Football 50: Your Say

ecMedalWelcome to Football 50 blog. lease leave your comments below. Ask any questions you have, make any observations or any corrections if you see a mistake.
I want to build a valid and valuable historic resource which involves not only the fly-on-the-wall recollections of myself and my team-mates,ย but your experiences as well.

I am very proud to have been involved with Celtic at the most successful time in our history, but like all football, success is not something that is achieved independently. Players, officials backroom staff, the media, fans friends and family are all part of a 5,000,000 piece jigsaw that was completed by Jock Stein during his tenure at the club.

So what have you got to say?

60 thoughts on “Football 50: Your Say

  1. I look forward to reading, watching and listening to the thoughts & memories of a true Legend and your fellow contributors. Hail Hail Mr. Craig. I’ll be recommending this link on to all my cronies.

  2. Found my way here via Celticminded. Just a quick read of the intro and this summation of our early years, and the early years of modern Glasgow and Britain have got me hooked already. This is going to be an everyday visit for me on my daily journey through the best of the interweb. Thanks for taking the time to put all of this together Jim.

    Forever a Celtic legend….can there be a better feeling than that?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Jim great memories I was a young lad following the hoops my first game against rangers was the three one game went with my dad I remember the heavy rain and how well Celtic played only for the inconsistency to set in again like you I thought will Celtic ever win a trophy again? A few weeks later everything changed and The Celtic Football Club would never be the same again.

  4. Hi Jim- greetings from the Land of the Long White Cloud. As always enjoy these reminisces. My first season as a Celtic fan was 1960/61 so I had 5 pretty barren seasons before Big Jock changed things. That 3-1 league win against Rangers on 5th September 1964 was the only 1 in 10 meetings with the Ibrox men before Mr Stein arrived. By the way, ever the pedant, I should point out that John Cushley did not wear the number 5 shirt in that game. We did not have numbers on our shirts in those days. Trust you are keeping well. I am hoping to get over to Scotland next month and will give you a call.

  5. absolutely brill Jim. Oh the memories. Or should it be how our memories become blurred and mix up the various matches. I always thought I would never forget what happened in individual matches and players, but time has distorted my recollections. But nothing will take away the sheer magic of realising we were changing into a potent force once the consistency came. I will never forget the run of games up to the ’65 Cup Final. going through against ‘well was a colossal struggle but the 3-2 game v Killie was one of my fav games ever. I just felt we had beaten the top team and we were on the march. The 3-2 final v Dunfermline remains my joint fav game of all time with The Big Cup and 6-2. many thanks for the blog.

    • Hi Jim – Greetings from the Land of the Long White Cloud! Trust you are keeping well. Always enjoy strolls down memory lane -especially the 1960’s. I started my Celtic “life” in 1960/61. The first 5 years were not exactly inspiring. That 3-1 win over Rangers in September 1964 was the League win Celtic had over the Ibrox men in 10 attempts before Big Jock arrived. (By the way ever the pedant I should point out that John Cushley did not wear the number 5 shirt in that game. At that time Celtic did not have numbers on shirts). After Big Jock of course my world changed. Not just hindsight in saying that after the 3-2 win over Dunfermline in 1965 I just knew we would be on the up. Great times to be a Celtic Supporter!

  6. The Sunderland game and mention of Sammy Henderson brings back memories. Around 1958 I went on school holiday to Engleberg in Switzerland. (I had a well off granny). Sammy Henderson and John Park, who also went to Celtic , were in the party. I had belatedly taken an interest in football and over the fortnight played in a tournament in the hostel in Engleberg’s garden.

    I’m not sure if I was last man picked in Sammy or John’s team (I was a learner) but I remember Sammy had electric pace and John was as solid as a rock. My team won the tournament and if anything got me hooked into football it was that fortnight.

    So thanks Sammy and John.I travelled to Sunderland that August on the Kent Star supporters bus from the Calton. We trounced them and after the game I went for a drink with my pal who suggested we try the Newcastle Brown Ale. Three of them and I’m four sheets. On bus home my much older cousin who was visiting from the States to see his mum came up to chat. I’m incoherent and struggling to stop being sick. I think he realised and went back to his seat with a smile. I’m sure the story went round the auntie family who at the time stayed in 4 different closes in Bain St.Years later I’m in a Barbados night club chatting to Gary Sobers (as one does) who turned out to know Jim Baxterl from their time in Nottingham. I mention to him that Jim is serialising his life story in the Sunday Mail. Sobers, who was Jim’s drinking and gambling partner, grabs me by the arm and says “Has he mentioned me?” “Not yet” I say “but if he does I’ll have the only copy on the island” (My father in law, one of the Celtic Cine Club stalwarts sent me the paper every week).Nice to rekindle memories Jim and record them before they get lost forever, like tears in rain. Cue Blade Runner. :)

  7. Loving these reminiscences. They bring back the period of my late teens, putting the games into the context of events at the time.

