I had resigned myself to the fact that I might be out for a few weeks. Frankly, in spite of all the treatment I was receiving, the pain in my ankle just refused to go away and I was still feeling it quite stiff when I attempted to run.
That is a difficult situation for any player. The more you don’t run – if you know what I mean – the less fit you are becoming, so it is sensible to do something. Nowadays, of course, a player in that position would do some work on a static bike, something that we did not have at Celtic Park at that time. So I did a lot of walking on the track round the pitch and at home followed my Dad’s routine. He had always kept himself in good shape by walking and also, on those very wet days that occur a lot in the West of Scotland, would climb up and down the stairs in the house a dozen times.
When he first suggested it to me, I was a bit dubious, thinking that the exercise was for old folk but right at that time, any old folk would have beaten me in a race so I tried it and found it very helpful, as it gave some work to my thighs and calves without any great stress on the ankle.
The other problem, of course, that occurs when you are receiving prolonged treatment for a problem on one part of your body is that the skin over the site becomes tender due to the constant massaging. My skin round the ankle was bright red and swollen but also extremely itchy. It was difficult to keep one’s hands off the area just to relieve the pruritis (isn’t it amazing what a medical training teaches you!) but I just gritted my teeth and tried to ignore it. Mind you, I complained like a wee lassie when Bob was in action but like most physios in that position, he just laughed!
Jock Stein’s Press Conference
‘On Friday afternoon, at his pre-match press conference, Jock Stein dropped a real bombshell when he announced that three players – John Hughes, Charlie Gallagher and Jim Craig – are not fit enough to be considered for selection’
Dunfermline were our opponents in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Saturday 26th March. They were lying in 4th place in the table and we knew a lot about them, as Jock Stein had been manager at East End Park in the earlier part of the decade.
We had played the Pars once that season already – in the League, at their ground just before Christmas, winning 2-0 – but they were a good side, with a number of fine players, including, at that point, a future Celt in Tommy Callaghan.
On the eve of the match, the squad was chosen for the match against England at Hampden on 2nd April. Those chosen were ;-
Goalkeepers….Cruikshank (Hearts) and Ferguson (Kilmarnock)
Full Backs……Gemmell (Celtic), Greig (Rangers) and McCreadie (Chelsea).
Half-backs……Baxter (Sunderland), McKinnon (Rangers), McNeill (Celtic), Murdoch (Celtic), Bremner (Leeds).
Forwards……..Cooke (Dundee), Henderson (Rangers), Hughes (Celtic), Johnston (Rangers), Johnstone (Celtic), Law (Manchester United), Wallace (Hearts), St John (Liverpool).
John Prentice, manager of Clyde, was last night appointed as Scotland’s new team boss. Mr Willie Allan, secretary of the SFA, made this statement :’John Prentice has been appointed team manager of Scotland with a contract running till June 30 1970. He will take up his appointment as soon as is conveniently possible and he will be in charge of the team against England at Hampden on Saturday week’.
Fairs Cup Draw
The draw was made in London yesterday for the semi-finals of the Fairs Cup ;-
Barcelona v Chelsea or T.S.V Munich
Leeds United v Dunfermline or Real Zaragoza
And there was a little notice at the bottom of the main page in one of the sporting dailies, which issued the following warning ;-
‘Stand by for a terrific scramble at Parkhead tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 2pm. That’s when Celtic are putting their tickets for the Liverpool tie on sale – even though no dates have yet been fixed’.
There was a reserve match at Parkhead on the Friday evening, when Celtic beat Kilmarnock 3-2. The team was Martin, Halpin, McCarron, Cattenach, Cushley, O’Neill, Connelly, H Quinn, J Quinn, Gallagher and Taylor; the scorers were Jimmy Quinn, Davie Cattenach and Tony Taylor.
Last time round, I asked why Partick Thistle were called ‘The Jags’. Well, the proper answer is that ‘jag’ or ‘jaggie’ are old Scots words to describe something ‘prickly’ and what could be more prickly than a thistle.
And this week’s question is about that Fairs Cup draw listed above. Two of those sides had won the trophy before; which two?
The first meeting between London Zoo’s Giant Panda Chi-Chi and her prospective Russian bridegroom An-An was called off yesterday because An-An’s guardian, Moscow Zoo director Doctor Igor Sosnovsky, had to go to bed with flu.
Wedding on High
Two trapeze artistes have become man and wife while balancing on a tightrope 100 feet above a circus ring in Bordeaux. The priest conducted the ceremony from the safety of a raised platform.
Julie Christie won the British Film Academy’s ‘Best British Actress’ award for her performance in the Anglo-Amalgamated film ‘Darling’.
And another star in the same film, Dirk Bogarde, won the best British actor award.