28th September 1966: Celtic v Zurich European Cup – Part Two


1966-09-28-zurichSwiss football was not regarded too highly by most Celtic fans, although a glance at the side which they put out showed that it would contain 2 Germans, 1 Italian and 7 Swiss internationals. And they were also managed by a very well-known name in Laszlo Kubala.
Kubala’s time in football was a remarkable one. Born in Hungary, he played for several different teams in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Spain and Switzerland, picking up 28 caps (3 for Hungary, 6 for Czechoslovakia, 19 for Spain) before moving into management, having spells with Barcelona (1961-63) and Espanyol (1963-66) before joining Zurich in the summer of 1966.
As you might imagine, the press gave the match great coverage not only in the days leading up to it but also on the day itself. One surprising fact that came to light on the day of the game was that Kubala – and his management team – had made no effort to have Celtic watched beforehand.

The Teams

Celtic: Simpson, Gemmell, O’Neill, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, McBride, Chalmers, Auld, Hughes.
Zurich: Iten, Munsch, Leimgruber, Steirli, Neumann, Brodmann, Kuhn, Martinelli, Bani, Meyer, Kunzl.


The Play
The Swiss side came out charged up and played a very physical game, seemingly determined to knock our guys off their stride, with Jinky a particular target. For most of the first half, it seemed that every Swiss player was camped in his own half to stop Celtic.
The relentless attacks did lead to some chances but surprisingly, Joe, of all people, missed two of the best ones, much to the amazement – and disappointment, judging by the groans – of the 50,000 crowd.

Tam Gemmell - Piledriver strike

Tam Gemmell – Piledriver strike

I wasn’t in the dressing room at half-time but from what I heard, the Boss merely told the guys to keep the pressure on in the second half but be a little more careful near goal. In 64 minutes, Tam took matters into his own hands, striding forward, ignoring opportunities to pass and slammed in the first goal off the under-side of the cross-bar. Within the next four minutes, Joe twice missed some good chances but then redeemed himself by driving a low shot past keeper Iten

There was controversy right on the final whistle. A header from Joe was seemingly net-bound when the referee, Mr Hansen from Denmark, blew the whistle for full-time.

Celtic 2 Zurich 0






Mr Hansen declared that this had been the most difficult match he had ever taken charge of. However, as one who was up in the stands watching the game, I have to say that he lost control of the proceedings on more than one occasion and probably more than one player was lucky not to have been ordered off. As it was, three players were booked, Stierli, Meyer and Bobby Murdoch
And, just to rub salt into raw wounds, the Swiss side accused Celtic of being over-physical!

Other Results
The previous evening Rangers had drawn 1-1 with Glentoran in Belfast in the Cup-Winners’ Cup. In the same competition, Everton had drawn 0-0 in their first –round first leg tie in Denmark against Aalborg.
In the European Cup, Liverpool had a 2-0 win over Petrolul Ploesti of Rumania in their first-round first leg tie at Anfield; while in the Fairs Cup, Burnley beat Stuttgart 2-0 at Turf Moor in a first round second leg encounter, going through 3-1 on aggregate.


Murder….or Suicide?
Lanarkshire detectives raced to a public park this afternoon after a man and a woman were found dead from shotgun wounds.
The double-shooting horror was discovered in Garrowhill Park by a man out walking his dog. Near the couple, believed to be in their early 30s, a 12-bore shotgun was found.
A senior police officer at the scene said “It is too early to make a statement but at the moment we are treating this as a case of murder and suicide”.

Cancelled Booking
A Glasgow hotel has banned the Walker Brothers from staying the night – because of ‘the trouble their fans cause other guests’. The group is due to play a one-night stand at the Odeon Theatre on Wednesday.
This was claimed today by the pop group’s manager who said that their booking at the Royal Scot Hotel had been cancelled.

Persuasive Priest
The ‘invasion’ of the Falkland Islands is over. The 20 Argentine nationalists who hi-jacked a plane in a bid to take over the islands have surrendered!
They are now under guard at Port Stanley after being persuaded by a Roman Catholic priest to give in. London missionary Father Rodolfo Roch talked the 19 men and the gang’s blonde leader – Maria Verrier – of the ‘Condor’ group into giving themselves up late last night.