  8. I saw Charlie Tully play a few times. I remember a game v Airdrie I think where Charlie got the ball just inside the penalty area on the left hand side looking down from Celtic end.
    He advanced on goal with defenders backing off as Charlie danced over the ball, swaying from side to side.
    He must have hypnotised the opposition because they backed away until Charlie was level with the goal post, at which point he flicked the ball into the corner of the net.

    Big grins all round except Airdrie players of course.

  9. Auldheid,
    Charlie Tully was a legendary figure for me as a kid. I never saw him play, but heard all the stories of course,
    I became friends with one of Charlie’s great pals, the late Malky Munro. Malky told me that Charlie authored this joke about himself and put it about. It became well telt in Glasgow;

    Willie Waddell dies and goes to heaven. St Peter asks hi to sit at God’s right hand;
    Gordon Smith dies and St Peter tells him to sit at God’s left hand;
    Tully dies and knocks on the door. St Peter is temporarily confused, but then says to God ;

    “Get up and give Tully yer seat!” ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hi Jim, It’s great to see that you have a website which I found thanks to The Daily Record. Perhaps you remember me. I am Neil from Gateshead and I regularly contributed to you when you appered on Celtic TV. I also had the priviledge of meeting you, Sean Fallon and Tommy Boyd when you signed a DVD set I bought at Celtic Park. I look forward to reading your website and contributing regularly.

      • I am pleased that you remember me and thanks for asking for my health.
        I’m afraid it has got worse since I last saw you but I won’t bore you with the details. Unfortunately I can’t manage to get to Paradise these days so thank god for TV.
        My wife Anne who you also met says hello and she is asking after you.
        Neil from Gateshead

        ps- it was never a penalty in Lisbon!!!!

  11. Hi Jim, Enjoying the site. Great work! If I can make a suggestion it might be good if a “Search” option could be added so that if someone wanted to find something specific, then it might be easier. Steve

  12. Born in 52 from a Celtic supporting family in Halfway, Cambuslang, loved to play, wasn’t as good as I thought! Anyway, went to my first game in 1961, lifted over the turnstile by my big brother Pat. It was love at first sight. I remember May 1967 like it was yesterday! Can’t forgive the launching of the QE-2 or some guy called Francis Chichester knocking The Bhoys off the front pages, what does sailing single handed round the world mean really? To me it meant he had no pals! Thanks for everything Jim, can’t wait to read your thoughts. H-H

  13. Hi again Jim.

    I remember the 1965 League Cup final very well. At the time I was an apprentice butcher working for D.G.Morrison in Aberlour, Banffshire and I was at work that afternoon but managed to listen to the game on the wireless and when it finished, my older brother Hamish, came to the shop and asked me for my Celtic scarf which I always wore. I gave it to him and I wondered what he wanted it for as he had one of his own. Turned out that he had a pole on which he tied the scarves to and hung them out of one of the bedroom windows of our house. Now our house was on the main Street ( High Street ) of Aberlour so any car going along the street would see them. Most of the residents of Aberlour were Rangers supporters so this was Hamish’s way of getting back at them for the ribbing we had had to take for all the years of heartbreak with the exception of the Scottish Cup earlier in 1965.

    HAIL. HAIL Jim
    Neil MacDonald,

  14. This was my first Celtic Rangers cup final,I remember the joy of that game well, Biggest shock of the day was Celtic getting awarded two penalties! With regards the invasion from the mount florida end, the opposition crowd just couldn’t take the Celtic team celebrating with their fans.

  15. Jim, excellent contribution to social history. I was a wee guy in Motherwell growing up in the 60s to the sounds of the Beatles as they dominated music and supporting CFC as we dominated football. The first match my dad took me to was when we beat St Mirren 8 – 2 in the League Cup. Lots of great memories flooding back. Top class!

  16. Jim,

    Please keep up the good work. I, and am sure plenty others, are enjoying your anecdotes from the years gone by..
    It’s amazing how we seem to forget and you bring it back to mind.


    Neil from Gateshead.

  17. Jim,


    This is a great site and brings back many and mostly happy memories.

