3rd November 1965 : Aarhus v Celtic ECWC

A Trip Round Europe

As I mentioned previously, after the match against Stirling, Jock Stein, in his other role as Scotland manager, had headed for Rome to watch Italy play Poland in a World Cup tie. It must have been an uncomfortable Sunday afternoon for the Celtic Boss, as the Italians thrashed the visitors 6-1!

After a night in Rome, he then made his way to Denmark to meet up with the Celtic party in Aarhus prior to the match on the 3rd November.


The Chosen Ones

The players picked to travel to Aarhus were the eleven who played against Stirling – Simpson, Young, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Gallagher, McBride, Lennox and Hughes – plus John Fallon, John Kennedy, John Cushley, Stevie Chalmers and Bertie Auld.


A Delay

The squad trained at Celtic Park on the Monday morning, then headed for Prestwick Airport, from where their chartered plane would take the travelling party to Copenhagen later that evening.

Unfortunately, the plane, which was stationed at that point in Dublin, was unable to leave the Irish capital because of high and stormy winds. Some emergency measures were required and someone worked hard at that, as within minutes the whole travelling group was booked into a hotel in Ayrshire.

They spent the night there, had breakfast in the hotel the next morning, then headed back to the Airport to board their plane which had come in earlier that morning.


A Meeting

At the airport in Copenhagen, the players met their manager, who had just arrived from Rome. They went straight to their hotel in Aarhus and then, after being allocated their rooms, came down ready for a visit to Ceres Stadium, the ground of Aarhus. After a light training session, Jock Stein spoke to the press, initially about the match in Rome then about the game against Aarhus. He would not be drawn on a team selection but his whole demeanour seemed to suggest that the eleven who had started against Hearts, Falkirk, Rangers, Dundee and Stirling would get the nod again.


More Work

Back in Glasgow, the reserves were training as usual on the Tuesday evening, with everyone noticing that the nights were getting colder. We were never provided with track suits – apparently on the orders of Jock Stein – and for each training session, we were issued with a newly washed short-sleeved T-shirt and jockstrap.

Now, for any young ladies reading this, a ‘jockstrap’ is what a gentleman wears over his private parts to keep them in place. Otherwise, man’s most important possessions could get damaged!

Our shorts and jersey were hung up in the drying cupboard, so we went along to get them and at some point the socks were merely thrown on to the table in the middle of the dressing room, so there was usually a mad scramble to get a half-decent pair. And everyone had been issued with two pairs of boots, leather-soled ones for playing, rubber soles for training. And that was it! All we had to do now was get on to the track under the illumination of the lights under the stand and enclosure and…start running!


There had been one change this season, though, in that we did get some ball-work on the area behind the goal at the east end. It was not a very big area and was illuminated by only some poor lights but it was a chance to get some practice in and all the boys loved that part. Playing competitive matches on a small, uneven surface with limited vision? We used to say that even Pele would struggle in those conditions!…..but just got on with it just the same.


The Pope in Action

Pope Paul yesterday blessed the 49,600 lbs Maria Dolens, the biggest suspended ringing bell of its kind. The bell, originally cast in 1924 from the 1st World War guns and commemorating the war dead of all countries from all times, is to be hung in a castle at Rovereto, in the province of Trento, North Italy.


‘Grand Dragon’ Slain

A man tentatively identified as Daniel Burros, named by the House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee as ‘Grand Dragon’ of the Ku Klux Klan in New York, was found shot dead in Reading, Pennsylvania last night


A Fishy Tale

When a British Rail attendant opened the door of a toilet cubicle yesterday in Central Station, Glasgow, he got the fright of his life.

The cubicle was ‘engaged’ and sitting in it was a gigantic porpoise.

The propped-up carcase was dripping wet but nobody knows how it got there.

The porpoise, weighing half-a-hundredweight, and more than four feet long, was taken to Kelvingrove Museum.

Mr Charles Palmer, curator, said “A curious item to find in a public lavatory. We have put it in the deep-freeze and in due course will make a cast of the porpoise in fiberglass”.

Station officials said “Perhaps it was caught by a drunken sailor”

And the police said “Could it have been a students’ prank?”



The Team

The team which ran out on to the pitch at the Ceres Stadium in Aarhus was as expected –

Simpson, Young, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Gallagher, McBride, Lennox and Hughes.

There was a crowd of 11,500 in the stadium, the vast majority of them supporting the local side and all of them excited about seeing their boys taking on this team from Scotland.

Unfortunately, according to the press reports, they would have been disappointed both by the play and by the result! ; –

Aarhus 0 Celtic 1

Celtic Win By Only Goal Of Dull Game

Certain to Reach Next Round             

In a match of indifferent football here tonight Celtic beat Aarhus by 1-0 and now seem certain to qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup.

They were an infinitely better team than their Danish amateur opponents and the fact that they scored only one goal will certainly make them go all out for further goals when the second leg is played at Celtic Park on 17th November.

The goal which won the match for Celtic was scored by McBride after 23 minutes, when he out-jumped the Aarhus defence and headed the ball into the corner of the net from a corner kick by Hughes.

There seemed to be only the one moment when the Celtic goal was under some pressure;-

The Aurhus players at no time presented any serious threat to Celtic, although Simpson had one uncomfortable moment when a shot by Enoksen bounced off his chest. The goalkeeper made a quick recovery, however, before the centre-forward could stab the loose ball over the line.


There was, though, one player in the Aarhus side who did catch the eye and he kept his side in the match in the second half ;-

….and the only moments of a poor second half came when goalkeeper Martin made two excellent saves, one from Gallagher and the other from McBride.

It seemed to be one of those matches where not one Celtic player played a starring role yet they still got the result that mattered. At the end of the above report, the journalist summed the whole night up with the comment that ‘Celtic won the match much more easily than the score suggests’.

In a more critical review in a different paper, though, another reporter said that only four players – Simpson, Gemmell, McNeill and Murdoch – would get pass marks!

When the manager was asked for his thoughts after the match, Jock Stein was both confident and complimentary ;-

“We should win the return leg on 17th November but Aarhus were pretty good opposition and I was particularly impressed by their goalkeeper”.



Craig Breedlove yesterday drove his jet-powered car, Spirit of America, to a new world land speed record of 555.127 mph at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The previous record of 536.71mph was set last year by another American, Art Arfons.

The record for a conventional wheel-driven car is held by Britain’s Donald Campbell at 403.1mph


East and West

Abraham Wilbraham, a 27-year-old Plymouth geophysical engineer, was sent to prison in Potsdam yesterday for four years, accused of trying to help East Germans across to the west.

Wilbraham, who had told the Court of secret passwords and signals, told Reuters as he was led away from the tiny courtroom : “The sentence is a bit steep but I am not really surprised”.


Back Again

Most of the 250 settlers on Tristan da Cunha plan to return to Britain next April.

Two men from the remote South Atlantic island, now on their way to Britain, say that the settlers long to see again the bright lights of Britain.

The entire population was evacuated to Britain in October 1961 after a severe volcanic eruption. The islanders returned to their homes in November 1963.