5th October 1966:  Zurich v Celtic  European Cup – Part One

3rd October

Five players were called to Celtic Park for a special training session today before setting off for Zurich – Hughes, Murdoch, O’Neill, McBride and Clark.

They were not injured, as manager Jock Stein told the press at the airport :

They are either big men or bulky men and all the travelling is likely to stiffen up the muscles. They normally train every day and just wanted to keep to that routine”.

The Celtic party arrived in Zurich in the middle of a heat wave, with temperatures reaching 81F.

4th October

Stein’s ‘Stun’ Plan – Celts Aim for a Quick Goal


That was one of the headlines in the evening press and the comments underneath were also very interesting ;-

‘Zurich are expecting to lose this tie. Celtic are confident it can be won but both sides are considering the possibility of a play-off  – and neither side wants that in a neutral country before a handful of spectators. If Zurich do somehow manage to pull back a 2-goal deficit, chances are that after a toss of the coin, the venue for the play-off will be Glasgow, Berne or Basle’.


And the article ended with another piece of information which the Boss might have given out, as he was always very aware of the nature of a reporter’s job and how they liked to have a little tit-bit to what the appetite of the readers ;

Celts to Play Bobby Lennox in Zurich


Back in Glasgow, a very reduced squad of players had gathered at Celtic Park for some training. As all the first-team coaches and managerial staff were in Switzerland, some of the reserve staff had come in to oversee the work, which was done in a good atmosphere. That was very important, as the guys there were ones excluded from the first-team pool at that time and as that is the aim of every player, not to be involved was a real blow to one’s morale.

It is difficult to retain one’s enthusiasm for the task at a time like that. For someone like myself, who had been exposed to a run in the first team the previous season, it was disappointing not to be involved and I felt a bit out of things. However, as I mentioned last week, with my finals just about to start, that might have been not such a bad thing.


5th October

There was another piece of news in the morning papers ;-

‘Steve Chalmers will be Celtic’s centre-forward tonight with Joe McBride out of the side for the first time this season’.


Today is Jock Stein’s birthday, his 44th. Apparently, when the players asked him what he would like for a present, he said “give me a quick goal and I’ll be happy for the rest of the year’.

Caught between Two Jobs

John Prentice - Torn between two lovers!

John Prentice – Torn between two lovers!

John Prentice, the Scotland team manager, arrived at Prestwick Airport after his controversial trip to Canada and said “The SFA have only themselves to blame. If they had given me a long-term contract, I would not have considered any other offer”.

Prentice will tell the SFA today whether he will stay on as Scotland team Boss or become manager of Canadian club Vancouver FC.


Faiths Come Together

A historic luncheon took place at Glasgow City Chambers when Lord Provost John Johnstone was host to Dr Leonard Small, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, Dr James Scanlan; and Bishop Francis Moncrieff, Primus of the Episcopal Church in Scotland.


A Return

Harry Hood, the former Clyde inside-forward who was transferred to Sunderland in November 1964 for a fee of around £26,000, may return to Clyde. The clubs have agreed a fee – said to be half what Clyde got for him.

Before his transfer to Sunderland, Hood turned down the chance to join Celtic after the clubs had reached agreement.