1st June 1966: North American Tour – Celtic v Tottenham Hotspur

The team had arrived in San Francisco a couple of days before this match, so they were able to get in a bit of sightseeing and some light training. Billy McNeill was fit again after sitting out the match in St Louis and that would be important for Celtic, who were expecting a tough time from not only the Spurs players on the park but also the Spurs’ manager, coaches and directors off it.

It was a well-known fact – as it had been quite widely publicized in the sporting press – that the London’s club management had been very critical of, and had probably been incensed by, the substitution of Jimmy Johnstone for John Hughes in the first meeting of the clubs in Toronto. This they regarded as a breach of an agreement between the two clubs before the match and they were annoyed that it had taken place. Naturally, the Celtic management insisted that the substitution had not broken any such agreement. Still, whatever happened, it added some spice to the occasion and a crowd of around 12,00o turned up at the Kezar Stadium to perhaps see some fireworks.

Spurs sent out a side of

R Brown, Kinner, Knowles, Mullery, L Brown, Mackay, Posse, Gilzean, Venables, Saul, Robertson.

Celtic were represented by

Ronnie, Tam, Pumper, Chopper, Cesar, Luggy, Stevie, Jinky, Joe, Bobby, Ten-Therty.

Second defeat for Spurs

Celtic have done it again. In this wonderful city last night the Scottish League champions defeated Tottenham Hotspur for the second time on their North American tour.

A crowd of 12,000 saw Celtic win 2-1 in a dramatic game which may prove costly, for Bertie Auld was injured and was carried off the field after 35 minutes.

It had been Auld who opened the scoring in the 25th minute when he took advantage of a misdirected pass by a Spurs defender and scored a goal from 22 yards.

Ten minutes later the winger was taken off with a bad ankle injury and it looks as though he will miss the three remaining games of the tour. Fears that the ankle was broken were dispelled by the doctor on duty. John Hughes came on as substitute.

A minute after Celtic’s first goal Spurs were level, when Mackay took a penalty kick. Simpson made a spectacular dive to stop it but the ball spun clear and Mackay, follwing his kick in, got to the ball first to score.

Lennox scored the winner for Celtic after 14 minutes of the second half when he took a pass from Chalmers and crashed the ball into the net. Spurs made a great bid for an equaliser and almost got it five minutes from the end when a 25-yard shot by Venables hit the post and re-bounded into play.

Bobby Lennox’s goal brought his total to 17 in the 8 matches so far and the team’s tally is now 43.

Auld’s injury might have proved troublesome not only to the player but to the Celtic squad. Frank McCarron and John Cushley were already out, while Jimmy Johnstone and Ian Young would be leaving before the last two matches as they were getting married. However, discussions were underway with wee Jimmy about his staying on for the second last game against Bayern Munich. I wish I could have sat in on the talks; they would have been pretty entertaining!