Arrived but Not Playing
Celtic’s new 6 feet 3 inch goalkeeper from Denmark – Bent Martin – will not be making his debut for the reserves at Tannadice today. As the Dane has not played since the 17th November, it has been decided by the management at Parkhead that he will require some training.
Under Jerry Kerr, the Tangerines were noted for the nice football they played. Following the lead of Morton and a few other Scottish clubs, they had tapped into the readily available – and relatively cheap – transfer markets of Denmark and Scandinavia to bring in some new players. On that particular afternoon, they had three in their side, Finn Dossing from Denmark at centre-forward and two Swedes, Lennart Wing in midfield and Orjan Persson on the wing. In future years, Orjan and I were to cross swords on a regular basis, firstly when he was in the colours of Dundee United then the light blue of Rangers.
In the press on the day of the game, everyone was still raving about Celtic’s performance in the Old Firm contest – for the 5th day in a row. The clash that afternoon was expected to be a good one with general comment that the visitors would have to be at their best to hold Celtic at bay and take advantage of any opportunities that came along. The defence then received some praise –‘Defensively, too, Celtic are as tight as a drum these days’. Good….long may it continue!
Pre – Match
I had not seen the full-timers since the match against Rangers and I was very impressed by the welcome I got. In any pool of players, there is obviously an element of competition for places among the eleven who take to the field on match day and this squad was no different. At the same time, I can state with hand on heart that you could not have come across a friendlier bunch of guys anywhere and I was always happy to be in their company.
The pitch was on the heavy side but there was no frost or anything like that. When we went out for the warm-up, it was in normal leathers, so everyone felt quite comfortable. The Boss had decided to play the same side as against Rangers, so once again, as I would do for a few more seasons, I got changed between Ronnie Simpson and Tam Gemmell, the strips being laid out in the dressing room in order of 1 to 11 ( no subs in those days).
For all his experience, Ronnie could get a bit nervous before a match, which made him a bit garrulous, whereas Tom, who never gave the appearance of being apprehensive before any match, was talkative to an extreme at all times! What a great spot I had in the dressing-room? Thank goodness the Boss started saying his piece, which at that time before the game was always more about our attitude rather than any tactical details. These would have been covered earlier.
Just when we all thought that we would be going out, though, the referee, Mr Kelly of Motherwell, came in to tell us that the crowd had been slow in coming in and the start would be delayed for 5 minutes. Not good news, as most of us had timed our warm-up for a 3 o’clock start and now had to adjust.
By the time play got underway, the crowd figure was given as 36,000, very good in the immediate post-New Year period. We started the more brightly of the two teams but United coped with our attacks quite well. Jimmy Johnstone hammered a shot over the bar midway through the half, then Mitchell did the same for the visitors shortly afterwards. Celtic’s best chance came in the 40th minute, when a Joe McBride shot beat the keeper but hit off a defender’s legs to go behind for a corner. By the interval, any neutral would probably have said that Celtic had most of the play but frankly, defences had been on top.
In the second half, after a sharp rebuke from you-know-who that we would have to raise our game, we began to control more of the play and opened the scoring in the 56th minute. Jimmy J cut in from the right and swept the ball across goal; Donald MacKay, in the United goal, did well to push it away but it only went as far as Charlie Gallagher, who fairly hammered it knee-high into the net. The goal had come at just the right time and players and fans celebrated enthusiastically.
United tried to come back and Ronnie had to make a good save from Orjan Persson but the longer the match went on, the more Celtic dominated and everyone seemed to think we played some good football in the process. And, as a right-back in the defence, another clean sheet was good for our reputation!
Final score: Celtic 1 – 0 Dundee United
No matter which paper, Charlie Gallagher’s winner dominated the headlines ;-
Gallagher Finds a Gap
Gallagher Seals the Win
2 Final Pieces of Good News
Firstly, a few minutes before the expiry of the deadline given by Celtic to the USSR authorities over their travel arrangement to Tbilisi, a cable was received confirming that Celtic would be able to fly from Scotland to Georgia by chartered plane. And secondly, it was announced that Celtic would be going on a summer tour of the USA.
A Game from the Past…..and a Moment to Remember
Sponsored by the Jim Craig CSC
A Game from the Past……centre-half Thomas Hynds made his first-team debut in a Charity Cup tie against Rangers on 7th May 1898, Celtic unfortunately going down 0-2.
And a Moment to Remember…..Tom went on to play 31 times for Celtic between 1898 and 1900, although he did not seem to be a favourite of Wille Maley – by that time secretary/manager of Celtic – who played him irregularly. However, in 1902, after he had spent a year at Bolton, Tom Hynds was signed by Willie Maley’s brother Tom, at that point manager of Manchester City and he went on to win a Second Division Championship medal in 1903 and a FA Cup winner’s medal in 1904.
Pope Paul yesterday ordained 62 new priests at the Vatican from 22 countries in the first such public rite conducted by a Pontiff in living memory.
The Queen is to open the new Glasgow Municipal Airport, Abbotsinch, near Renfrew on June 27th.
To Stoke the Fires
Coal production during the week ending 25th December totalled 3,012,000 tons compared with 4,078,000 tons the previous month.
Total Scottish production was 259,000 tons compared to 362,000 the previous month.