    I guess the “newman” must have been a young David Hay.

  18. Thanks for pointing me to your site Jim, looking forward to reading some great inside stories of great times. It’s a small world, after you popped in to-day Donna our admin girl reminded me she is related on her husband’s side to the one and only Charlie Tully. I’ll introduce you properly next time you’re in, I’m sure there’ll be some stories there!

  19. Jim, I was at that Dunfermline game and as you say East End Park was an impressive venue. We had not won there in the previous 3 visits, losing 5-1 the season before. I am sure you will cover the following season’s game (1966/67) in your recollections however that game was probably the best league game I ever attended (4-2 in 1979 apart!).

    Interesting that it was rumoured Billy was to be at right back. When he eventually returned was that not where he played in that “controversial” game at Tynecastle on your return from Kiev?

    In answer to your question the Barcelona v RCD Espanyol tie was the local derby.

    Thanks again for the memories.


  20. Jim….. great project. Particularly important for those of us a certain vintage who lived and loved it all!

    Spent a good while talking to you recently in Perth on my trip up from Wakefield to a meeting but didn’t own up to having left the pitch of the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon with the left sleeve of Caesar’s jersey. It now resides somewhere in Dublin. Apologies to Billy but the euphoria that day!!!!

    Hope all goes well with this project. Donation en route.

  21. Jim,

    Happy Christmas to you and your family.

    In answer to your question, I think we have played 15 times on Christmas Day, winning most of them. I was at the Morton game in 1965 and it turned out to be a very good day with our rivals losing at home.

    Despite losing 8 goals the Morton goalkeeper (Erik Sorensen) apparently didn’t do his future prospects any harm as he ended up at Ibrox!

    Big Ne’erday fixture coming up on January 3rd. i seem to recall a newspaper headline predicting
    “clickety click it’s Celts in 66”.

  22. Jim, thanks for the running commentary of this great day. I watched the game from the front of the Celtic end and although the murky conditions made viewing difficult as the game wore on thankfully all our goals were scored at our end!

    You mentioned Jim Forrest and of course he gave our defence a torrid time in previous seasons. I think John Cushley put the hems on him in this game.

    I have a tape recording of this game and near the commentator notes that Roger Hynd’s attempt at goal goes out halfway between the goal and the corner flag which he said summed up Rangers performance.

    Question ? – did you use those sambas on any other occasion. I was at the Aberdeen game at Pittodrie few weeks later when the underfoot conditions appeared to be even worse than on 3rd January.

    • Gordon,

      Quite right bout the boots. We did use them on other occasions, but if you wait a couple of weeks you will find out why they didn’t work at Aberdeen ๐Ÿ™‚

      Regarding Forrest. He was a very good, very quick player. Wilbur was far more industrial in his approach than Billy, which may explain his success against Forrest ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Thanks Jim. I look forward to hear about that Aberdeen at Pittodrie game which unfortunately we lost. Odd game football, we hammered them 8-0 and 7-1 in the previous two meetings albeit both at Celtic Park!

  24. Jim, The Third Lanark manager in 1966? not confident about this but I will say Bobby Shearer. They had a few managers in the years before they finally ceased to exist.

  25. Jim, curiosity got the better of me and I found the answer online. I won’t spoil it for anyone still attempting to answer the question. I have to say though I don’t recall him at all.

  26. Jim, was this Kiev game not the occasion when a young George Connelly performed his “keepie-up” act at half time?

    Also, on those occasions when we drew eastern european opposition did we not use the services of an interpreter? – (Joe..) whose name escapes me at the moment.

    Still never heard of that Thirds manager Francis Joyner however Bertie Peacock was Coleraine’s manager.

    Really looking forward to your account of the Kiev return leg adventure – both on and off the park!

  27. Jim, I remember the wolfhound being presented to Billy and Sean Fallon by the Aer Lingus stewardesses.

    I think he was christened “Michael” and as for his fate?

    Well some time later, our supporters club, the Sarsfied, were holding a Player of the Year function which was attended by Desmond White.

    My dad asked Desmond how “Michael” was doing and was told he had been poisoned!

  28. Jim, I think do know the answer to this question.

    I am fairly sure it was John Hughes who managed Stranraer.

    Looking forward to reading your comments about the upcoming trip to Annfield!

