Morning of the Match
I was up early and walking round the district where my parents lived. Everyone I passed wanted to have a few words, which was very kindly but made my walk a fairly stop/start affair. Still, I could feel the pressure lessening on the outside of the ankle although it was nowhere near the stage where I could play.
Later, for the first time in a few days, I drove to Celtic Park and got some more of the heat lamp from Bob, then did a few more laps of the track to get the blood flowing.
If I did any more trips along the track and on roads, I was thinking of looking up what walking events they had in the Olympics and put my name forward!
Then all the guys came in for the match and I got the usual questions – and the cheeky ones as well. You know, the likes of “Cairney, you’re no’ playing today so could you nip down to the shops and get us a Mars Bar”.
I just ignored them.
We did get some good news. Joe McBride had undergone his operation the previous day and reports were that it went well. That was what we all wanted to hear and it raised a little round of applause.
Queen’s Park had won the Second Division title in season 1955-56 but only lasted two seasons in the higher division, being relegated in 1957-58. They had been in the lower division since then and in the current season were doing all right. As a former player for the club – I had played for their U-18 side for three years – I had some sympathy with their situation ( after all, what benefits can an amateur club offer a possible incoming player?) but on that day, as the players of both sides came out for the match, with the Spiders’ players wearing their shirts outside their shorts – as tradition demanded – I am afraid that my loyalties naturally lay with the club in the all-green strip.
Simpson, Cattenach, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark Johnstone, Wallace,
Chalmers, Auld, Lennox.
Wilson, Barr, Gilmour, Robertson, Neill, Hunter, Emery, Hopper, McKay,
I never usually enjoyed sitting in the stand watching the boys play, mainly because you tend to kick every ball but on this occasion, as a by-then regular who was out of the side through injury, it was not the worst match to watch.
Not that it was a free-flowing game. It was played on a heavy ground, there was very little of the ball-movement you would normally see at a Celtic match at that time and the players who stuck out were the ones who were working hard. If I was being honest, our forwards, even although they scored five goals, were far from being at their best. But what gave me hope for the future was that the defence was awful, caught square time and time again, with the amateurs’ forwards often putting them into trouble.
In terms of goal action, the reports in the press described it like this;
a shot by McKay was sliced past Ronnie by Tam. 1-0 QP
Lemon went in to challenge for a loose ball and was flattened by two Queens players: Tam scored from the penalty 1-1
fine work by Bertie gave Stevie a chance. 2-1 Celtic
Hopper equalized for the Spiders. 2-2
cross by Jinky, nice header by Wispy. 3-2 Celtic
good cut back by Jinky, great drive by Chopper 4-2 Celtic
And that was the score at half-time. I thought it would be politic to stay out of the dressing-room but I should imagine that the Boss was not too happy with the performance. And he would have been even more annoyed within seconds of the kick-off;
Hopper got another, running through a very flat Celtic defence. 4-3 Celtic
Almost unbelievably, Queens raised their game and we had to dig in and come back and we did so, getting shots in by Jinky, Wispy and Stevie. But a goal refused to come until;
the crowd of around 35,000 gave out an audible sigh of relief when Lemon finally sealed the match.
Final Score Celtic 5 Queen’s Park 3
That was the final score but in actual fact, the action did not stop there. With about a minute to go, I had left my seat and had headed downstairs to get a cup of tea and a sandwich before the hordes came in but while I was down there, an incident occurred on the pitch which was reported in this fashion in one of the following days’ papers;
‘Right on the final whistle, Johnstone and Hay were booked for being involved in the only unpleasant incident of the game. Hay fouled the winger, who retaliated violently by means of a head lunge’.
The Boss was obviously not happy with Jimmy’s reaction. The little fellow was ordered to wait behind after the match, a hastily convened Board of Directors meeting decided to suspend him from seven days for misconduct and withdrew his participation for all matches for seven days. This meant that he would miss the Scottish League v English league match on Hampden on the following Wednesday.
Clyde 0 Hamilton 0
Dundee Utd 1 Dunfermline 0
Hibs 1 Aberdeen 1
Tragedy in Mexico
Four of eight babies born yesterday to a 31-year-old Mexican housewife died just before midnight and doctors said there was no hope for the four survivors.
The BBC have offered the English Football League £781,000 to televise matches live next season – the largest offer the BBC has made to a single sporting body.
Details of the offer – and others offered by I.T.V. and Viewsport – were issued today by the Football League. Clubs are to consider them at an informal meeting next week.
Scotland Misses Out
No approach of any kind has been made so far by the BBC or I.T.V. for similar screening facilities.
Mr Fred Donovan, the Scottish Football League secretary said “I have not yet seen the offer made to the Football League and the conditions attached to it but I can say definitely that no overtures have been made to us”.