My Personal Story Begins! 1964 – 1965 Part 1

As mentioned previously, several players had left the club either during the previous season of 1963-64 or at the end of the campaign, names like John MacNamee, Billy Price, Frank Brogan and Paddy Turner. The only arrival was Bobby Young from St Johnstone, in an early season swap deal for Bobby Craig

So that meant Celtic went into season 1964-65 with the following pool of players;-


Name Last Club Joined
Jim Brogan St Roch’s 1963
Davie Cattenach Stirling Albion FC 1963
Steve Chalmers Ashfield Juniors 1959
John Clark Larkhall Thistle 1958
Charles Cullen St Roch’s 1963
John Cushley Blantyre Celtic 1960
John Divers Renfrew Juniors 1957
John Fallon Fauldhouse Utd 1958
Charlie Gallagher Yoker Athletic 1959
Tommy Gemmell Coltness Utd 1962
Gerard Gillan St Anthony’s 1963
John Halpin Our Lady’s High School 1963
Samuel Henderson Ashfield Juniors 1962
John Hughes Shotts Bon Accord 1959
James Johnstone Blantyre Celtic 1962
James Kennedy Duntocher Hibs 1955
Robert Lennox Ardeer Recreation 1961
Richard Madden Blantyre Celtic 1963
Robert Murdoch Cambuslang Rangers 1961
John McCallum Lochgelly Albert 1963
Frank McCarron Parkhead Juniors 1962
Duncan McKay Maryhill Harp 1956
William McNeill Blantyre Victoria 1958
William O’Neill St Anthony’s 1960
John Young Rob Roy 1961
Bobby Young St Johnstone 1963




The season started, as was the norm in those days, with the League Cup sectional matches. Teams were drawn in groups of four, there were home and away ties, then the leading side in the group went into the quarter finals. Celtic’s section was a tough one. The Hoops had finished 3rd in the league campaign of the previous season and their sectional opponents would be Kilmarnock (2nd), Hearts (4th) and Partick Thistle (7th). However, this time round, the players rose to the challenge, the matches being played from 8th August 1964 to 29th and by the end, Celtic sat proudly at the top of the table;-

League Cup Section Results

8th August League Cup Celtic 0   Partick Thistle 0 29,000
12th August League Cup Hearts 0   Celtic 3 20,000
15th August League Cup Celtic 4   Kilmarnock 1 23,000
22nd August League Cup Partick Thistle 1 Celtic   5 28,000
26th August League Cup Celtic 6   Hearts 1 28,000

The scorer of the Hearts goal was a certain Willie Wallace

29th August League Cup Kilmarnock   2 Celtic 0 18,000

Scorers for Celtic in the round-robin section were – Chalmers (5), Gallagher (5), Murdoch (5), Johnstone (2) and  Kennedy.


League Cup Section: Final Table

P W D L F A Pts
       Celtic 6 4 1 1 18 5 9
       Kilmarnock 6 3 2 1 9 5 8
       Partick Th 6 1 2 3 6 14 4
       Hearts 6 1 1 4 7 16 3


The league campaign also started during the month of August, with Celtic playing just the one match at Fir Park;


19th August  

League:   Motherwell 1    Celtic 3   Att: 13,000             Murdoch, Chalmers, Lennox


September 1964 was a very varied month for Celtic, with league matches, league cup games and an opening tie in the Fairs Cities Cup. However, right at the start of the month there occurred what was to be a most crucial signing in the history of the club.


3rd September  

Ronnie Simpson joins Celtic after 4 years with Hibs.

4th September  

The Forth Road Bridge is opened by the Queen.


5th September 

League:  Celtic 3    Rangers 1    Att: 58,000                Chalmers (2); Hughes

Billy McNeill a rare absentee through injury. John Cushley wore the no. 5 shirt. Incessant rain made the pitch difficult but John Hughes and Jimmy Johnstone shone in the conditions.


9th September

League Cup QF (1st Leg) East Fife 2 Celtic 0


12th September 

League        Clyde 1 Celtic 1   Att: 22,000   Chalmers


After breaking his leg in December 1963, Dave McKay made a return to the Tottenham Hotspur side in September 1964. Almost unbelievably, in a match against Shrewsbury reserves, he broke the same leg again.



16th September  

League Cup QF (2nd Leg)    Celtic 6    East Fife 0   Att: 32,000        Chalmers (5) Kennedy


19th September  

League   Celtic 1    Dundee Utd 1    Att: 26,500        Chalmers


23rd September    

Fairs Cities Cup    Leixoes 1    Celtic 1              Murdoch

Celtic started their European campaign for the season in Portugal. The headlines in the press on the morning of the game read –


This was a reference to the Brazilian star Camutilno, who could certainly play but in the end missed the tie through injury. But Celtic stuck to their task after Leixoes took the lead in 6 minutes and got an equaliser on the half-hour mark through Bobby Murdoch. The tackling then became a bit fierce and Ian Young and Steve Chalmers were sent off.


26th September  

League   Hearts 4    Celtic 2     Att:  22,000                    Murdoch; Lennox

On the 26th September, the Scots entertainer Robert Wilson died at the age of 57



27th September 

Republic of Ireland winger Joe Haverty of Millwall joined Celtic for a month’s trial


29th September    

League Cup SF     Ibrox   Celtic 2     Morton 0    Att: 60,000             Lennox ; Gallagher

 Celtic went through to the final of the League Cup for the first time since 1957. The goals came from Lennox (54) and Gallagher (88).

In the press the following day, however, one headline read ;-


 ‘A flash of brilliance from Jimmy Johnstone, the wee red knight of Parkhead, put Celtic on the way to victory in a clanging joust of a League Cup semi-final at Ibrox last night’.


