25th December 1965: Celtic v Morton – Part One

commentButton2Glasgow at Christmas

In my very young days, in the late 40s and early 50s, Christmas in Glasgow was certainly celebrated but it was not as big an event as New Year. By 1965, things were improving and Christmas had become an important occasion, even if, especially in Scotland, the New Year festivities were undertaken with more gusto.

Still, as we entered the final few days of the run-up to Christmas, Glasgow was looking well. The big shops – Frasers in Buchanan Street for the well-off, Lewis’s for the rest – were ablaze with lights and Christmas trees; George Square was an oasis of coloured lights with a huge tree in the middle; and every shop was festooned with decorations of one sort or another.


Cinema Outings

Going to the ‘flicks’ or ‘pictures’ was still a great Glasgow custom and there were a number of cinemas throughout the city. There was always a shop in the foyer selling cigarettes and ice cream and at the interval ( between the ‘short’ film and the main event) a lady carrying a tray strapped to her shoulders made her way round the aisles selling soft drinks and ices. The cigarette smokers caused a problem, as if you were seated towards the rear of the auditorium, you would have to try to see the screen through a sizeable cloud of smoke. And you could hear people coughing all over the place!

It had been a good year for films, the names of the most popular ones even recalled today. Towards the end of 1965, for instance, an enthusiast could have had a choice of the following;-

Cat Ballou…..Doctor Zhivago….Help!…..The Ipcress File…..Repulsion…The Sound of Music



Music was becoming easier to listen to, thanks to the fairly new transistor radios on sale everywhere and the popular record players. In the latter months of 1965, these records had all held a spot in the Top Ten list of hits;

Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out…Beatles       To Whom It Concerns…Chris Andrews

1-2-3……..Len Barry                                                 Rescue Me…..Fontella Bass

The River…….Ken Dodd                                          Let’s Hang On….Four Seasons

Tell Me Why…..Elvis Presley                                  Maria……P J Proby

Get Off Of My Cloud….Rolling Stones                 The Carnival Is Over…..The Seekers



There was even a Christmas tree inside Celtic Park and as the main hall was quite a gloomy place in those days, it fairly made a difference. And it seemed to cheer up everyone, as the atmosphere among the players and staff on the Tuesday and Thursday evening was excellent. We all worked hard but there were plenty of laughs too. Just the way it should be in the festive season.


Team Selection

Ian Young was apparently fit again so I was wondering about my own position. I felt I had been doing well and more importantly, the defence as a whole had been solid. Billy McNeil’s knee injury was improving but John Cushley was looking very comfortable in the centre-half role and from Jock Stein’s comments in the papers, it seemed that he was reluctant to make any changes to the side at all.

I tried to get a word with Sean Fallon after training on the Thursday but I was told that he was away on a scouting mission. As no further info was forthcoming, it sounded top secret but I found out from the papers the following morning that he had travelled to Denmark to sound out Bent Martin about coming over to Glasgow. Martin had been in goal when Celtic beat Aarhus in the second round of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and had impressed many observers with this ability and calmness.

Anyway, after training on the Thursday, I got one piece of good news and one surprise. The good news was that I was to report to Celtic Park on the Saturday for the Christmas Day match against Morton; the surprise came when the team for the reserve match against Ayr United at Somerset Park on the same day was put up and I saw the names at right-back, centre-half, inside-left and outside-left. The eleven involved were John Fallon, Ian Young, Frank McCarron, Davie Cattenach, Billy McNeill, Willie O’Neill, George Connelly, Henry Quinn, John Divers, Bobby Lennox, Bertie Auld.



Last time round, I listed the twelve ties in the quarter-final stages of the three European competitions and asked which one was a local ‘derby’. The answer was Barcelona v Espanyol, both of whom play in the same city in Catalonia.

The question this week is about the match against Morton, which, as mentioned above, would be played on Christmas Day. Since they first appeared on the Scottish football scene in season 1888-89, on how many previous occasions had Celtic played on that day in one of the major domestic trophies?



New Home Secretary

The recent re-shuffle has brought into the Cabinet probably the ablest minister out of it. Mr Roy Jenkins, in spite of the controversy over the aviation industry, has earned the respect of the House.

He is a good administrator and has been tipped as a future Prime Minister. Now he has been dealt the role of Home Secretary.


New Spies

American TV viewers are flooding the United Nations with inquiries about U.N.C.L.E. They think it the espionage arm of the UN and want to join.

The United Nations’ general services division had been deluged with letters and telephone calls from fans of the popular NBC programme ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

Confusion reigns.


Police in Action

Early next year, Glasgow police are to start towing away cars which cause obstructions.

To get his or her car back, the motorist, in addition to any fine, will have to pay £2 for the cost of towing his or her car to a compound.