16th October 1965 Falkirk v Celtic: League

The Birch before Christmas

A society dedicated to bringing back the birch has been formed in Scotland.

The Society for the Protection and Safety of the Public has been formed in Glasgow. A spokesman said: ‘The birch might make some of our more savage delinquents think again’.


Wrong Man’ Muddle at Cremation.

Only a few hours before she was due to attend his cremation yesterday, a widow was told: “Your husband was cremated four days ago…..in mistake for another man!”

50 mourners lined up for the funeral at Northwich, Cheshire but were told by the priest: “There has been a large mix-up. There will be no funeral service; just a short memorial service”


Middle v West

On a fine afternoon at Brockville, a crowd of some 16,000 had made its way through the streets of Falkirk and settled into their favourite places in the ground for the afternoon’s contest.

When the guys had reported to Parkhead in the morning, Ronnie Simpson had complained of a stiff neck, so he was pulled out of the side and replaced by John Fallon. The team then was;

Fallon, Young, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Gallagher, McBride, Lennox, Hughes.


Celtic started the more brightly of the two sides but were brought down to earth with a bump quite quickly;

11 minutes      A corner for Falkirk was pulled back into the path of right-back Lambie and from 25 yards, his shot fairly screamed into the net. 1-0 Falkirk

14 minutes      Joe McBride nodded the ball to Bobby Lennox. He took three steps forward and then shot home. 1-1

36 minutes      Against the run of play, the Bairns took the lead. Inside-right Wilson gathered the ball, swivelled and sent a fine shot into the corner of the net. 2-1 Falkirk.

60 minutes      After a move involving several Celtic players, Bobby Murdoch volleyed home from 20 yards. 2-2

67 minutes      Centre-forward Graham put Falkirk ahead again when he dribbled the ball round John Fallon before slipping it into the net. 3-2 Falkirk.

68 minutes      Jimmy Johnstone equalized with a shot which hit the post before going into the net. 3-3

84 minutes      Celtic by now were threatening more and in a quick attack, Lennox got what proved to be the winner with a strong drive. 4-3 Celtic.


It had been a good contest, first one team having the upper hand, then the other taking over. The drama was summed up succinctly in the evening press……




…….and possibly most of the crowd would have agreed with those words.



Celebrations at Celtic Park

While all this drama was taking place at Brockville, over at Parkhead the second team was in action, against Falkirk reserves. We were protecting an unbeaten record – 12 games played, 11 wins, one draw – and while everyone was desperately trying to break into the first team, the situation was probably more crucial for the few who had already played at that level and wanted back in again. The likes of John Kennedy, John Cushley, Willie O’Neill and myself had got the occasional game; while there were two others involved who regularly played in the first team but seemed to be out of favour at that time, Steve Chalmers and Bertie Auld.

Now, those two players are perfect examples of how a squad – in any team sport but in this case football – can be made up of guys with different personalities. While Stevie was quiet and introspective, Bertie was……well, Bertie had other good qualities!

However, on that afternoon at Parkhead, they both put in a shift – like the others – to give Celtic a 4-2 victory, with the goals coming from Chalmers (3) and a Connelly penalty.

The team was;

Kennedy, Craig, McCarron, ‘Newman’, Cushley, O’Neill, Connelly, Quinn, Chalmers, McGowan, Auld.

When the team was read out, it would appear that Frank McCarron was at left-back and Willie O’Neill played in central defence. In reality, we had a back four of Craig and O’Neill in the fullback roles, with Cushley and McCarron as twin centre-halves; in midfield, we had Connelly and Auld; with ‘Newman’, McGowan, Quinn and Chalmers up front.

It must have been an unsettling afternoon for young Jimmy Quinn. Normally the spearhead of all our attacks, on that afternoon this grandson of the great Jimmy Quinn had to play second fiddle to the experience of Stevie Chalmers. Every time the ball came into the middle, Stevie’s experience allowed him to read the situation and be on the spot for the chances. That intuition would hopefully also come in due course to 17-year-old Jimmy.

Who the ‘Newman’ was I cannot remember, although others in future matches I can recall. Celtic always preferred to use the word ‘Newman’ to describe a boy on trial. Other clubs referred to him as ‘A N Other ‘ or ‘Trialist’.


As usual, when the news of the first-team’s success at Brockville was announced in the dressing –room, it was strange to see the mixed reaction. We were all Celtic fans but also players who were pushing for a place in the first team. So, everyone was pleased that the team had won; however, there were a few like myself who were thinking – ‘well, a 4-3 result might mean that the defence was not all that secure, so might I get another chance? Time would soon tell.


The season so far:

Date Competition Opponents H/A Score Attendance
14 Aug League Cup Dundee United A 1-2 25,000
18 Aug League Cup Motherwell H 1-0 32,000
21 Aug League Cup Dundee A 0-2 34,000
25 Aug       League Dundee United A 4-0 18,000
28 Aug   League Cup Dundee United H 3-0 36,000
1 Sept   League Cup Motherwell A 3-2 22,000
4 Sept   League Cup Dundee A 3-1 27,000
11 Sept     League Clyde H 2-1 26,500
15 Sept League Cup QF Raith Rovers A 8-1 15,000
18 Sept   League Rangers A 1-2 76,000
22 Sept League Cup QF Raith Rovers H 4-0 9,000
25 Sept   League Aberdeen H 7-1 20,000
29 Sept   ECWC Go-Ahead Deventer A 6-0 25,000
4 Oct   League Cup SF Hibs N 2-2 50,000
7 Oct     ECWC Go-Ahead Deventer H 1-0 20,000
9 Oct     League Hearts H 5-2 30,000
16 Oct   League Falkirk A 4-3 16,000


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