19th April 1966: Liverpool v Celtic ECWC SF – Part One


I was under a bit of pressure at that time. Celtic might have about to travel south to play Liverpool in the return leg of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and you might think that such a scenario would have been enough pressure for anyone to cope with. Unfortunately, I was under the cosh from a different direction – the Dean of the Dental Hospital – who I assume had been receiving complaints from the heads of other departments that I was missing classes and more importantly, letting patients down by having to cancel their appointments at short notice. I was very apologetic but it was unavoidable; the dates of matches were made up earlier in the season but as the campaign un-folded, as a result of games being postponed, a good run in Europe etc, it was not always possible to be precise as to when the match might be played. So, I just had to over-use that very helpful word – sorry! – and did my best to get back on track with my work schedule.

Journey South

This match was a typical example. As I was not in the first team at that time, I had thought that I would not be travelling to Liverpool and had booked patients in for the whole of the week. Then, on the previous Saturday, after the Hibs game at Easter Road, the Boss told me that I was in the party to go down south. I could not contact anyone on a Sunday, so I had to phone early on Monday morning to one of the receptionists to tell her that I would not be back till Thursday and would she kindly re-arrange my appointments for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. She was an extremely nice lady but to say I got an earful is putting it mildly! I would not be walking past her office for a while, just in case.


We left by train from Central Station early on the Monday morning and we were all astonished that a few hundred fans had turned up to wish us off. With their cheers ringing in our ears, we headed for our base in a hotel at Southport on the Lancashire coast. After arriving during the afternoon, we were allocated our rooms and given a cup of tea before boarding a bus for a trip to Anfield, where we trained under the lights. As you might expect, they were excellent, the training was very relaxed – although the pitch was very wet underfoot – and for once, the Boss had a full squad to choose from. However, as usual, he was playing his cards very close to his chest and merely mentioned that he would announce the side nearer to the time of the match.


Paper Talk

The Boss had obviously said more to the press than he did to us. This piece is typical of what they all said ;-

Celtic are delaying selection of their team for the second leg of the European Cup Winners’ tie until just before kick-off at Anfield tonight.

But Jock Stein gave a hint that John Hughes might be at outside-left when he arrived at Celtic’s headquarters at Southport.

Jock said “If this rain continues the going should be heavy and that will suit the big fellow”.

Mind you, the Celtic manager could be throwing out another of his typical ‘red herrings’ by this seemingly innocuous remark.

He seldom does anything without a purpose and he could very well want to create the impression that Hughes will be there when in fact he won’t.

But somehow I think that the ‘big fellow’ will play. Even if it just to keep Liverpool a little more on the defensive than they would be if he didn’t.

For if Hughes plays I can readily foresee Bill Shankley having to bring back outside-right Callaghan as a ‘policeman’ to counteract the threat of the Celtic winger.

And this would reduce the Liverpool attack in numbers and would certainly help Celtic’s cause more than Liverpool’s.


Miss Cup Final

As a result of a meeting of the Referee’s Committee at the SFA’s offices, Bertie Auld was given a 7 days ‘suspended’ sentence for having three bookings opposite his name. That meant he could play in the Liverpool tie but would be out of the Scottish Cup final against Rangers and any possible replay.

Seventeen other players were dealt with, all of whom had three cautions. All of them were also suspended.


Players in Trouble…of Different Types

While Manchester United would be running out to play Partizan Belgrade in the European Cup semi-final that week, George Best was in hospital having a cartilage operation……and Jack Charlton of Leeds United was fined £50 for being ordered off in the match against Valencia in the Fairs Cup.



Last time, I asked for the names of the two teams who had played the inaugural match at 1st Celtic Park; they were Cowlairs and Hibs.

And this week’s query involves the side playing Celtic in that European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final. Which heavyweight boxing champion signed for Liverpool?



Ian Brady and Myra Hindley went on trial at Chester Crown Court before Mr Justice Fenton Atkinson, for the murders of three children who vanished between November 1963 and October 1965.


Good Business

The Sound of Music, which had already beaten the record for highest-grossing motion picture, earned 5 Oscars out of 10 nominations, including Best Picture, at the 38th Academy Awards.



Vatican City released the results of the 1966 census and announced that the 108.7 acre nation had a population of 890 people within its walls, of whom 566 were Vatican City citizens. Of those 566 people, 60 were priests, 124 were other members of the clergy, 220 were members of the Swiss Guard and 162 were civilian employees and their families.