17th November 1965 Celtic v Aarhus
Prior to the Match
Unfortunately, although I strongly fancied the idea of a nap in the afternoon before the match against Aarhus, there was no chance of me getting one. I was still a student, I was expected to attend classes and see patients, as the points total for treating patients was crucial – you were awarded points for fillings, root treatments etc and a student could not sit the final exams unless he or she had reached a certain total- and I was taking too much time off already.
There was also the problem of food. The Dental Hospital canteen was pretty basic, with a menu of soup, pie and beans or sausage roll and beans, cakes and biscuits. That was lunch taken care of but I would also have to fit in a pre-match meal of some sort. Now, as you may recall, for the Go-Ahead match, I took in some cereal and had that with milk but it was not really enough and this time round, I wanted something a little more substantial. After a bit of thought, I came to an arrangement with the nice lady who ran the canteen and she let me use the facilities to make a few slices of cheese on toast and a nice cup of tea. That made me feel better and the butterflies in my stomach settled a bit.
I was still pretty nervous, though, when I set out for Celtic Park. It was a damp night as I headed down from Renfrew Street to Argyle Street to catch the bus to Auchenshuggle which ran past the stadium. Although I had by now played a couple of matches for the first team, no photo of me had ever appeared in the papers so once again, I could sit there and listen to the fans discussing the game, the team, the tactics etc knowing, with a touch of superiority, that I knew more about tonight’s affair than they did.
Just to make sure, I arrived early, the first one to get there in fact. There were few supporters about either as I walked up the driveway and came face-to-face, for only the second time ( as a participant) with the doorman, who stood proudly guarding his area, resplendent in his long, green coat and green hat, with gold braid round the edges. The previous times I had come in, he had merely recognised my face and said “hello, son” ; but I must have been coming up in the world, as this time I got “hi! Jim, all the best for tonight” plus a handshake too!
The guys trickled in one by one and the usual banter began. I soon realised that there was no fear or apprehension of this Danish side, so I supposed that the atmosphere was as relaxed as it could get in the dressing-room. The Boss came in and used the tactics board on one wall to go over some details, mainly about what we were expected to do although he did mention some strengths of Aarhus. Then it was just a case of getting ready for the fray, with some players noisy and some quiet. A few got rubs applied, strappings put on or existing damage taped or bandaged. Then the referee came in and gave us the nod, we left the dressing-room and headed for the tunnel, where we met up with the Aaurhus players before heading down the tunnel and into the arena lit by the floodlights.
I loved that moment ….and continued to do so right throughout my career. There was something exciting about entering on to what appeared to me to be an illuminated stage. It was a great enough feeling to do that in the afternoon; but the night-time entrances were just something else and I should imagine an actor walking on stage must have felt the same buzz of adrenaline.
Unfortunately!….that was as good as it got for Celtic that night, as for the second consecutive European Cup Winners’ tie, the team failed to live up to expectations. Just my luck to be involved on those two occasions, especially when they were my first two European ties!
On the following day, the headlines and report told the story –
Celtic Defeat Aarhus in Poor Match
‘The 27,000 who turned out at Parkhead on such a bleak night for the European Cup Winners’ Cup match between Celtic and Aarhus deserved much better that the display they were given, which was about as miserable as the weather.
Maybe the Celtic players, obviously secure in their 2-goal lead at the interval, felt that there was no need to humiliate their gentlemanly opponents but it was poor entertainment, with long periods of silence on the terracings.
Blunt enough but it was probably true. One of the English dailies was even more brief –
‘By beating Aarhus of Denmark at Parkhead last night, Celtic reached the last 8 of the European Cup Winners’ Cup competition for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. Although the Danes showed improvement in the second half, there was never any doubt about Celtic’s success, which was gained before a crowd of 27,000’
The two goals came in the first half ;-
7 minutes…..a Jimmy Johnstone corner, a Billy McNeill header. 1-0 Celtic
41 minutes…A good run and a fine shot from 25 yards by Johnstone. 2-0 Celtic
A realistic assessment of our performance would be that we had control of the play right from the start and never felt that the Danes offered any threat to us. That puts any side in a confident position and probably takes away some the drive and determination that is need to succeed in a match between equals.
From the comments in the press before the match, everyone – and I include the manager in that list – seemed to have no doubts that Celtic would go through. The players felt like that too and that meant that the surge of adrenaline that is so vital for players to rise to an occasion was not too high on the night. Whatever the cause, it could succinctly be described as a lacklustre performance.
Brits In Action
Other British team had also been in action that night, with Kilmarnock getting a particularly good result ‘
Fighting Killie Hold Real to a Draw
Kilmarnock 2 Real Madrid 2
Two English clubs were also playing ;
Wiener Sportklub (Austria) 1 Chelsea 0
ASK Vorwaerts (E. Germany) 0 Manchester United 2
A Baby in a Million
A Transkei peasant woman has made South African medical history by giving birth to a 9lbs boy apparently less than 5 months after giving birth to another child.
Her doctor said she must have conceived the second baby when already 5 months pregnant, a phenomenon known as super-foetation, one of the rarest occurrences in childbirth.
The Brazilian footballers, who arrive today for the match with Arsenal, will drink no water while in Britain.
Mr P.J. Pulien, the Brazilian press attaché said : “One of the commonest causes of stomach upsets for sportsmen visiting another country is the water, no matter how good that water might be”.
Therefore, the Brazilian team only drinks mineral waters while abroad.
A Game from the Past…and a Moment to Remember
Sponsored by the Jim Craig CSC
A Game from the Past……Tom Allan, a centre-forward who had joined Celtic from Carluke Milton Rovers in January 1910, played a number of friendlies and benefit matches for the club during the spring months of 1910. However, he found it difficult to break into the first team as Jimmy Quinn was the regular centre-forward.
And a Moment to Remember…..due to an injury to Quinn, Tom got his chance in the 33rd league game of the 1909-10 season when Hibs were the visitors to Celtic Park and although the game finished goalless, the single point gained gave Celtic not only their 10th Championship but their 6th title in-a-row. Five days later, in the final league match of the season, another no-scoring draw was the result, this time against Dundee at Dens Park, with Tom Allan again at centre-forward.
And those two matches were on the sum total of Tom’s Celtic career. For the first match of the 1910-11 season, he was in the number 9 shirt for Airdrie, ironically at Celtic Park, where the Hops won 3-0.