  29. Just to let you know,the day that you were in Kirriemuir you kindly signed a Celtic Teramundi pot.We raffled it and raised ยฃ100 for Alzheimers.Thanks very much

    • Roy,
      Glad it you raised that amount. If I hadn’t signed it, you might have got ยฃ200!
      However, you are very welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. jim craig says game celtic v partick 17dec 1966 that he didn’t think that yogi would play sat after playing Friday night. unfortunately so did the goalkeeper who played for partick on Friday night because he played Saturday also. proof it was me.i have been searching for a programme for this fixture.

  31. Hi Jim
    I enjoy reading your comments and the stories of behind the scenes. I wonder if you could help me answer a question. I remember after the Lisbon game Jock Stein indicated that the Lisbon Lions would never be beaten. He would tweek the team with Willie O’Neil and John Hughes from time to time. I’ m not sure the 11 Lions took the field again especially in the European Cup.
    Were you aware of any deliberate thoughts by big Jock on this front.
    In time as players left Celtic this would become less relevant. I personally thought big Jock broke up the team in later years for this reason. I did attend the Clyde game when the 10 outfield Lions played together for the last time.
    Any thought on this one Jim
    Thank you
    Jim McDonald

    • James,

      I always though that the comment by the Boss about this team never being beaten was one of those comments that managers make at the end of a match when they did not have time to put their thoughts in order.

      Certainly, he changed his team about for the only other match that season – Di Stefanoโ€™s Testimonial โ€“ but the following season, the Lisbon side played the following matches โ€“

      12-8-67 Dundee United (H) 1-0
      16-8-67 Rangers (A) 1-1
      19-8-67 Aberdeen (H) 3-1
      30-8-67 Rangers (H) 3-1
      20-9-67 Dynamo Kiev (H) 1-2

      Of the six played from January to May 1967, we won 3 and drew 3

  32. Jim, I was at that game at Annfield and recall that vibrant orange strip worn by Stirling Albion that day. An unusual choice and I remember it drew some “interesting” observations from the Celtic support when Albion ran out.

    We had lost 0-1 at that venue the year before and the home side had worn their usual red shirts.

    Some Celtic fans “accused” the Stirling manager Sammy Baird, the ex Ibrox player, of being behind the change of kit!

    Anyway, I was surprised your match report did not mention our late, disallowed goal headed in by Billy (McNeill). There appeared to be no obvious reason for the decision by Mr I M D Foote. An official whom I recall incurring the wrath of Jock Stein (and the Celtic support) a few seasons later in a 1-1 game at Celtic Park v Partick Thistle in the tense run-in to the 1972/73 season.

    Looking forward to your recollections of the forthcoming tough evening in Novi Sad.

  33. Jim, I’ve enjoyed reading this blog even if I’m not a Celtic fan. It brings back memories of days when Scottish teams could compete with the best and sometimes , as on days like 25 May 1967, beat them comprehensively.They didn’t do stats back then but I think that I counted 30 shots at goal when I watched the video a few years ago and that was against a team famed for cattenciao. Unbelievable. I’m a Raith Rovers fan but I took a lot of pride in Scottish teams being able to take on the best in Europe and I just wish that somebody somewhere would do something to bring these days back again. Celtic winning the EC; Rangers winning the ECWC; Kilmarnock, Dundee, Hibs, Rangers, Celtic, Dunfermline (they stole our manager and a couple of our best players) making European semis. St Johnstone beating Hamburg 3-0, Kilmarnock beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1, Dundee beating Cologne (German champions) 8-1. Scotland beating England 5 times, drawing twice and losing once (’66) in the space of 7 years. Hibs (8th in Scottish league) knocking Barcelona out of the Fairs Cup 2 months after Barcelona had become the first team to beat Real Madrid in the European Cup and then lost in the final to Benfica. When will we see the likes again?

    • Thanks Thomas
      Glad you enjoy the wander down memory lane. Scottish clubs will always have moments of glory, but difficult to see how the sustained success of the 60s/70s can be repeated.

  34. I was at the Celtic hammering of Elgin City in 1967, supposedly supporting the Highland League outfit – in the margins of the Scottish Cup. I was so impressed by the warmth of our opponents, I quickly became a Celtic fan. For the record, I was in the company of the Scottish Daily Express Highland League reporter, Hamish Black who was an Inverness legend.

  35. Hello Jim, just found this tonight and have bookmarked the site for what I know will be numerous return visits. I am intrigued to find something which mirrors my own Celtic journey so well – my first game was the 1965 Scottish Cup Final v Dunfermline, and although too young to go to Lisbon, many family members made the trip. I was in Milan in 1970 though but the trip was a bit of an anti-climax.

    Looking forward to memories!

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