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24th February 1969: Celtic v Clyde – Scottish Cup Replay

20th February 1969

It was a pretty satisfied Celtic party that made the trip back to Glasgow the day after the match against A.C. Milan – apart from me! I had taken a heavy blow to my right knee in the second half and although I was able to finish the match, it stiffened up overnight and then sitting in the cramped seats of a plane for a few hours hardly helped the situation.

There was a small crowd at the airport to welcome us home and then we got the chance to see what the Scottish press were saying about the situation. We did receive a little bit of praise for the no-scoring draw but they seemed to be more content to issue a warning about the second leg –

Milan Can Still Make It Hot For Celts!

While that was the attitude of the press here, in Milan the headlines told a different story –

Milan Hopes Slithered On The Snow!

There was another headline which caught the eye –

 Rules Were Broken – Sir Robert Kelly

‘Yes, we should have played. But the rules of football were broken because at practically no time during the game – except when the lines were marked before the kick-off and at the same time in the second half – was it possible to see the 18-yard lines or any of the other lines on the field’.

Sir Robert also said that there would be excellent reasons for a protest to UEFA.

Celtic’s league match with Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday was apparently ‘in grave danger’.

21st February 1969

Back in for training or in my case, a stint on the treatment table. The leg had benefitted from a walk round the streets next to my parents’ house the night before and another one in the early hours of the morning. That was followed by a spell of heat treatment then a hot bath. That finished the morning session but I was back in again in the afternoon to go through the same procedure.

And while I was going through all this, the rest of the guys had performed a light session on the track in the morning.

At lunch-time, the match against Dundee was called off due to the state of the pitch and that was followed shortly afterwards by the news that the reserve match between the two sides at Celtic Park was also cancelled.

Other matches off were Airdrie v Partick Thistle; Clyde v Dundee United; Hibs v St Mirren; Raith Rovers v Aberdeen; Rangers v Arbroath and St Johnstone v Falkirk.

22nd February 1969

Only two matches in the First Division were played – Kilmarnock 1 Hearts 0 and Morton 0 Dunfermline 3

23rd February 1969

We had been off the day before so the guys were back in again on this Sunday morning for some light work. I had been getting treatment every day – twice daily in fact – and the leg was improving. The match against Clyde on the next night – a Monday – might come too soon but I was pretty confident that I would be all right later in the week.

However, before I left Parkhead that day, I was told by Sean Fallon that the Boss thought it would be better if I did not attend the game, as sitting in the stand might stiffen the leg again. But they obviously did not think that the two car journeys from home to Celtic Park and back for treatment on the morning and afternoon of the match would do me any damage at all?

24th February 1969

As requested, I went in early doors for some treatment and then again after lunch, when I also did some light running round the track. However, I was well away before the early crowds started to arrive. That means that, on this occasion, I had to use the match reports for teams and how the match went.

Teams

Celtic
Fallon
Gemmell, O’Neill
Murdoch, McNeill, Hay
Johnstone, Lennox, Wallace, Chalmers, Hughes.  
Sub: Callaghan

Clyde    
Wright
Glasgow, Mulheron
Anderson, Staite, McHugh
McFarlane, Hood, Quinn, Burns, Hastings.  
Sub: Stewart

The Play

According to the match reports, Celtic were pretty much on top from the off and never looked like losing the game. The first goal arrived halfway through the first half –

24 minutes
Bobby Lennox tried a shot from about 18 yards and goalkeeper Wright could not hold it, merely knocking it up into the path of Stevie Chalmers, who nodded home. – 1-0 Celtic

-and number two came along halfway through the second half –

74 minutes
From a Tam Gemmell corner, Cesar tried a shot, which was blocked. But in the ensuing melee in the goalmouth, Yogi prodded it home. 2-0 Celtic

83 minutes
a Stevie Chalmers cut-back landed neatly in front of Chopper and he fairly hammered the ball home     

Final Score  Celtic 3  Clyde  0

Apparently, the celebrations in the dressing-room afterwards were slightly muted as the Boss had made it clear that we need an extra game such as this replay like a hole in the head!

Anyway, we were through and St Johnstone would be up next.