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7th October 1967: Celtic v Hibs – League

5th October

The headline in one of the morning dailies summed up the match against Dinamo Kiev quite succinctly;

Murdoch Ordered off As Celtic Lose European Cup

Another one was fairly critical of the referee;

Celtic Lesson Never Argue with a Referee

‘Signor Bardelli used his whistle like a piccolo player. For every timid offence perpetrated by either side he gave out an ear-splitting blast no matter whether the offending player was in possession of the ball’.

 

By the time the evening press came out, Signor Bardelli had said his piece;

‘I had to send Murdoch off for unsporting conduct’.

 

The goal scored by John Hughes also came under the spotlight, with Yogi giving his own account of what occurred;

‘I am convinced that the goal I scored was perfectly legal. Everybody at that end of the ground must have seen what was obvious. The goalkeeper dropped the ball and I put it through his legs into the net. I did not make physical contact with the goalkeeper’.

 

Meanwhile, as the fans back in Scotland were reading all this in the press, we were travelling back from Kiev and, as you can probably guess, the atmosphere in the plane was not of the best. We were all bitterly disappointed, not only at losing the match but also picking up that un-wanted tag of being the first winners of the European Cup to go out at the first stage the following season. That was hard to take in particular and was the main reason why the atmosphere on the plane coming back was, up to that point, probably the quietest we had ever experienced.

What did not improve matters at all, either, was the news that the three other Scottish clubs in European competition had all come through their ties;

Dundee’s Weak Finishing 

Dundee 3  D.W.S. Amsterdam 0         Aggregate 4-2

 Last Gasp Victory for Rangers

Rangers 2 Dinamo Dresden 1              Aggregate 3-2

 Hibs Through on Aggregate

Porto 3  Hibs  1                          Aggregate 3-4

 

6th October

The atmosphere at training on the Friday had not improved much and the Boss and his staff – who must have been feeling pretty down themselves – had to work hard to raise the tempo. Still, a good session on the track does help matters and we went to it as ordered. Bertie was the only one who had picked up a knock in Kiev, so he sat it out and at the end of training, the Boss, obviously recognising the mood in the camp, gave us a brief pep-talk, to the effect that we now had to put the European Cup disappointment behind us and concentrate on the competitions that we were still involved in, starting with Hibs on the morrow. He had obviously given the same thoughts to the reporters at the Friday press conference, as one of the papers that night led its story with the headline;

Celtic Have No Time For Tears Now The Big Push Is On

‘Tomorrow the big league push starts at Celtic Park and Celtic could hardly have picked tougher opponents for their title bid than Hibs, who come to Parkhead with the same points as league leaders Rangers but with an inferior goal average’.

 

And at the bottom of the back page was a fascinating story about an ex-Celt who by then was managing one of England’s top teams –

‘Chelsea manager Tommy Docherty has been suspended from all football for 28 days from Monday as a result of incidents in the clubs’ two matches in Bermuda during the summer’

After reading that, every Scots fan was thinking the same thought – ‘What did he do?’


 

Morning of the Match

As if we were not under enough pressure already, the back pages of the dailies on the day of the game were full of adverse comment, firstly on our inability to pull back the 1-2 deficit against Dinamo Kiev in the Ukraine and secondly, on the difficulty of facing Hibs in our next match. From the way they were praising Hibs, you would have thought that we were going to face the best team on the planet! In actual fact, we were quite comfortable about facing the Hibees.

 

The Opposition

Being a Hibs fan – as my Dad was – has always been a roller-coaster of an existence. They have always been able to play exciting and attractive football; at the same time, all through the years, their defence has also been likely to let them down.

And they had this in-built confidence – you might even call it ‘arrogance’ – whereby they seemed to think that they had the ability to take on any side and outplay them in the various attacking arts of the game. We all recognised that and it was one of the reasons why at that time we liked playing against Hibs. They would make no effort to strengthen an occasionally shaky back line and go for all-out attack against any opposition, including us. Unfortunately, we were much the better footballing team and while they tried to match us going forward, we took advantage of their defensive foibles while being able to maintain our own strength at the back.

 

Pre-match

No lunch again, so we came prepared, having arranged to have something at home. The so-called Battle of the Greens has always been a popular affair with both sets of supporters, so by the time we came out for a warm-up, there was quite a crowd already in the ground, with more coming in all the time.

Football players are never given much credit for their intelligence. In reality, they can assess a situation as well as anyone else and we all realised that we would have to put in a good shift that afternoon to allay the fears of the home support that we might not have any success that season.

The atmosphere in the dressing room, for instance, had been a lot more sombre than usual; the pre-match warm-up had been completed with determination; and we listened carefully to the Boss’s pre-match instructions. By the time Cesar was ready to take us down the tunnel, he was followed by a team ready to show just what we could do.

 

The Teams

Celtic

Simpson
Craig, Gemmell
Murdoch, McNeill, Clark
Johnstone, Lennox, Wallace, Auld, Hughes.
Sub:  Chalmers

Hibs

Allan
Duncan, Davis
Stanton, Madsen, McGraw
Scott, Quinn, Stein, Cormack, Stevenson.
Sub:  O’Rourke

 

The Play

After all the criticism we had received in the previous 48 hours, all the guys were really up for this match and from the first whistle, we just took control and seldom let Hibs into it. The goals came as follows –

26 minutes
corner kick from Yogi reached Chopper, standing at the edge of the box and he fairly hammered his shot into the net.  1-0 Celtic

48 minutes
a corner from the left, this time by Lemon and Wispy headed home. 2-0 Celtic

59 minutes
great run by Jinky, who evaded several tackles before giving goalkeeper Allan no chance. 3-0 Celtic

65 minutes
free-kick awarded to Celtic when McGraw upended Jinky. Bertie slid the ball into the path of Chopper, who got his second of the game. 4-0 Celtic

After that, Hibs did come into it a little, mainly because we had taken our collective foot off the pedal and they made a few chances. However, the defence coped well with these moments and Ronnie had little to do.

Final Score  Celtic  4  Hibs  0

 

Other Results

Aberdeen 0 1 Dunfermline
Dundee United 3 2 Morton
Falkirk 1 1 St. Johnstone
Hearts 2 3 Clyde
Kilmarnock 0 0 Dundee
Motherwell 0 2 Rangers
Partick Thistle 2 1 Stirling Albion
Raith Rovers 1 1 Airdrie

 

Table

Team P W D L F A GAv Pts
Rangers 5 4 1 0 7 1 7.00 9
Celtic 5 3 1 1 12 2 6.00 7
Hibernian 5 3 1 1 14 6 2.33 7
Airdrieonians 5 2 3 0 8 5 1.60 7
Kilmarnock 5 2 3 0 8 5 1.60 7

 

Reserve Match

There had also been a reserve league match at Easter Road that afternoon, when a team of Fallon, Shevlane, O’Neill, Hay, Connelly, Brogan, Gallagher, McBride, Quinn, McMahon and Macari beat Hibs 2-1.