7th January 1967: Celtic v Dundee League – Part Two

Morning of the Match

While most of the guys, like myself, were tucked up in bed in the early morning hours, there some activity at Parkhead.
Referee William Elliott of Barrhead was at the ground first thing and by 8.45am, he had declared the pitch playable. This was announced to the press by Jock Stein, who went on to add that, although they were not expecting any change in the weather, the referee would make another inspection at 1 o’clock, although he added “we think that the second inspection will be no more than a formality”.shortly afterwards the Dundee party left for Glasgow.

By the time all the Celtic players arrived round about midday, the ground staff was just putting the final touches to the pitch, the straw all having been removed and any excess stuff brushed off. Apart from being obviously hard, it was flat and we all put the rubber boots on and went out to give the pitch a try.

When I say ‘we all’ it did include me too although by that time I thought I had no prospect of playing. In the days leading up to the match, all the talk had been about games being off, the state of pitches etc and the Boss had never once mentioned the side, so I assumed that the defence would be the same as before and that the command for all of us to try out the rubber boots was just a ploy to keep those on the periphery happy.

As a result, I was a bit lackadaisical in my attempts at a work-out, merely going through the motions without any great enthusiasm. In fact, I was getting a bit annoyed that I had been ordered to get changed, put a track suit on and then go out and try the boots when I was then going to get changed again into my everyday outfit and watch the match from the stands.

Eventually, at around 2pm, we were called into the dressing room to hear the team read out. I did so quite calmly but when I heard the first three names read out – ‘Simpson, Craig, Gemmell’ – I could barely contain my joy. However, as I made my way over to the appropriate spot for the right-back to change – between the goalkeeper and the left-back – I was on cloud 9! And the congratulations I received from Ronnie and Tam made me feel as though I had never been away.

The Teams

Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace,
Chalmers, Gallagher, Lennox. Sub: Auld

Arrol, Wilson, Cox, Murray, Easton, Houston, Scott, Bryce, Cameron,
McLean, Kinninmonth. Sub: McKay






The Play

The rubber boots worked a treat, we all put in a real shift and the goals arrived on a regular basis. Just what I wanted on my first-team return; it could not have worked out better! Right from the start we bombarded the Dundee goal and got an early return;

2 minutes
Chopper tried a cross-cum-shot which got the Dundee defence in such a tangle that right back Wilson pushed it into his own net. 1-0 Celtic

4 minutes
defence-splitting pass from Chopper met first time by Wispy and his shot fairly flew into the net. 2-0 Celtic

20 minutes
A fine free-kick by Charlie was met on the half-volley by Jinky. 3-0 Celtic

All that was keeping Dundee in the game was the form of their keeper, John Arrol. Time and again he showed his class, particularly with saves from Wispy and Stevie. However in…

28 minutes
he could do nothing when Charlie controlled the ball in mid air, wheeled and hammered it high into the net. 4-0 Celtic

From then till half-time, we just controlled the play, getting a few efforts in which were well dealt with by Arrol.

And that continued in the second half, although Dundee did get a goal back through Cameron in 52 minutes but then the onslaught started again and the Dundee keeper was in action once more. He could do nothing, though, to stop Celtic’s final goal.

88 minutes
simple cross by Wispy right on to the head of Jinky, who made no mistake.

Final Score Celtic 5 Dundee 1

It had been a bit of an annihilation of the Dens Park side and everyone on the backroom staff was in a great mood afterwards, as were all the players. It is always good to get a good result after a defeat and although we were all disappointed when the matches against Clyde and Rangers had been cancelled, to hit 5 against Dundee (at that point 6th in the table) was an excellent performance.

From my own point of view, I thought that I had played well, playing my part in the defence’s solidity, while linking up well with Chopper and Jinky down the right. Next up now was Clyde, in four days time; would I keep my place?

Big Bang
The tiny flame from a cleansing department worker’s headlamp triggered off an explosion that blew the worker out of a close and completely shattered two shops in a three-story Glasgow tenement.
Families living across the road from the scene of the explosion at 35 Ronald Street Townhead were almost blown out of their beds by the blast.

More than 115 people were believed to have been killed when two coaches carrying pilgrims hurtled into a ravine on a mountain road south of Manila, in the Philippines.
Military rescue experts who took a helicopter to the crash site said that there appeared to be only 15 survivors out of more than 130 people thought to have been in the coaches.

At the ‘Flicks’
There was a full programme on at the various cinemas in Glasgow’s city centre ;
Green’s Playhouse………Pocketful of Miracles Glenn Ford; Bette Davis
Regent…………………..This Property is Condemned Natalie Wood; Robert Redford
Bedford…………………One Million Years B.C. Racquel Welch
La Scala…………………The Agony and the Ecstasy Charlton Heston; Diane Cilento
Odeon…………………..The Blue Max George Peppard
Coliseum………………..Doctor Zhivago Julie Christie; Omar Sharif