Festive Joy Not Felt By Everyone
There were no morning classes around Christmas and New Year for dental students so I got the chance to train with the full-timers for a few days.
You would have though that after an 8-1 win over Morton at the weekend, the atmosphere would have been full of joy and bonhomie. Frankly, though, that was not the case and the reason for it was the result of the friendly match between Ayr United and Celtic’s Second Team, which had been played at Somerset Park also on Christmas Day.
In spite of a team of Fallon, Young, McCarron, Cattenach, McNeill, O’Neill, H Quinn, J Quinn, Divers, Auld and Taylor, Celtic had lost 0-2. Now, all the info I received about the match was from the players involved, not always the most accurate or precise comments, as there is inevitably a personal element in the remarks. However, putting all the details together and making my own analysis, I got the impression that the team as down a whole did not play too well and was well beaten.
That was bad news for the first-team regulars who were on the pitch that afternoon – John Fallon, Ian Young, Billy McNeill, John Divers, Bobby Lennox and Bertie Auld. They would have been hoping to show up well but that is difficult to do when the team is under the cosh and eventually loses 0-2.
By contrast, every single player on the field in the 8-1 thrashing of Morton at Parkhead had put in a real shift and did their chances of being picked for the two matches coming up over the New Year period – Clyde and Rangers – no harm at all.
Just after the Saturday matches, the weather changed, cold air descended on Glasgow and the frost came back again. It affected a couple of friendly matches.
A Benefit game for ex-Celt Jimmy Walsh between a Celtic side and a combined Airdrie/ Albion Rovers select was called off for the second time due to the bad weather. And the conditions also caused the cancellation of a friendly match against St Roch’s at Barrowfield.
Celtic Park got the straw treatment but in midweek some snow had also fallen, so in the latter part of the week, after checking with the local Met Office about the weather over the weekend, Jock Stein gave the ground staff the nod to get out the shovels to clear the whole lot off.
Jock Stein was in excellent mood at the press conference the day before the game but would not be drawn on the team for the Clyde match. He merely said that the team on the day would be chosen from a pool of 16 players, the eleven who took to the field against Morton plus Fallon, Young, McNeill, Auld and Lennox
More Soviet Problems
Celtic’s proposed away tie against Dynamo Kiev was still the subject of some dissension between the clubs and from the headline in the papers on Hogmanay, Celtic had had enough!
Celts Tell Moscow – Leave Out Politics!
The main problem was that due to the heavy snow in Kiev, the venue for the tie had been switched to the more clement climate of Georgia, near the Caspian Sea. Celtic wanted to fly direct to the Georgian capital; Soviet authorities wanted them to go by a more circuitous route. Now Celtic made it quite clear that they were quite annoyed and were prepared to wait until the better weather arrived in March when the match could be played in Kiev.
Last time round, I asked how many times Celtic had played on Christmas Day. The answer was13 times, which surprised me!. The matches are listed here in chronological order,-
1897-98 Clyde 9-1 (A)
1909-10 Kilmarnock 1-0 (A)
1915-16 Airdrie 6-0 (H)
1920-21 St Mirren 2-0 (A) 1926-27 Kilmarnock 4-0 (H)
1933-34 Queen’s Park 3-2 (A)
1937-38 Kilmarnock 8-0 (A)
1943-44 Hamilton 3-3 (A)
1946-47 Queen’s Park 1-0 (H)
1947-48 Hearts 4-2 (H)
1948-49 Aberdeen 3-0 (A)
1954-55 Clyde 2-2 (H)
1957-58 Queen of the South 1-2 (H)
This week’s question concerns that 8-0 victory in the match against Kilmarnock played on Christmas Day 1937? It was a bad day for one ex-Celt; why?
A Huge Metropolis
It was reported towards the end of December that the largest city in the world for population is not New York any more; the American city has been overtaken by Tokyo, in Japan.
Towards the end of December 1965, it was also announced that a 70 miles per hour limit would be imposed on British roads.
As the New Year dawned, a new number one took its place at the top of the American charts, the ‘Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel