25th February 1967: Stirling Albion v Celtic League- Part One

20th February
The press was very complimentary about Celtic’s thrashing of Elgin with one paper in particular very fulsome in its praise –

‘Attack is the best mode of defence for Celtic. Their 7-0 defeat of Elgin City in the Scottish Cup brought Celtic’s total of goals in their last three games to 15 – without loss.

Having watched all three matches – 5-0 against Ayr at Somerset Park, 3-0 against Airdrie at Broomfield and then Saturday’s 7-0 taming of the Highland hopes – I’m quite certain that Celtic’s attack-at-all-costs policy is tailor-made for their needs.

Consolation for Elgin was their share of a 34,000 gate, which brought them a record cheque for £2,900. Nice work for the Highlanders and, of course, for Celtic.

The draw for the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup was also made –
Hibs v Aberdeen
Dundee Utd v Dunfermline or Partick Thistle
Celtic v Airdrie or Queen’s Park
Clyde v Hamilton Academical

21st February
Under the headline……..

Joe’s On the Road Back

….there was good news of an injury worry –

‘Scotland’s leading scorer, Joe McBride of Celtic, hopes to shoot his way into the team against Vojvodina in Yugoslavia on Wednesday of next week by top grade displays against Dundee United tonight and Stirling Albion at Annfield on Saturday.
Manager Jock Stein said today “if Joe comes through tonight’s reserve game – and we are confident he will – he will certainly be considered for a return against Stirling on Saturday”.
With Willie Wallace not available for the Vojvodina game because he was not signed from Hearts before the closing date for registering players for this stage of the European Cup, a fit McBride would be welcome news for Celtic.

Joe – On the road back?
© Daily Record

As you will have read, I was having my own problems with an injury at this time of the season – more of that in a minute – but I could not help but feel sorry for Joe. I had watched him at training and it quite obvious that he was not putting any weight on the bad leg. It seemed to me that everyone round him – manager, coaches, fellow players – were all in cahoots with each other, everyone saying how well he was doing and that he would make his comeback soon. Frankly, the reality was that he was ‘carrying’ the bad leg, which means that he was constantly trying to take the weight off it when running, with all passes and shots being done with the other leg. He was such a popular guy that probably everyone thought they were doing him a turn by praising his performances; unfortunately, the reality was very different. He was not ready to play and those in charge should have been more aware of the situation.

As regards my own injury worries, the headaches had completely disappeared and I was all ready to make a comeback in the reserve match against Dundee that night. The team chosen was;

John Kennedy, myself, Willie O’Neill, Davie Cattenach, John Cushley, Jim Brogan, Lou Macari, George Connelly, Joe McBride, Tony Taylor and John Hughes.

22nd February
The press gave Joe’s return some positive reports –

‘Joe McBride’s comeback match with the Celtic reserves last night was a success and manager Jock Stein announced today – “He may be travelling with us to Yugoslavia on Monday and if he does he will not be going just for the trip’.
Said Mr Stein – “McBride trained with the rest of the players today and he will train again tomorrow. On his reaction to one competitive match and two hard sessions of training we will decide about the Vojvodina game. We will make the decision on Friday morning – but we are hopeful that he will be in the party’.
The manager mentioned that the club will take 18 players to Yugoslavia.

In Ankara, Turkey beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1 in a first-round, second leg match in the European Nations Cup. The Turkish team had lost to Ireland by the same score in Dublin in December.
Celtic’s Charlie Gallagher was in the Republic of Ireland forward line.

23rd February

Celtic’s Hopes Rise
‘Before Joe McBride donned his training gear today, manager Jock Stein said “Joe’s knee seems to be giving him no trouble. However, we will see how it is after a hard training session before making any decisions about whether he will be considered for our visit to Stirling on Saturday”.

24th February
The headlines in the evening papers were disappointing for Celtic – and heartbreaking for Joe McBride –

No Games at Stirling
No European Trip

‘Joe McBride has lost his fight to play for Celtic on Wednesday’s European Cup tie against Vovjodina in Yugoslavia.
Manager Jock Stein said today that McBride would not be in the team to play Stirling Albion tomorrow – nor would he be in the party for Yugoslavia.
On Tuesday of this week, Joe returned to action in the reserve team against Dundee at Dens Park.
Since then, Celtic have studied McBride’s reactions and today Jock Stein answered the question as to whether Joe McBride would return to the team at Stirling as a prelude to an appearance against Vojvodina when he told me ;”Joe will not be going to Yugoslavia. He would have played against Stirling Albion reserves tomorrow but the game has been postponed”.

It was a sorry saga and a bitter ending for Joe but it was also the right decision. Now he needed to have some form of operation to correct the problem. Let’s all hope that the op comes soon.

There was some good news for me, though, as I was listed at right back in the side to face Stirling. I was delighted…even if Annfield ranked alongside Broomfield as one of my least favourite pitches. Another one that sloped badly.

Maybe? Maybe Not?
After just four days in Europe, actress Mia Farrow has flown back to her husband Frank Sinatra in Miami – and the surprise return trip revived reports that she is expecting a baby.
A flustered Sinatra aide passing through New York originally asked ‘New York Post’ columnist Earl Wilson not to print anything about Miss Farrow’s movements.
But later it was announced that a change in film schedules had allowed her to return to New York for ‘three to four days’.

The Smaller Ones Take Over
The Ford Motor Company announced today the start of reduced production of Zodiacs and Zephyrs at Dagenham, Essex, because of slackening in demand.
A company spokesman said – “Demand for the big cars has dropped off, so we are switching our resources to the Cortina. There has been a tremendous demand for it and we are making about 1300 per day”

Bobby Cox, Dundee FC’s full-back and former captain, was charged with careless driving, failing to report an accident and assaulting another motorist at Dundee Sheriff Court.
Cox, whose home is at Rowanbank Gardens, Broughty Ferry, was found not guilty on all three charges.