24th December 1966 Aberdeen v Celtic League – Part Two

Morning of the Match

I might have been imagining things but I felt that there had been a fair bit of caution regarding this match in the days leading up to it. The team had come through a good spell – in the last few weeks victories over Dunfermline, Nantes (twice), Hearts, Motherwell, Partick Thistle plus a draw at Kilmarnock – so there should have been no reason to think that Aberdeen would be any different or harder, yet I felt that there was just a smidgeon of respect for the Dons, particularly up there.

In addition, the change in the weather perhaps brought that regard into focus. It had been cold all week and frost had been forecast, which effects footing, a circumstance all footballers hate. Having difficulty keeping your feet is the pits!

Now, I had noticed those feelings on the Friday and as the team would have gathered at Queen Street station early on Saturday for the train trip to Aberdeen, I did not have the opportunity to see if the situation was still the same then. What was undeniably true, however, was that when the Reserve team squad gathered at Parkhead just after lunch that same day and saw the state of the pitch there – hard and frosty – more than one head dropped in disappointment.


The Teams


Clark, Whyte, Shewan, Munro, McMillan, Peterson, Wilson, Melrose, Johnston, Smith, Taylor.
Sub:  Winchester

Simpson, Gemmell, O’Neill, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Chalmers, Auld, McBride, Wallace, Lennox.
Sub: Cattenach






The Play

Obviously, as I was playing at Parkhead, I did not see this one but I have culled my info from the press of the following days.

Celtic had brought a big support with them and by kick-off a crowd of 31,000 was in the ground. As predicted, the ground was hard and frosty but perfectly flat, which is always a help. And the Dons used their knowledge of the pitch to go into the attack right from the whistle, Ronnie having to make a point-blank save from Munro.

Gradually Celtic asserted their style on the match and although play swung from end to end, the players in the hoops were having more – and better – attempts on target. The breakthrough came in…


24 minutes
a pass from Bertie into the box got centre-half McMillan into difficulties and before he could clear the ball , Lemon was on to it for the opener.

1-0 Celtic

That goal gave Celtic a boost but just when they were showing some real flair, Aberdeen went on a quick attack…


30 minutes
Shewan crossed into the box. It was met by Munro, who flicked it on and there was Melrose to equalise with a header. 1-1

From that point on, the match became a thriller. There were chances at both ends; the respective keepers showed their class; the Dons employed the offside trap to good effect; the recently-criticised Celtic defence ( certainly by me) performed well; and the snow fell!

At the end, though, a draw seemed a fair result.

Final Score  Aberdeen 1  Celtic 1


Other Results

The inclement weather had caused the cancellation of a number of matches ;

Clyde  v   Rangers ; Partick Thistle  v Dundee Utd ; Stirling Albion v  Dunfermline;

but the following went ahead;

Dundee 0 0 Airdrie
Hibs 3 3 St. Johnstone
Kilmarnock 1 3 Hearts
Motherwell 3 1 Falkirk
St. Mirren 3 1 Ayr United


The Table

Team P W D L F A GAv Pts
1 Celtic 16 13 3 0 56 19 2.95 29
2 Rangers 15 11 2 2 48 13 3.69 24
3 Aberdeen 16 10 3 3 35 21 1.67 23
4 Clyde 15 9 2 4 31 33 0.94 20


Tragic End

There was a dreadful footnote to this match. Joe McBride had been on the field for the full 90 minutes but afterwards complained of a problem with his knee. What a problem! The injury would keep him out of football for a year, missing matches for which he would probably have been the first name on the team-sheet, like the Scottish Cup Final and the European Cup Final.


Reserve Match

The hard ground must have suited everybody as the Reserves beat Aberdeen Reserves 5-1 in one of the best performances we have shown all season. I was a bit miffed at having to play in the centre-half role – as I was pushing to get into the first team at fullback – but I took the opportunity to come forward (like Beckanbaur was doing in  Germany) and also came up for every corner and free kick. We won 5-1, with five different names on the score sheet – Brogan, Macari, Connelly, Taylor and Hughes.

Another Jail Break!

A prisoner escaped from Wandsworth Prison, London in a dustcart. The break was made by Donald Crerand George Connachie, who was serving a six-month sentence for theft. This was the 4th such incident in the last two weeks.

One does wonder, though, why someone serving a mere six-month sentence would want to break out?


Near Miss!

5 workmen fled for their lives when the side of a Mount Florida tenement, which partially collapsed on Wednesday, crashed to the ground.

The men were putting up temporary scaffolding and nailing up doors and windows in the 4-story tenement when one of them saw cracks widening and rubble start to cascade down.


The Flicks

Attractions at the Glasgow cinemas just before Christmas in 1966 were ;-

 La Scala………………….Batman            

Coliseum…………………Dr Zhivago     

Gaumont…………………Sound of Music

Regent……………………Naked Prey

Green’s Playhouse……….Suddenly Last Summer

Bedford………………….This Property is Condemned