9th March 1966: Celtic v Hearts Scottish Cup Replay – Part Two


On the day of the match, there was much anticipation in the sporting press about this particular game. The first match had been the subject of a great deal of praise – although neither manager was particularly happy with their respective defences – so the return was eagerly awaited.

Celts to Ring Changes for Replay

Celtic are expecting a crowd of around 60,000 at Parkhead tonight when they meet Hearts in a replay of that tingling tie at Tynecastle to decide who meets Dunfermline in the semi-final of the cup.

It is a case of first-come, first-served for those who want to see the game. Because they are anticipating such a crowd, and in the interests of safety, Celtic have banned invalid cars from the ground for tonight.

Hearts’ choice will be from 13 players.

Celtic WILL make changes, as manager Stein was not happy after the first game about any of the three goals his team lost at Tynecastle.

He was perturbed about bad covering and gaps in his defence outfield. And for this reason I expect him to make changes.

I expect Billy McNeill to be back at centre-half for John Cushley and the return of a fit-again Jim Craig in McNeill’s Saturday role at right-back.


Pre-Match Meal

I always found it a bit strange that while the club provided some food en route to an away match, it expected the players to organise such matters for themselves when it was a home game, even a replay of the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.

This time round, I was pretty well set up. Realising – the week before – that I might be fit to play in this match – if chosen – I had organised my afternoon to finish my stint at the Dental Hospital early, then drive home where my Mum, God bless her, gave me a plate of lovely scrambled eggs on toast with a strong cup of tea.

Through the ensuing years, my choice of pre-match meal would vary but at that time, the scrambled eggs went down well and I made my way up to Parkhead feeling very satisfied, if a little nervous.



Even two hours before kick-off, there was quite a crowd gathering and I, for one, was quite sure that the anticipated figure of 60,000 would be reached, if not surpassed.


I was in an odd position. Officially, I was not sure that I was playing. Oh! I know that Sean had told me that I would be in the team if there was no reaction to my stiff test on the Tuesday – and there had not been,  a circumstance I was quick to point out to the medical staff as soon as I arrived at Parkhead – but strange things happen in football and I was keen to find out whether I was in or not?

Fortunately, we were not kept waiting long and soon the whole squad was summoned into the dressing-room for the announcement of the side. There were butterflies, and big ones at that, eating away at my insides at that point but as soon as I heard those three wonderful words – Simpson, Craig, Gemmell – they all flew away and I started to get ready with a big smile on my face.

When I went out to warm up, I was really impressed by the size of the crowd. There seemed to be very little space available all round the ground and there was still half-an-hour or so before the off. It gave such a boost to us all and, corny as it sounds, the talk in the dressing-room was of how we could not let all those guys down. Then the referee, Hugh Phillips of Wishaw, having been in once already to check the boots, came back in again to give us the nod to come out and both teams went down the tunnel amid a torrent of noise.


The Play

The start of the match had been held up for 10 minutes to let the crowd in but eventually the team which took to the field was Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, McBride, Chalmers, Gallagher and Hughes.

Right from the first whistle, we took control of the match, much to the delight of the Celtic fans making up the vast majority of the crowd. I was able to get wee Jimmy into the match early on and he took full advantage of the service to stamp his name on the proceedings;-

9 minutes:
a pass from Joe McBride to JJ and he held off a challenge before driving the ball past Jim Cruikshank from an acute angle. 1-0 Celtic

Towards the interval, we got a second;-

34 minutes:
Tam Gemmell lobbed a ball into the penalty area and Bobby Murdoch hooked it home. 2-0 Celtic


As you can imagine, it was a pretty happy dressing room at the interval, although the Boss, as usual, was keen to warn us not to take anything for granted and keep the pressure on.

And we did, increasing our lead just after we started again;-

50 minutes:
Steve Chalmers ran on to a through ball and shot under the keeper’s body. 3-0 Celtic


And that was that – apart from two problems later in the match, one a slight hiccup, the other a major one.


Wispy gives me a sore one.
© Williewallace.com

The slight problem was an error of judgement by Ronnie Simpson, who misjudged a lob by Willie Wallace, which eventually slipped in under the cross-bar to let Hearts pull one back; and the bigger problem again involved that man Wallace, whose right foot, as we tussled for a ball just outside the box, clattered into my own right ankle, the one I had been having trouble with.

To make things worse, there was not only contact but it was twisted as well! It was very painful….in fact, it was bleeding agonizing.

Neilly raced on with the sponge, the spray and all that useless stuff, got me to my feet and I hirpled to the sidelines, where I received further treatment before limping back on again, to take up the usual outside-left position reserved for the injured! Meanwhile, the defence had to re-organise itself, with John Clark moving to right back.

The game ended 3-1 with everyone – team, supporters, manager and treasurer (the 72,000 crowd would have brought in a considerable amount of money through the gate ) – all very happy chappies. Except for me, who left the ground limping badly, the ankle heavily strapped, the walk to the car park seeming to take an absolute age and as for the drive, well, I probably should not have done it in the first place!



A Game from the Past….and a Moment to Remember

 Sponsored by the Jim Craig CSC


A Game from the Past…….Outside-right Martin Moran, born in Bannockburn in 1897, made his Celtic debut as a junior and amateur on 12th March 1898 at Bramall Lane in the match between Sheffield United and Celtic – unofficially – as the ‘Championship of Great Britain’.

And a Moment to Remember….Martin signed after the match and went on to make a single appearances for the club over the next nine months, as well as 9 Glasgow League appearances. Unfortunately, when Celtic unloaded 8 second team players on 15th October 1898 – the so-called ‘Slaughter of the Reserves’ – Martin was one of them.

He was picked up almost immediately by Clyde and, quite suddenly, ‘grew up’, becoming bigger and stronger plus a great trainer to boot. From Clyde, Martin went on to have spells with Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Millwall, Hearts, Celtic again (in season 1908-09, when he made 2 further league appearances), Hamilton and Albion Rovers.



Colour on Our Screens

The BBC target when colour transmissions begin towards the end of 1967 will be between 12 and 15 hours per week, an average of 2 hours per night, it was announced today in London.

These transmissions will include 4 hours of live studio-based programmes, with the remainder of the time made up of colour film and outside broadcasts.


A First in Space

The Soviet space-craft Venera crashed on Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet’s surface


A Royal Takes a Big Step

Holland’s future Queen, Princess Beatrix, marries former German diplomat Klaus von Amsberg in Amsterdam today in one of the most controversial Royal weddings in recent history.

The row which broke out over the Princess’s plans to marry a German has dwarfed even the wedding in 1964 of her younger sister, Irene, to a Catholic pretender to the Spanish throne – a historic symbol of tyranny to Protestant Holland.