A 4-0 win against Raith Rovers in the League Cup quarter-final second leg tie was a fairly positive response by the players to the defeat the week before against Rangers in the league, although most reports pointed out that the guys had only started playing in the second half of the contest.
Still, a 12-1 aggregate over the two legs put Celtic into the semi-finals of that particular competition and now it was important to maintain momentum, so the forthcoming league match against Aberdeen at Celtic Park was another important fixture.
In the previous season, Aberdeen had finished 12th in the 34-team league competition with a record of P34 W12 D8 L14 F59 A75 Pts32. – and had not started the 1965-66 campaign any better. It looked like an opportunity for Celtic to pick up two points and manager Jock Stein made a change to the side which had beaten Raith Rovers, an unusual change in view of the comfortable win in that match;
Celtic Bring in Ronnie Simpson against Dons
‘In goal for Celtic against Aberdeen today at Parkhead is veteran Ronnie Simpson, playing his first match for the first-team since 9th January.
Simpson’s comeback means that Celtic boss Jock Stein has used all his three keepers within a week. John Fallon played in goal against Rangers; John Kennedy versus Raith Rovers in midweek; and now Simpson.
Billy McNeill will resume at centre-half, so the side will be Simpson, Young, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Auld, McBride, Lennox and Hughes’.
The Northern Lights
Once again, having failed to convince the boss that I was worthy of a place in the first-team, I was in the reserves, or, as the press used to call it, the ‘A’ team, with a trip to Aberdeen beckoning. All through my Celtic career, that was the only venue in Scotland to which we travelled by train. We had to report to Queen Street by 8.45am to catch the train sometime around 9am, had a drink and a sandwich in the carriage and arrived in Aberdeen before noon. We then went to a hotel near the station for a pre-match lunch, after which we walked to the ground.
In those days, if you took a look across the city of Glasgow from any hill, a noticeable feature was the smoke rising from a plethora of chimneys. This often joined with the natural mist of winter to form ‘smog’, cutting down visibility and causing breathing difficulties for a fair percentage of the population. Sometimes, it affected the viewing conditions at matches and it certainly did not provide the ideal atmospheric conditions for any athletic activity.
By contrast, the ground at Aberdeen, Pittodrie, was only a few hundred yards from the North Sea and as soon as we got off the train, we all noticed the better atmosphere and could smell the tang of the sea air. I do not know how the rest felt but I was certainly raring to go!
The Brazilians had all gone by this time, and some people said that the glamour had left the team?
None of the players still there held that view of course, but we had all become genuinely fond of the two we played with – Ayrton Inacio and Marco di Sousa. They did not speak much English and our Portuguese was non-existent but they were friendly, had great smiles and could certainly play. We never found out exactly why they wanted – or should that be ‘were advised’ – to leave Brazil and play in a foreign land but while they were here, they just became part of the squad and were a credit to their country. I for one, have always wondered what would happen to them and how their careers would turn out?
The Reserves go Nap
On the afternoon of 25th September, 1965, while the first teams were running out at Celtic Park, the ‘A’ teams of Aberdeen and Celtic came out on to the turf at Pittodrie for a league match. The Hoops side on the day was;
John Kennedy, Jim Craig, Jim Kennedy, Jim Brogan, Frank McCarron, Willie O’Neill, George Connelly, John Divers, Steve Chalmers, Henry Quinn and Tony Taylor.
It must have been quite a galling experience for Stevie Chalmers in particular that afternoon. He had led the line against Raith Rovers only three days previously and had scored one of the goals in the 4-0 victory yet there he was, dropped into the reserves and just told to get on with it. John Kennedy was in the same boat. That was the way in those days; the club liked to keep you playing, so if you were not in contention for the first team, then the reserves it was!
Anyway, on that afternoon, at a fresh Pittodrie, the second team gave an excellent performance, beating the Dons 5-2. In the previous weeks, the Brazilians had made the score sheet but now it was the turn of Steve Chalmers, Henry Quinn and John Divers to make their mark. The whole team played well and I remember thoroughly enjoying the afternoon, making numerous forays forward to join in the attacks. The result made for a happy train trip back down to Glasgow.
The First Team does even Better
At Parkhead, the first team put in an equally impressive shift, winning 7-1 in a one-sided contest which became slightly embarrassing near the end. Celtic were just streets ahead of the Dons in their play and the goals rained in. As you might have imagined, the headlines were along the lines of ;
Celtic Thrash Dons
Dons Get Turned Over
The goals arrived as follows – Bobby Lennox ( 3 minutes), Jimmy Johnstone (12), Lennox (15), John Hughes (43), Johnstone (55), Bertie Auld (70) and Joe McBride (74).
Inside-forward Ernie Winchester did get one for Aberdeen in the 61st minute but it hardly mattered and Celtic took the points with ease, maintaining their spot at second place in the table.
The Brazilians did not go far
The four Brazilians had been invited by Albion Rovers to train with their squad and to watch the midweek match between the wee Rovers and Ayr United. On the following Wednesday, Albion were due to play bottom club Forfar and Ayrton Inacio was handed the number 8 jersey.
In a report of the match, it mentioned that ‘the dusky, stocky inside-forward was prominent early on with neat touches and indeed scored with a fine daisycutter for the first goal. The Forfar defence then decided to cut him out of the play and he received some fairly rough treatment and fell out of the game.
Politically incorrect it may be but the essence of the report gives us an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the Brazilians in general. Excellent on the ball but not happy with the admittedly fierce tackling of the Scottish game at that time. Within a week, they had moved on again.
In other fields of activity, various personalities made the news;-
500 Shares for Matt Busby
Matt Busby, for 20 years manager of Manchester United, has been given 500 ordinary £1 shares by the club directors.
As there are only 4,000 ordinary Manchester United shares, it means that Mr Busby will hold a considerable stake in the club.
Custer’s Last Stand….in Montrose!
Two one-night stands by Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas in Scotland cost the pop star dearly.
At Fraserburgh, he had his jacket and trousers ripped and lost a £25 gold bracelet; while at Montrose, he had to be protected from screaming teenagers by a ‘wall’ of bodyguards.
Said Kramer, “I never expected to get such a boisterous reception north of the Border. At the Locarno (Montrose) on Wednesday it felt like Custer’s Last Stand…only, instead of Indians, it was girls!
However, the biggest news of the week – and probably the event which has had the longest-lasting influence on all our lives – occurred in the USA and deserves a special heading all to itself ;
Tom and Jerry makes its First Broadcast on CBS