The cup-tie against Hearts on the previous Saturday was still receiving much attention in the press, most of it complimentary. The following was typical of the response;-
‘There have been many terrific battles between Hearts and Celtic but for power-packed drama and excitement, Saturday’s cup-tie at Tynecastle made the others look like Sunday School outings’.
Back in Training (1)
On the Monday night, two days before the match, I reported at Celtic Park for an unusual training session. And the reason for the oddity was that I was on my own, just me being put through a series of runs by Neilly Mochan with the Boss and Sean Fallon looking on.
In terms of running power, I felt fine. Having missed a few matches it was natural, I suppose, to think that I might be blowing a bit but that was not the case; I felt really
good, full of running.
And as regards the ankle problem, if I was being honest I would have to say that it was not entirely free from pain but on the other hand, it did not stop me from putting in a reasonable shift.
Back in Training (2)
On the Tuesday evening came the big test. I joined in with the other part-timers in their usual runs, then went down behind one of the goals with Neilly Mochan. As usual, he scattered the bibs all over the place, then started pointing to various ones which I had to sprint to before turning to the next one etc. It was hard work but although the ankle was still giving me a bit of pain, it did not prevent me from doing the task at top speed. Afterwards, I got a ‘well done, son’ from Neilly, which in those days was the equivalent of a medal and I went into the dressing-room well pleased with my night’s work. A few minutes later, I was even more delighted when Sean Fallon told me to report the following night for the Hearts match and more or less intimated that provided there was no reaction from my endeavors that evening, I would be back in the side for the Scottish Cup replay against Hearts.
The draw for the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup was made in Glasgow. The four teams were paired up as follows;
Aberdeen v Rangers
Hearts/Celtic v Dunfermline
Scottish League Selection
The Scottish League select to face the English League at Newcastle on 16th March was announced in Glasgow. The chosen eleven was Ferguson (Kilmarnock), Greig (Rangers), Gemmell (Celtic), Murdoch (Celtic), McKinnon (Rangers), Smith (Aberdeen), Johnstone (Celtic), Cooke (Dundee), Wallace (Hearts), McLean (Rangers) and Hughes ( Celtic).
The Reds go Through
At Anfield, Liverpool beat Honved of Hungary 2-0 in a 2nd leg tie in the quarter-final stages of the European Cup Winners’ Cup. After the goalless first-leg in Budapest, the two goals were enough to put the Reds through to the semi-finals, where they joined Celtic.
Last time round, I mentioned that Jock Stein thought that the wonder goal scored by Neilly Mochan in the Coronation Cup final was from all of 40 yards but I asked just how far out Neilly himself though it was?
Well, in an interview I did with ‘Smiler’ in 1998, I asked him that very question and these are the exact words of the meeting;
Craig: Were you 40 yards out when you hit that ball, Neilly?
Mochan: Never 40 yards, Jim. I would say about 35 yards? Yes, 35 yards.
Craig: With the big broon ba’, too, Neilly
Mochan: Aye, Jim, the big broon ba’. Do you know, some of these modern guys couldn’t have kicked that ball 35 yards!
And this week’s question is about Hearts. The record attendance for a match at Tynecastle is the 53,396 who gathered there for the club’s Scottish Cup 3rd round tie against Rangers on 13th February 1932.
However, that is not the biggest attendance for a Hearts home match; why?
The guard of a football special threw out a note at Inverkeithing on Saturday night asking for police to meet the train after extensive damage had been done to three coaches by hooligans.
The train was taking supporters back to Kilmarnock from Dunfermline after the Ayrshire club had been beaten 2-1 in the Scottish Cup.
A British Rail spokesman said yesterday that 40 light bulbs had been smashed, 20 light shades broken, two luggage racks ripped out and seats slashed. Four curtains and five fire extinguishers were also missing.
Daughter Doing Well
Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra’s daughter, ruled the popular music charts in the United States last week and placed second in Britain with her low-pitched song ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’.
Bets totalling £17,000 were placed yesterday with the bookmaker William Hill on the Socialists winning the General Election.
Labour’s odds have hardened from 5-1 on to 6-1 on.
Conservatives have eased from 7-2 against to 4-1 against.