3rd January 1966: Celtic v Rangers – Part Two

Going to Work

I was under orders that day of 3rd January 1966. The Boss had told me to take a taxi to the ground – no mention of the club paying for it, of course – as he thought it would be the safest, and perhaps quickest, way to get there.

Right from when I got up, the butterflies were floating about in my tummy – quite unusual for me as I did not usually suffer from nerves – and they never left all morning. And things were not really helped when I got a garrulous taxi-driver, who talked the whole way to Parkhead. I was in two minds about giving him a tip but eventually I did so, even if it was with a decided lack of enthusiasm!


The Atmosphere at Parkhead

When I got out of the taxi at the front door, I was immediately surrounded by fans for autographs etc. They were also keen to offer pieces of advice, although some of the things they wanted me to do to the Rangers players would lead me to being arrested on criminal charges!

Once inside the ground, I immediately noticed from the faces of my team-mates that I was not the only one feeling a bit nervous. Naturally, all that had to change when we went outside to inspect the pitch and come into contact with the Rangers players. That is a time when a player has to appear confident about the outcome and all of us fell into that pattern.

I felt a bit of an outsider, as the only Rangers player I knew was Jim Forrest, who had played with Drumchapel Amateurs at centre-forward at the youths’ under-18 level when I was an inside-right with Queen’s Park’s Victoria Eleven. These were the two top teams in the league and we had clashed regularly. So, I had a few words with him before heading to our separate dressing-rooms.


To ‘Con’ or not to ‘Con’

The Celtic Park pitch was hard and slippery that afternoon and the new training shoes were all ready to be worn for the occasion. However, I can recall that before we went out for the warm-up, there was some discussion over whether we should wear them at that point or put on rubber-soled boots and keep the new ones as a surprise for when the game began. In the end, logic took over and we wore them for the warm-up.


Simpson; Craig, Gemmell; Murdoch, Cushley, Clark; Johnstone, Gallacher, McBride, Chalmers, Hughes

Ritchie; Johansen, Provan; Greig, McKinnon, Hynd; Wilson, Setterington, Forrest, McLean, Johnston.

Referee: Tom Wharton
Attendance: 66,000

The Match Report – First Half

As in the match against Clyde, we did not get off to the best of starts, losing a goal within a minute, when a Davie Wilson shot was deflected past Ronnie Simpson for the opener. It was a bit of a shock to us but we recovered quickly and, almost immediately, the difference in approach of the two sides was quickly apparent to the watching press;-

‘There were two crucial differences between the teams. Celtic, wearing training boots, strode the sanded surface of the frost-bound pitch with comparative assurance. Rangers’ players, conventionally shod, were much less sure-footed and they could never really come to terms with the difficulties presented by the conditions.

Chiefly, however, Celtic emerged quite simply as the better side – fluent and inventive where Rangers were hesitant and orthodox. Both at wing-half and inside-forward, where constructiveness begins, Celtic were infinitely superior and on the wing, Hughes made life as uncomfortable for Provan as he did for Johansen in the League Cup Final.


By half-time, although we had all the play and the pressure, we had not managed to do the essential and put the ball into the back of the net. It was a fairly disappointed group of players who made their way into the dressing-room and picked up their half-time drink but the Boss immediately rose to the occasion, making it quite clear that he was satisfied with the overall performance. That boosted us and by the time he went on to mention a couple of things that he thought would help us in the second half, we were all feeling better.

And, once the second half started, the chances soon came…..as did the goals!



Stevie Chalmers levels the match-
© Daily Record

49 minutes
Joe McBride dummies Tam Gemmell’s cross and Stevie Chalmers
shoots home from 6 yards. 1-1


62 minutes
A corner by Charlie Gallagher, a header by Chalmers. 2-1


69 minutes
John Hughes raced past Davie Provan and cut the ball back for
Gallagher to slam the ball home off the under-side of the cross-bar. 3-1

79 minutes
Jimmy Johnstone touches a free-kick sideways to Gallagher. He gives
a square pass to Bobby Murdoch (through the legs of referee Tom ‘Tiny’ Wharton, who skilfully dummied wee Jimmy’s pass), who hammered the ball home from 30 yards. 4-1


Chalmers again with the fifth after wee Jimmy’s shot hit the post-
© Daily Record

90 minutes
A Johnstone shot hits the post, Chalmers nets re-bound. 5-1

That was enough for us to win the match, although when it came to the topic of bookings, Rangers were well ahead, with Johansen, Setterington and Provan all entering the referee’s notebook..








Video of Goals (except equaliser)



After Match

A 5-1 win over your oldest rivals is the stuff of dreams, so it is easy to imagine the atmosphere in the dressing-room afterwards. Yes, it was pandemonium! Apart from the players involved, the management and coaching staff, the room was invaded by the directors plus the reserve team guys, all of whom wanted to share in the moment and if they got the chance, take a wee sip of the champagne on offer!

For Stevie Chalmers, who celebrated his 80th Birthday on Boxing Day at a private dinner held in the Walfrid Restaurant, it was extra special. He became a member of a select band of players who scored hat-tricks against Rangers.

I had organised a taxi to get me back home again, although on this trip I was joined by my Dad and my Uncle Philip, for both of whom I had managed to get tickets. And the celebrations continued when I got home, although, as I had an early start the next day back at the Dental Hospital, I made sure I retired fairly early. But what a day it had been!


Press Coverage

The details of the play were covered extensively in the papers the following morning but the most pertinent comment was this one;-

Clear Lead for Celtic in League

‘After an interval of several years, Celtic have taken a clear lead at the top of the First Division. Before a crowd of 65,000 at Celtic Park yesterday, they beat Rangers 5-1, the widest margin of victory over their traditional rivals since season 1938-39 when they won 6-2 and their first win in the New Year fixture for 12 years.

Including League, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup matches, Celtic have now gone 22 successive games without defeat.


Two Big Stations to Go

It was announced that St Enoch Station in Glasgow will close in April and the City’s Buchanan Street Station will close in June.

Trains now using Buchanan Street station will be switched to Queen Street and services to St Enoch Station will use Glasgow Central.

Joining the Jet Set

The forthcoming introduction of Comet jets on the Abbotsinch- Heathrow route will cut the journey time from the current 2 hours 40 minutes to 2 hours 5 minutes.

Bad Boy

James Robert Gordon (35) of Marleybone High Street London was fined £15 at Marlborough Street Sherrif Court yesterday for driving away Beatle Paul McCartney’s Mini – Cooper and using it without insurance.


A Game from the Past…..and a Moment to Remember


Sponsored by the Jim Craig CSC


A Game from the Past….Outside-right Charlie McGillivray made his Celtic debut versus Ayr United on 30th August 1932, scoring once in the 4-1 victory.

And a Moment to Remember….Charlie went on to play only 4 matches in total for the club, scoring 4 goals in the process but he was always highly regarded and when he was signed by Manchester United, the then manager, ex-Celt Scott Duncan, declared that “everyone knows that Celtic made a mistake in letting him go’.

Charlie went on to play for a number of clubs in England and Scotland in a 17-year career before ending up at Los Angeles Scots in 1949.