5th March 1966: Hearts v Celtic – Scottish Cup – Part Two

The Morning of the Match

I had got the nod from the Boss to join the party travelling to Edinburgh for the Scottish Cup tie with Hearts, so I made my way to Parkhead for mid-morning. And what a difference it made when I was able to drive my own vehicle all the way! No more of this jumping on and off buses and being asked by conductors about the game in Scotland; funny how few of them were Celtic fans.

I was in a reasonably good humour. I had almost got over the fact that I was missing out on the game by that time and was keen for us to reach the next round, so I approached everyone with my usual enthusiasm and was rather surprised by the reception I got. Without anyone saying anything, I could clearly see that the boys were worried about the match and obviously the events of four weeks previously, when we had lost to Hearts in the league at Tynecastle, were still preying on more than a few minds.

Anyway, that was for them to worry about. At the Norton Hotel, our usual base on the western outskirts of the city, where we stopped for our pre-match meal, while the rest of the players were having a choice of chicken or fish, at my table, where I was seated alongside the Boss, Neilly Mochan, Bob Rooney and Jimmy Steele, we all had three courses!

Not playing does have its benefits!

The Press

On the morning of the match, that particular game got all the headlines and comment ;-


Hearts Hard Hit

One of the hottest spots in Scotland today will undoubtedly be Tynecastle Park

The biggest crowd of the day will watch cup-holders Celtic tackle a Hearts team which hasn’t been beaten in Scotland since last November.

That fact alone shows what Jock Stein’s team is up against.

And yet Celts, with their flair for the big occasion, their tremendous urge and their tactical pull, must start favourites to win – although no one would be surprised if it took two games.

Hearts lost to Zaragoza on Wednesday and paid a heavy price. For John Cumming and Davie Holt were injured and are out today.

Jock Stein’s side is on the ‘secret’ list until kick-off. It will be interesting to see if Billy McNeill is kept at right-back, where he was against Dundee in Monday.


The Team

In the end, the team chosen was Simpson, McNeill, Gemmell, Murdoch, Cushley, Clark, Johnstone, McBride, Chalmers, Auld, Hughes.


The Play

This was an all-ticket affair, with the maximum crowd set at 45,000, so the terracings were packed tight, too tight at the Gorgie Road end, when play had to be stopped after two minutes as the crowd spilled on to the field in that area.

The players were taken off by the referee and the game was suspended for 10 minutes or so until order was restored. Once under way again, it turned into a cracking match, every player at the top of his game, chances at both ends plus some goals.


23 minutes
Tommy Gemmell handled the ball out on the right, Hamilton took the free kick and swung it into the middle, where Wallace headed home unmarked, as the Celtic defence seemed to be watching Anderson.   1-0 Hearts

24 minutes
Bertie Auld’s shot powered into the net and was allowed by the referee  although a linesman had his flag up for off-side.   1-1

25 minutes
In-swinging corner for Hearts and Hamilton flicks it home.      2-1 Hearts



I do not know what was said at half-time as I was up in the stand, but the Celtic defence, with Billy McNeill and John Cushley playing a sort-of twin centre-half role, was not looking too clever, so I would have imagined that that was one area to have received some attention.


48 minutes

Joe McBride fires home the equaliser. 2-2


54 minutes
Joe McBride’s shot was mis-handled by keeper Cruickshank and Steve Chalmers was on the spot to prod the ball home.  3-2 Celtic


84 minutes
Hearts broke away, Wallace fired over a low cross which was dummied to Hamilton, who hit an even lower drive past Ronnie Simpson. 3-3


And that was the end of the action, honours even at 3-3 and a match thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd. In the dressing-room at the end of the match, where I had gone in commiserate – or congratulate – my teammates, I was just in time to hear the Boss in no nonsense mood, not happy with the attack for missing a few good chances and even less happy with the defence. Now, now, I thought, there might be changes for the replay…and I might just be fit for that!


On the Same Day

In the other quarter-final ties, the results were ;-

Aberdeen 3 Dumbarton 0
Dunfermline 3 Kilmarnock 1
Rangers 1 St Johnstone 0


And the reserves had also been in action that afternoon, beating Airdrie Reserves 3-0 in a Combined Reserve League game at Parkhead. The team was Fallon, Cunningham, Halpin, Henderson, McCarron, ‘Junior’, McGowan, Connelly, J Quinn, Sweeney, Taylor. Scorers were McGowan, J Quinn and Sweeney.


Press Reaction

The headlines that night and the days following summed up the match succinctly ;-

Exciting Tynecastle Tie   

Hearts Come Back from the Brink

Draw the Right Result




A Game from the Past…and a Moment to Remember

Sponsored by the Jim Craig CSC


A Game from the Past…….inside-forward Tommy McDermott joined Celtic from Dundee in September 1899 and made his first-team debut against Hearts at Tynecastle in a league match on 2nd November 1901.

And a Moment to Remember…..Tommy and his Rutherglen pal Jimmy McMenemy both played in the Dundee pre-season trial of 1899; after the match, Tommy signed for Dundee, Jimmy came back to Glasgow.

He did not seem to be the fittest of guys when he joined Celtic but some tough training soon improved him and he got into the team, coming to prominence as the ‘back’ which Jimmy Quinn put his hands on to lift himself and power in the header which won Celtic the Glasgow Exhibition Cup against Rangers at 2nd Hampden on 17th June 1902.

Tommy made 21 appearances for Celtic between 1901 and 1903, scoring 4 goals, before going on to play for a number of clubs in both England and Scotland, then joining the Highland Light Infantry in 1915.


Something To Look Forward To

Colour TV will be authorized to start on BBC2 towards the end of next year, Mr Anthony Wedgewood Benn, the Postmaster General, announced in the Commons.

There will be 4 hours a week at first, rising to about 10 hours within a year.



A Canadian air-liner crashed in fog and burst into flames at Tokyo Airport. An airline spokesman later intimated that 64 people had died.


A Menace?

Soccer star Denis Law was fined £5 and had his licence endorsed at Oldham today for speeding. Law, of Claude Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, drove his car through a radar beam at 45 mph.