15th September 1965: Raith Rovers 1 Celtic 8 McBride (3), Lennox, Johnstone, Hughes (3)
Celtic: Fallon; Young, Gemmell; Murdoch, McNeill, Clark; Johnstone, Gallacher, McBride, Lennox, Hughes.
A Big Night in Kircaldy
There was a crowd of some 15,000 inside Stark’s Park on the night of 15th September 1965 for the League Cup quarter-final first leg tie between Raith Rovers and Celtic, with the Celtic fans in particular very keen to hear the team news. And when the sides were read out over the loudspeaker system, they would have heard that Jock Stein had indeed made some changes in the forward line, replacing the previous right-wing combination of Stevie Chalmers and John Divers with Jimmy Johnstone and Charlie Gallagher, so the side was Fallon, Young, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Gallagher, McBride, Lennox, Hughes.
Up from the Capital
It was announced in the evening press that Spur’s assistant manager Eddie Bailey would be at the ground to watch Jimmy Johnstone.
A Name from the Past…and One for the Future
The older Celtic fans might also have taken notice of the name of Raith Rovers’ centre-half that evening, a star by the name of Bobby Evans. In a Celtic career covering the years 1944 to 1960, Bobby had made 535 appearances for the Hoops, scoring 10 goals. He had then moved to Chelsea for the season of 1960-61, became player/manager of Newport County in season 1961/62, joined Morton for season 1962-63, had a spell at Third Lanark from 1963-65 and then joined Raith Rovers in August 1965.
Alongside Bobby Evans that night in the half-back line was Ian Porterfield, a young man whose best days were ahead of him, particularly the FA Cup Final of 1973, when Sunderland became the first Division Two team to win the trophy in 42 years. The Roker Park side won 1-0 against Leeds United, with Ian Porterfield scoring the winning goal in the 32nd minute.
Unfortunately, for fans of the local club, the evening proved to be very anti-climactic;
EIGHT GOALS BY CELTIC AT STARK’S PARK
Raith’s Unbeaten Run Ends
Raith Rovers 1 Celtic 8
Unfortunately, Raith just could not cope with a Celtic eleven who were determined to make sure of a place in the semi-finals.
It took Celtic a while to get going but they then picked up two goals in the space of 90 seconds, through Joe McBride (18 minutes) and Bobby Lennox (19).
Shortly afterwards, Raith had their best spell of the match and scored in 21 minutes but back came Celtic and notched another just before the interval, through Jimmy Johnstone in 44 minutes.
The roof then rather fell in for the home side in the second half, as Celtic went nap, thanks to 3 by John Hughes (58 mins (P), 78 mins and 81 mins) and Joe McBride (67 mins and 88 mins).
It had been a good night for the Hoops and a rather dispiriting one for Raith Rovers, whose players would not have been relishing the trip to Parkhead for the second leg. Jock Stein would have been pleased that his changes to the right wing worked out and was no doubt happy to have a successful squad to choose from for the big match against Rangers in three days time.
The Ones at the Top
As autumn was approaching, it was perhaps time to review the winners of the previous year’s campaigns as well as those who picked up the trophies in the summer sports;
FA Cup Final: Liverpool 2 Leeds United 1
Tour de France: Felice Grimondi
US Open Golf: Gary Player
British Open: Peter Thomson
PGA Tour Money Leader: Jack Nicklaus £140,752
Ryder Cup: USA 19 and a half; GB 12 and a half
Derby: Sea Bird
Formula One Champion: Jim Clark
World Snooker Champion: John Pullman
Wimbledon Singles Champions: Roy Emerson & Margaret Smith