Good News!…at Least for Me
The week started well…for me at any rate. I noticed in the football reports in the Sunday papers that Ian Young had injured his ankle in the match against Hibs and would possibly be out for a few weeks.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I got on fine with Ian, whom I first met when we both played for the Scottish Schools side against England in 1961, with him at right-back and me at centre-half. And we continued to be pals when both of us were at Celtic Park. But when two people are chasing the same position in the side, you have to take every opportunity that comes your way and this looked as though it would be an ideal chance to me to get back in the first team again.
Training….and a Star Turn!
The temperature was on the coldish side for training on the Tuesday night but the track – and the area behind the goals – was in excellent nick. I was feeling boosted by the news about Ian’s injury – and there were further comments on the Monday and Tuesday about how he would be out for some time – and on the Tuesday evening, I decided to put on a show for the watching coaching staff.
For the long runs, I was right up at the front, dragging the boys around the track much more quickly than normal; for the long sprints, no one was near me; while in the ‘doggies’ ( from the base-line to the first marker some 10 yards away and back, then to the second marker another ten yards away and back, then to the third etc, right up to five or six) I was again well in the lead. Was I showing off? Yes, probably; but my main aim was the get the coaching staff noticing me. Then, later, when they were talking to the Top Brass and were asked “how did training go tonight”, my name might be in the frame for a mention. Who says footballers are a bit stupid?
The name of Ian Young was not in the press over the next few days so I had no idea of his progress. And I made sure that I checked all the papers. I did not buy them, of course, not on £8 per week; no, I walked down at lunchtime from the Dental Hospital the half-a-mile or so to the Mitchell Library, just the other side of Charing Cross, where all the dailies – and the evening ones – were on display for the public’s attention. When you are on a quest, it’s amazing how resourceful you can be!
On the Thursday night, training went ahead as usual and I made sure this time round that I was up near the front rather than leading the pack. I had already made my point. But the great news was that after training, Sean Fallon came over and told me to report to Parkhead on the Saturday morning to go with the first team to Dunfermline. I did want to ask if I was playing but something told me not to pursue the matter. But when I left the ground to go into town thanks to the generosity of Tony Taylor and his Reliant Robin, I felt on top of the world!
On the Friday morning in Switzerland, the draw for the various European trophies was made. The full list was; –
Manchester United v Benfica
Spartak Prague v Partizan Belgrade
Anderlecht v Real Madrid
Inter Milan v Ferencvaros
European Cup-Winners’ Cup
Honved v Liverpool
West Ham v Augrau Magdeburg
Celtic v Dinamo Kiev
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Barcelona v RCD Espanyol
1860 Munchen v Chelsea
Dunfermline Ath v Real Zaragoza
Leeds United v Ujpest FC
When asked about the draw and Celtic’s opponents, Jock Stein commented : “It is the worst draw we could have had from the point of view of travelling but it is a good one from a financial aspect.
We probably couldn’t get a better one as far the gate-takings are concerned, especially with the first game at Parkhead”.
At that point the manager would not have realised that he was in a position to find out some inside info as regards Celtic’s Soviet opponents. Ex-Celt Bertie Peacock’s Coleraine had been put of the competition in the first round by Dinamo Kiev
But the manager also cautioned the fans about other matches coming up : “We have a lot of hard league games and Scottish Cup ties to play before we start thinking about the Russians”.
And he also paid his old club Dunfermline quite a tribute when he said : “I don’t think we can expect it to be any tougher against Kiev than it will be when we meet Dunfermline at East End Park on Saturday”
At that time of the 1965-66 season, Dunfermline Athletic, under the managerial control of Willie Cunningham, were lying just behind Celtic in the league table after 13 matches and as can be seen from the draws listed above, the Pars had also reached the quarter-final stages of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, where they would meet Real Zaragoza. So, if you take all that into account, then those words of warning from Jock Stein about the dangers facing Celtic at East End Park on the forthcoming Saturday were undoubtedly worth taking into account..
Last time round, I asked which player who was a regular in the Celtic reserve team at that time went on to be manager of the Canada international side when they tried – unsuccessfully – to qualify for the 1990 World Cup. The answer was Tony Taylor, who was at outside-left all through that season.
This week’s question concerns the ties listed above in the three European competitions. One of the 12 was a local ‘derby’; which one?
Loss of Life in Vietnam
The United States yesterday reported a toll of 1,100 Americans killed in Vietnam in the first 11 months of this year – compared to 455 dead for the previous 4 years.
Viet Cong casualties were given as 33,682 dead over the 11 months, with 5,552 captured and 7,94 defected.
An Unfortunate Habit
The East German freighter Magdeburg, which capsized in the Thames last year with a cargo of 42 double-decker buses bound for Cuba, has gone down again.
The 6,629-ton ship now lies 50 fathoms down off the coast of France, after severe storms in the Bay of Biscay, and it thought that it will be almost impossible to salvage her this time.
Surrounded by police, Ian Brady and his girl-friend Myra Hindley, walked quickly to the cells from Hyde, Cheshire, court yesterday after the magistrates had sent them for trial on all six of the ‘moors murders’ charges.