7th October        

Fairs Cities Cup      Celtic 3    Leixoes 0    Att: 33,000        Chalmers  (2) ; Murdoch

Goals from Chalmers  (2) and Murdoch, who also missed a penalty. As in the first leg, the tackling sometimes was  pretty fierce and the  manager was glad to go through without any  injuries.


9th October      

Frank Haffey decided against a transfer to Third Lanark and joined  Swindon Town instead.


10th October      

League   Aberdeen 1    Celtic 3   Att: 12,000          Murdoch, Chalmers, Hughes

 Partick Thistle made an attempt to sign John Divers and John Hughes


12th October      

League    Celtic 1    Morton 0    Att: 35,000             Divers


14th October

Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister



17th October      

League   Celtic 4    St Mirren 1    Att: 23,000            Hughes, Murdoch, Divers (2)

League Table

P W D L F A Pts
Kilmarnock 8 7 1 0 14 3 15
Hearts 9 6 3 0 29 11 15
Hibs 9 7 0 2 22 14 14
Dunfermline 9 5 2 2 22 10 12
Morton 9 5 2 2 13 7 12
Celtic 8 5 2 1 18 11 12




24th October      

League Cup Final Hampden   Celtic 1 Rangers 2    Att: 91,423     Johnstone

In the press, this match had been thought of as too close to call. Celtic  certainly had gone through a few difficult periods in the last few years  but Rangers were not on song this season either. As the play went on, one man made all the difference. Jim Baxter was captain that day for Rangers and when he saw that Jimmy Johnstone and John Hughes were making life difficult for their immediate opponents –Davie Provan and Eric Caldow – he switched the full-backs over to solve the problem.

Jim Baxter controlled the match for Rangers, who were two ahead after 62 minutes. A goal by Jimmy Johnstone 7 minutes later gave Celtic   hope and they threw everything at Rangers in the last 20 minutes but could not get the crucial second. As the Celtic fans left the ground, more than a few were wondering why no one in Celtic’s colours seemed to have been told to stay tight on Jim Baxter.


28th October      

League   Kilmarnock 5    Celtic 2     Att: 16,000    Gemmell; Gallagher


31st October      

League   Celtic 2    Airdrie 1    Att: 12,000             Chalmers (2)


4th November    

Lyndon B Johnson elected President of the USA.


6th November  

After 236 appearances and 7 goals, Dunky MacKay transferred to Third Lanark


7th November  

League   St Johnstone 3    Celtic 0    Att: 11,000


13th November  

Hugh Maxwell signed from Falkirk for £15,000


14th November  

League Celtic 0    Dundee 2  Att: 14,500


18th November  

Fairs Cities Cup  Barcelona 3    Celtic 1   Att: 25,000     Hughes

This was a crucial tie for Celtic in the Camp Nou and the big news before the match was that Ronnie Simpson would be making his debut.                            There was a come-back for Billy McNeil but a poor first half for Celtic, who lost two goals and were struck by an injury to John  Clark, who was a virtual passenger in the second half. Celtic pulled seven players back to form a screen in front of their goal but Barcelona still got another seven minutes from the end. John Hughes was the Celtic scorer.  On the following day a rather strange paragraph appeared in one of the national dailies ;

‘Celtic flew into Renfrew Airport last night a happy confident team despite their 3-1 Fair Cities Cup defeat – because the Parkhead boys have Barcelona very worried about the second leg on 2nd  December at Celtic Park’.

One must ask the question ‘Why?’


21st November  

League   Celtic 3    Falkirk 0   Att: 16,000     Maxwell; Hughes (2)


28th November

League   Third Lanark 0    Celtic 3   Att: 11,000       Hughes, Murdoch plus o.g.


2nd December  

It was announced that Glasgow would have parking meters in place by March 1965.



2nd December  

Fairs Cities Cup    Celtic 0    Barcelona 0     Att: 43,000

Celtic never got a chance against a very disciplined Catalan side and were looking ragged even before they lost Steve Chalmers  to injury 15 minutes from time. Barcelona won 3-1 on aggregate. On the following day, the situation was summed up perfectly in one of the daily newspapers;-



12th December

League   Partick Thistle 2    Celtic 4                        Hughes (2), Maxwell, Gallagher


19th December

League   Celtic 1    Dunfermline 2   Att: 15,000     Gallagher

League Table

P W D L F A Pts
Hearts 18 13 4 1 56 23 30
Kilmarnock 18 13 4 1 35 15 30
Hibs 17 12 2 3 39 22 26
Dunfermline 16 10 2 4 35 18 22
Celtic 17 10 2 5 35 25 22


21st December    

The House of Commons votes to end Capital Punishment.



26th December

League   Celtic 2    Motherwell 0   Att: 9,500      Hughes (2)

On an icy pitch, John Hughes played in training shoes and got both goals


1st   January      

League      Rangers 1       Celtic 0     Att: 64,400

A day of woe for Celtic. Jimmy Johnstone was ordered off and Bobby Murdoch missed a penalty 6 minutes from time, blasting the ball over the bar. Neither side was in form but Jim Forrest got the crucial goal in 32 minutes.


1st January        

Stanley Matthews becomes the first footballer to be knighted.


2nd  January      

League     Celtic 1    Clyde 1    Att: 13,500      Hughes


7th   January

A most important day in my Celtic career as I sign professional terms.  I will deal with the details in a separate section. By the time I signed,  Celtic had dropped another place in the league table and were now lying 6th.  As I travelled to Dental School each day, every Celtic fan I met was a worried man. The same thought was in all our minds;

 ‘Would we ever get back to the top again and win something!’

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