As all the players made their way out to Celtic Park, the heavens opened and the rain, which had been quite light overnight, came down in sheets, soaking everything and anything in sight.
As we all knew that there is nothing quite like a waterlogged pitch to even up the chances of both sides in any game, we were all keen to see how our own surface was looking….and it was not looking good! There were puddles of water all over the place, quite deep in some areas, and the ground staff were frantically pushing their forks into these areas to help the water drain away. It looked like a fruitless task and the Boss and his coaches were looking worried.
Which is more than the Celtic support was looking outside the ground. They seemed to be quite enjoying it. Not too many had umbrellas, there were quite a number of those transparent plastic head coverings very popular at the time (the ‘Rain-Mate’)– really for ladies but borrowed, or perhaps stolen, for the afternoon (I wonder what the wives were wearing?) – and there were a number of Gene Kelly impersonators, all ‘Singing In The Rain’ along the edge of the pavements. It was very funny.
Unfortunately, when we were recognised, these guys, who by this time were completely drenched, came rushing up to us, scattering water and bits of mud all down the front of our club outfits. That wiped the smiles off our faces!
One man appearing to enjoy the weather was Bill Peacock, the commissionaire. His stance was in a little alcove at the front door, where he was protected from the rain, so his uniform of long green coat with gold braid along the edges and hat to match, shone out like a beacon. Bill was always very friendly – and formal – to the players, welcoming us to the ground at each match and wishing us all the best for the encounter.
His job was to make sure that no one without a ticket was allowed to go through the front door of Celtic Park. Sometimes, he got carried away with his task, as I was to find out some time later.
I cannot recall exactly who we were playing but it was an evening match and during the afternoon, I received a phone call from my Dad, who was wondering if I had a ticket he could use for the game that night. Now, we all got an allocation of tickets for every match but I had already given out my quota. However, when my Dad explained that it was a distant relative of his who wanted to come to the game, I realised I would have to try hard to get him fixed up and told Dad just to bring his friend along. I was pushing my luck, I know, but I would see what I could do.
First on my list was Jim ‘Presi’ Kennedy, in charge of the sale of tickets. No luck. Next, I saw Sean Fallon and tried him. Same story. Then I tried the Boss and got a similar tale of how there were not enough tickets to go round. I was getting desperate by this time so when Desmond White, the club secretary, came up to me and asked if there was a problem, I gave a very definite ‘yes’ and explained the circumstances. “Sorry about that” he said and just walked away!. I was almost in despair when Mr White came back, pushed something into my hand and winked at me at the same time. When he walked away for a second time, I looked at his gift and found that it was a ticket for the game. Manna from heaven! God bless Mr White!
Charging out to the front door, I stood there looking round, trying to see if my Dad was anywhere near. Suddenly, somebody took hold of my arm. “Jim” said a voice and when I looked up, I saw that it was Don Revie, the manager of Leeds United “would you tell Jock that we are out here and can’t get in because we don’t have tickets”.
“Is it just you, Mr Revie?” I asked.
“No” he replied and pointed behind him, to where Bill Nicholson, the boss of Spurs was standing, smiling at me.
“Right away, Mr Revie” I said and went inside, having some trouble in finding our Boss but eventually succeeding.
“Boss, Done Revie and Bill Nicholson are outside but the doorman is not letting them in”.
“Oh! for God’s sake” he almost shouted and set off for the front door to sort out the problem.
Even at that time, I never thought that Bill Peacock could be accused of anything other than a possible lack of common sense. He was employed by the club and the directors would have given him the specific instruction not to let anyone in without a ticket. Very possibly he recognised Messrs Revie and Nicholson but an instruction is an instruction and as they did not have tickets, he might not have been in a position where he could use his discretion. Anyway, in the end the two English managers managed to get in to see the match….as did the relative of my Dad’s.
That day was a very unusual one. Once the pitch had been passed as playable by referee Mr McKenzie of Larbert, we were told not to go out and warm up on it, to avoid cutting it up. In the event, we went out for the match about 10 minutes earlier than usual, merely to get a feel of the conditions.
Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld, Hughes.
Allan, Duncan, Davis, Stanton, Madsen, Cousin, Scott, Quinn, Cormack, O’Rourke, Stevenson.
Hibs were always good to play against because they always tried to play football and none of their side was a bruiser, trying to use rough-house tactics to put you off your game. The first half in this one must have good to watch as, in spite of the wet footing, both sides went out to entertain.
Both sides had shots which hit the post – Wispy and Stevie for Celtic, O’Rourke for Hibs- and Hibs had three other good chances, by Stevenson twice and Cormack. But by the time the interval arrived, Celtic had hit the back of the net twice.
12 minutes….a peach of a goal by Wispy. He beat two men and smashed the ball past
the Hibs keeper into the roof of the net. 1-0 Celtic
38 minutes…..Jinky sent in a corner, it was headed on by Bertie and Stevie did the rest. 2-0 Celtic
In the second half, both sides went at it with a will. However, even when I was trying to play my part in the game, I felt that, while Hibs were putting in plenty of effort, we were holding them for the most part in attack – although they did try a couple of long-range efforts – and that their defence was having serious trouble keeping our attack under control.
Final Score Celtic 2 Hibs 0
Keeping Costs Down
Evangelist Billy Graham says his organization is too big and needs trimming.
“We’ve already closed down our office in Buenos Aires, one of our many offices throughout the world” he said.
“A lot of people think that we are backed by rich people but we are not. Nor do we have a lot of property or investments, as many people believe. It’s entirely a faith enterprise and things get pretty tough sometimes”.
An anonymous telephone caller told the police that supporters of the Naples football team had planted a bomb in the league’s offices in Milan because they were angry over the disqualification of Naples’ star forward Omar Sivori from a game last weekend. No bomb was found.
Get Your Hair Cut!
A New York constituent of Senator Robert Kennedy, whose long hair usually droops over his forehead, has sent him $2 to get it cut.
The donor said that he wrote to Mr Kennedy to get a haircut after seeing him on television, so that he could maintain the image of New York state.