25th May 1966: North American Tour – Hamilton Primo v Celtic

After the previous match against Spurs, held in Toronto, the Celtic party only had a short trip to reach Hamilton where the next match would be played, against a most unusual side.


Hamilton Primo was very much a scratch team, put together by a Scot called Bill Paterson, who had been at centre-half for Rangers in the 1960 Scottish Cup final against Kilmarnock. In the weeks prior to the game, Paterson had made several trips to Scotland to recruit several players for his side and of the eleven which took to the field at McMaster University on a very hot evening, 8 of the side were Scots, assisted by 3 Italians.

Jock Stein put out a side of;

Ronnie, TG, Pumper, Chopper, Cesar, Luggy, Jinky, Bobby, Joe, Ten-Therty and Yogi;

and right from the kick-off, they took control and the goals quickly arrived. The headlines in the press the following day rather told the story ;-

 *11-0….and Stein’s boys raise their goals total to 35*


Delighted Canadians were saying here today that Celtic had made a bad blunder when they came on their tour of Bermuda and North America – they forgot to pack a computer to count the goals.

For Hamilton Primo last night it was a case of ‘Bang, bang, you shot me down’ as big Bill Paterson, one time of Rangers, a few other sundry Scots and Italians crashed to a 11-0 defeat.

It was hot in the Ontario stadium – in far more ways than one. Before the kick-off the local wise guys were forecasting that Celtic would be pushed to build up energy in the oven-like heat. A good laugh for Celtic. The sharpening-up training sessions of this week had worked wonders. They were fit and fast and far too good for Primo, who finished a very bad second.

The man with the most magic in his boots was Jimmy Johnstone, the outside-right, who did some outrageous things to the Hamilton defence. By half-time, Celtic had put in some very good accurate shooting practice. They had knocked nine goals into the back of the opposition net but, miraculously, Johnstone’s name was not on the score-sheet.

Apart from one shot early in the game that ‘whistled’ past his right-hand post, goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson spent the time adding yet another layer to his suntan.

The goal storm started in the 6th minute when Bobby Murdoch came through to trundle the ball home and in the next 34 minutes, the Primo players spent most of their time putting the ball on the centre-spot, kicking-off then repeating the humiliating procedure. After the Murdoch score, goals came like this – Lennox, Lennox again, McBride, Murdoch, McBride again, Lennox once again, Lennox yet again and Clark with a penalty kick.

In the second half exhibition of skill and science, Murdoch and Gemmell upped the score to 11.

Celtic have now scored 35 goals in five games and lost but one.