10th December 1966: Celtic v Motherwell League – Part Two


Morning of the match

It was a busy lunchtime at Celtic Park that day. The guys in the reserve team had come in early, ready for the trip to Fir Park; while the first-team players arrived in dribs and drabs a bit later. Every single player, like myself, loved the atmosphere round the place at a time like that, a combination of excitement and anticipation. And, of course, no matter how early we came in, there were always a few fans gathered outside, who also liked the atmosphere round the ground at a time like that…..and wanted an autograph or two (no selfies in those days).

For the guys inside, Willie Wallace was the star attraction. Those who had never met him were introduced, while those who already knew him renewed their acquaintance. The one man I always felt quite sorry for at that time was Charlie Gallagher. Charlie was a very pleasant guy, always the same, never up or down but he must have felt quite annoyed at constantly being placed in the first team then the reserves then the first team again. On that particular afternoon, he was with the reserves at Fir Park, so when Sean Fallon gave the word in that broad Irish accent brogue – which had not changed after nearly 30 years in Glasgow – Charlie, like the rest of the second-team players, boarded the bus for the short trip to Motherwell.

The team which eventually ran out to play the Steelmen’s reserves was;

John Fallon, Jim Craig, Frank McCarron, Sammy Henderson, Ian Young, Jim Brogan, Lou Macari, George Connelly – who had recently been capped for the Scotland U-21 team – Tony Taylor, Charlie Gallagher and John Hughes.

Back at Celtic Park, the arrival of Willie Wallace and the chance to see his debut had attracted a good crowd to Parkhead, so good in fact that the start had to be slightly delayed to let them all in. Eventually, it was thought that around 40,000 had gathered.

The Boss had decided against risking Joe McBride.


celticThe TeamsMotherwell_FC

Simpson, Gemmell, O’Neill, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Lennox, Auld Sub: Cattenach.

McCloy, Whiteford, R McCallum,W McCallum, Martis, Campbell, Lindsey, Cairney, Deans, Murray, Hunter.  Sub: Moffat



The Play

This was the first outing of the forward line which would take to the field in the European Cup final six months later.
The match started seven minutes late and Celtic went for an early goal, Wispy showing up well with a couple of nice touches. Often, it was a case of Celtic pressure breaking down near goal with Motherwell relying on the occasional break. It took half-an-hour, though, for the first goal to arrive ;-


30 minutes:
Bertie hammered a shot towards goal which Peter McCloy could only parry. The ball, though, only went as far as Stevie, who blasted it home. 1-0 Celtic.

And Stevie was the man on the spot for Celtic’s second goal.

41 minutes:
this time a nice pass from Wispy to Lemon, who hit the post with his effort, the ball rebounding to Stevie, who made no mistake. 2-0 Celtic

That certainly put the ball into Celtic’s court –as the old expression goes – and they took advantage of it, putting the Motherwell goal under constant pressure with the tempo of the play becoming quite bad-tempered. Eventually Dixie Deans was sent off for a bad challenge on Jimmy Johnstone, a tackle for which the little fella needed treatment. Shortly after that, Celtic went further ahead ;-

66 minutes:
a fine drive by Chopper from 30 yards was deflected into the net off the Steelmen’s centre-half John Martis.  3-0 Celtic

Just when the crowd thought that Celtic were coasting, three goals in five minutes changed the nature of the final result ;-

79th minute:
inside-left Murray pulled one back.  3-1 Celtic

83 minutes:
Stevie got his hat-trick.  4-1 Celtic

84 minutes:
straight from the kick-off, outside right Lindsey got another for the visitors.

Final Score   Celtic  4  Motherwell  2


Other Results

Airdrie 3 1 Partick Thistle
Dundee 3 4 Clyde
Falkirk 1 0 Aberdeen
Hearts 2 1 Dundee United
Kilmarnock 1 1 Dunfermline
Rangers 4 0 Stirling Albion
St. Mirren 1 3 Hibs


The Table

Celtic 14 12 2 0 49 16 3.06
Rangers 14 10 2 2 45 13 3.46
Aberdeen 14 9 2 3 28 18 1.56
Kilmarnock 14 7 5 2 20 13 1.54

Dundee were 7th, Dunfermline 8th, Hibs 9th, Hearts 10th.

New Museum

The Parks Committee of Glasgow agreed to take responsibility for the sizeable area of the grounds of Nether Pollok, offered to the corporation by the Maxwell MacDonald family to house the Burrell Collection.

The area is mostly woodlands, gardens and open spaces.



Two Royal Navy vessels sped to the scene when the Clyde-built Greek ferry ship Heraklion (8992 tons) sank in the stormy Aegaen Sea. Over 200 people are feared drowned.




The newly-formed National Professional Soccer League will open its first season on April 16th next year, a year ahead of the rival North American Soccer League, it was announced in New York.

The National League will have 10 clubs in two divisions – Los Angeles, San Francisco, St Louis, Chicago, Toronto, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Atlanta.