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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