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L Day -5: 20th May 1967

Estadio Nacional and Inter await us in 5 days

There was one final workout at the Inverclyde Centre, a light lunch back at the Hydro then it was back up the road to Celtic Park to pick up the cars before heading home.

It had been a good few days and the management was pleased with the way we had responded, not only to the training but also the rapport we had shown with the reporters and cameramen, many from Europe.

 

That was one area where my team-mates could have given many another group of players a lesson. No matter how busy we might have been or how disinclined we might have felt about being interviewed at that particular moment for radio or television, it was seldom that we refused anyone anything. The Boss had occasionally commented that these guys were at their work and needed our cooperation to do it ; we took that comment on board and were usually quite OK about putting the words into operation. What was the old expression – ‘ a little courtesy goes a long way’.

 

With a ‘see you Monday’ we all set off for our own homes, or, in my case, as a single man at the time, my Mum and Dad’s house. Dad was at work but Mum gave me a big welcome then brought me down to earth with a bump, asking if I would drive her to a few places where she needed to do some shopping. And after that, we dropped in to see my Gran as well.

Everyone was getting excited about the final. In fact, they were all much more keyed-up about it than I was! And as we left my Gran’s house, she offered me a piece of advice, which, to be honest, for someone who had never played football in her life, turned out to be particularly relevant.

“Make sure you get in a good first tackle, son” she said, patting me on the shoulders.

I was so surprised to hear this coming from my old Gran, I could only nod my head in agreement. I’m glad I never fell out with her!

 

While all this was going on in Glasgow, down in London, the FA Cup final was being played between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. In front of a crowd of 100,000, who had paid £109,649 in gate receipts, Chelsea struggled against the Spurs, the latter winning by 2 goals to one.

 

When Dad came home after work, we had a nice meal, then I tackled him about a very delicate subject. I wanted him to be at the European Cup final but he was a bit reluctant. His reasoning was that he was pretty sure that Inter would be too strong for us and did not fancy the prospect of being in the crowd watching his son’s team get beaten.

I had already purchased a ticket for him plus a seat on a plane, so I spent most of that Saturday night trying to push him into coming and by the time we were ready to go to bed, I had obtained from him a promise that he would let me know by Sunday lunch-time one way or another.