11th December 1965: Celtic v Hibs – Part One

commentButton2There might have been some important league matches coming up but Scotland’s defeat in Naples was still tending to dominate the back pages;-


Scotland Out of the World Cup

Scots Floored by the Left

This Was Too Much – Even for Jock Stein


Big Ron Yeats Liverpool Centre half in at No.9 after a catalogue of Scots injuries © LFC

Willie Henderson – Missed
© Daily Record

On the day following the match, the sporting press was disappointed but also blunt in its assessment of the action. The comment above about the ‘left’ refers to the fact that the build-up for two of the Italian goals came from that side. After giving a resume of the goals, one paper said;-

(1)…….‘The bare facts don’t tell how we missed Baxter, Law and Henderson.

(2)…….’They don’t tell how we lacked a personality player to marshall our forces’

(3)…….’They don’t tell of the superiority of the Italians in all the arts and crafts of the game – plus the spot-on accuracy of the Italian distribution’.


It must also be said that Jock Stein’s team selection still left many confused. In a letter to one paper, a correspondent, under the by-line ‘Get Stuck In’, commented;-

‘What a pity the Scottish team wasn’t announced until the last minute in Naples. Had it been published earlier, we would have been high and dry in the finals now – the Italians would have died laughing before kick-off time!

If ever there was case of all-out attack from the word ‘go’, here it was. And there were a million or two ‘astute tacticians’ who could have told Mr Stein that.

But what happened? Scotland come out with a centre-half at centre-forward!’


Certainly questions were still being asked, like –

‘If you had been team manager, would you have chosen the same formation?’

‘Why was the doctor not called into consultation after Willie Henderson reported to Jock Stein on Monday night that he was unfit?’

‘Why, after he had announced he would attempt to play an ‘attack is the best form of defence’ type of game, did Jock Stein elect to go solidly for a negative defensive strategy?’


Perhaps, though, a comment from another writer should be recalled. After pointing out in his first thought that the referee was excellent, he went on to say – ‘The second thing sticking out a mile is that you can’t beat Italy on guts and determination alone. Scotland had plenty of both but it just wasn’t enough!’


Anyway, that was us out of the World Cup and now it was back to domestic competition, with a league match against Hibs coming up on Saturday. At least, that’s what I thought the future held but boy!, was I to get a disappointing blow in the guts at the end of training on the Thursday night.

After the icy conditions of the previous week, the rain had come back, so the grounds were soft and trying to run on the track round the pitch at Parkhead was like dragging your legs through treacle. It was hard, tiring work on a cold night and frankly, we were all glad when it was finished and we could get back to the dressing room.

When we came back in to clean up, someone noticed that the sheet on which was listed the team chosen for the reserve match the following night against Hibs had already been tacked up on the notice board. As it did not involve me, I did not pay much attention to it at first but I did notice that several of the guys had looked across at me and then looked away – that classic human response of not wanting to upset someone – so I went across to see it for myself. To my surprise, and disappointment, I saw my name in the centre-half role in a team of John Kennedy, John Halpin, Frank McCarron, Davie Cattenach, Jim Craig, Jim Brogan, Henry Quinn, Jimmy Quinn, Stevie Chalmers, Bertie Auld and Tony Taylor.

Alec Boden was the coach on duty that night and I immediately went to see him and asked what I had done to deserve being dropped from the first team. He could only say that it was nothing to do with him; he had been given the list and told to put it up. To my comeback that I thought I had been playing well, he said that friends and colleagues he had spoken to had agreed with that but he was only passing on the news and that my next port of call was the manager. Unfortunately, as I would be involved in that reserve match at Easter Road while the Boss would be with the first team at Parkhead, the logistics of arranging a meeting were not my favour. So, I had just had to grit my teeth and get on with it!


Ronnie Simpson

Question…..last time round the question was about the GB team in the 1948 Olympics, more particularly who was the manager of the side? Well, we had one Scot – Ronnie Simpson – as goalkeeper and we had another in the managerial role. It was Matt Busby, at that time also manager of Manchester United.

This week’s question concerns the reserve side listed above. Which of those eleven players was in charge of the Canadian national team when it tried to qualify for the 1990 World Cup?


Down!….in the Right Place

Astronauts Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford splashed down in the Atlantic in Gemini 6 after their historic nose-to-nose meeting in space with Gemini 7.

Schirra and Stafford hit the ocean right on time at 15.29GMT about 80 miles S.E. of Cape Kennedy. It was the best landing of any so far.

They left Gemini 7, with Frank Borman and James Lovell aboard, still whirling round the earth and ready to land in the same area of the Atlantic tomorrow.


No Oil!

Britain has imposed an oil ban on Rhodesia.

It started at 6.30pm last night when an Order in Council was signed by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Rhodesia consumes 280,000 tons of oil a year.

From now on, anyone who assists in giving her oil will be liable to imprisonment for up to 6 months or to a fine not exceeding £500 or both.


New Boss

The Scottish Football Association is to advertise for a manager for the Scotland national team. This was announced yesterday at a meeting of the selection committee in Glasgow.

The move was taken because the agreement with Celtic manager Jock Stein automatically came to an end when Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup finals.