Another trip to the Inverclyde Physical Training Centre in the morning, where we put in a good stint, concentrating on moves down the flanks and then balls into the middle for the strikers. Very much, in fact, like the move which would lead to the second goal in Lisbon.
Variations from corners were also on the cards and then some shooting practice. All in all, it was quite hard work but we were in a nice setting and the weather was fine so we had no complaints.
After lunch, we managed to get a few holes in on the golf course, where the camera crews were again there in numbers and journalists were walking round with us, trying to catch a quote. In fact, it was from one of these guys that I found out what was on the cards for that evening. He had managed to get an interview with the Boss for his evening paper early that morning and Jock Stein had finished by saying
“After tea we will meet for a thorough discussion about the game against Inter Milan”.
So, the journalist showed me the quote and I then relayed the news on to the rest of the boys. Weren’t modern methods of communications great?
We were avid readers of the papers in those days. That was how you found out what else was happening in the football world. And that day they had stories about the good chance that Inter’s inside-right Sandro Mazzola could possibly be fit for the final after an injury scare; and that Helenio Herrerra had made a promise to the Italian press that;
“Inter Milan will not play defensively. To beat Celtic we must score goals and we’ll go after them. This final could well be one where several goals are scored. I think Celtic will also attack as much as possible”.
There was also news that there had been some fighting among players and spectators during an exhibition game between Benfica and Manchester United in Los Angeles, which the Portuguese side won 3-1. The trouble started in the second half and it took 25 policemen to quell the scuffles.
Back home, Rangers, soon to play in the Cup-Winners’ Final, had experienced a tough job the previous evening to beat newly-promoted Morton 2-1 at Cappielow in a friendly; but the Ibrox club also received the less than great news that Bayern Munich striker Gerd Mueller will be fit for the final after a problem with his right arm.
And while all this was going on throughout the world, we were down at Seamill in shorts and t-shirts, sitting amongst the better-dressed permanent residents of the Hydro, having afternoon tea. They were perfectly nice to us but I always wondered if, deep down, they wished we had been somewhere else. I mean, if you were having a cup of tea from a china cup in an elegant drawing-room, would you like to be in the company of a noisy, recently- showered and still slightly wet, argumentative, scantily-dressed bunch of young men who had thrown their towels and equipment over adjacent chairs and tables?