, Connelly, Henderson, J Quinn, Sweeney, H Quinn.


Question

Last time round, I asked which Celtic player had been manager of the Scotland Junior International team from 1978 to 1982. The answer was John Hughes.

This time round, the question is about the European Cup Winners’ Cup. If we include Borussia Dortmund as winners in 1966, which country up to that date had won the trophy most times?

 


Jailed

The Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were sentenced to life imprisonment for three child murders committed between November 1963 and October 1965. Brady was found guilty of all three murder charges and received three terms of life imprisonment. ; while Hindley was found guilty of two murder charges and an accessory charge which receives two concurrent life sentences alongside a 7-year fixed term.

 

On Air

‘Pirate’ radio stations Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio commenced broadcasting on AM, with a combined potential of 100,000 watts, from the same ship anchored off the South Coast of England in international waters.

 

Top Hits

You’re My Soul and Inspiration’ by the Righteous Brothers was the number one in the hit parade in late April. It was followed by ‘Good Loving’ by the Young Rascals in early May before the Mamas and Papas took over the rest of the month with ‘Monday, Monday’.