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Fifty Years Ago - Barcelona Bound


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11 minutes ago, compo said:

The Christmas day match was the one I got carted by Edinburgh's finest for thumping one at Saint Andrews square,  got found not guilty at trial but it was some punch 😉 

Extending festive felicitations to an Edinburgh and Borders Bobby got you huckled, we demand more detail?

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1 hour ago, Scott7 said:

More to the point, who was the lawyer?

If memory serves me right I think the solicitor was named Moore he was recommended to my father by the them top Glasgow solicitor Joe Beltrami  the trial was all over in less than two hours .

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  • 2 weeks later...

First Footers and, "Jim fcuking Brogan".

 

Our Ne'erday'72, first footers were the Maryhill Magyars, the Plastic Whistle, the Harry Wraggs, the ............... the Cuddly Toy of Scottish football, Partick Thistle. Half a century past, the Jags still had a working class support and the team could bite. They had defeated us 3-2 in the League's opening fixture at Firhill back on the first Saturday in September. As Davie McParland handed over the black bun and a dram at the foot of the marble staircase, he told Wullie Waddell they were in compensation for transfer of League Cup from our to their Trophy Room several weeks before. Forty thousand stood on the Stadium terraces awaiting the teams.

 

My mates and I travelled to Ibrox that first of the first on the Tannochside RSC bus. The club was regarded in those days as, 'a Church Club'. Singing on the bus was confined to hymns, trips to Dundee and Aberdeen included a pre-match purvey where Grace was said and, the Committee wielded a big disciplinary stick. Ne'erday on the bus was different, the vast majority of members got on in a state of dehydration and sat down to pass the Ne'erday bottle. By the time the wheels reached Hamilton Road, the membership was largely inebriated again. The Bus Convenor interrupted the quiet revere by announcing any members identified as being on the Easter Road pitch on Christmas Day would be in front of the Committee.

 

Thankfully, I had attended the Hibs game with my Old Man, two of the mates who gone on to the playing surface to celebrate Colin Stein's last minute winner; knew exuberance was NOT an acceptable excuse. Any type of exuberance on the Saviour's Day was not acceptable in Tannochside. Anyways, that was next Saturday's worry as the teams left the tunnel. Rangers - McCloy, Jardine, Denny, Greig, Jackson, Smith, McLean, Johnson, Stein, A MacDonald and, I McDonald. Partick Thistle - Rough, Hansen, Forsyth, Glavin, Campbell, Strachan, McQuade, Gibson, Coulson, Rae and, Lawrie. Rangers began well, the young injury ravaged winger, McDonald was providing penetration. Thistle ended the half better and deservedly scored on the stroke of half time through Denis McQuade, a wonderful top corner header.

 

The Subway Loyal was alive and kicking back in the day too, and I doubt half the 40,000 attendance was still in place when Rangers both equalised and grabbed another injury time winner? John Greig brought us level on the 85th minute, and substitute, Derek Johnstone nodded home at the back stick to make it 2-1. An excited bus on the way home burst into song, we were ready to meet Spaniards by the score and the chorus at the Olde Club(Tannochside Miners Welfare) was, 'Bring on the Celtic'. We were two days away from visiting Parkhead.

 

My Old Man secured two Main Stand tickets for the game on the 3rd, I was the fifth squeezed into Dad's mate, Campbell's Austin Maxi. I was fifteen but considered a boay among four adults. The forward area of the Stand was mixed and the row immediately to our front had two middle aged couples, both men wore the favours of our separated brethren, the wives were staunch. The teams lined up, Celtic - Connaghan, Hay, Brogan, Dalglish, McNeill, Connelly, Johnstone, Lennox, Deans, Callaghan and, Hood. Rangers - McCloy, Jardine, Mathieson, Greig, Jackson, Smith, McLean, Johnstone, Stein, MacDonald and, Johnston. The attendance was given as 70,0000 but these were the days of the biscuit tin, who can say?

 

The game was typically frantic, surging from end to end. We looked comfortable until Harry Hood took control of the ball wide left of our penalty box, his ranging cross evaded everyone apart from the diminutive Jinky, who had to stoop to nod in at the back post on the 35th minute. The second half belonged to Rangers, we pushed them back and controlled the game. We had to wait until the 81st minute for Colin Stein's equaliser. The Lone Rangers latched on to a through ball, rode a tackle to get the shot away. Connaghan got a hand to the drive but the ball found the net. We were on to a third straight injury time winner, the remaining ten minutes were played in Celtic's box.

 

In the first minute of time added on, McNeill took a free kick just outside his own box and found Harry Hood. As players ran past, Hood turned and curled a ball across our box, a late running Jim Brogan flicked his head and Karma had bitten us on the bum, again. In over 200 appearances, left back, Jim Brogan scored six goals, only one with his napper. The drama was immediately to our front, three of the four were in drunken slumber; however one of the females woke amid the eruption to ask, "who scored"? The awake chap punched the air screaming, "Jim Brogan". She replied, "Jim fcuking Brogan"? He lamped her as her mate awoke to remove her shoe and banjo him in turn with the heel. All four were removed by Glasgow's finest.

 

We had played Celtic on four occasions in four months and lost all four. The following Friday brought news that ran interference with such an unpalatable fact, UEFA had drawn the ECWC quarter-finals. The eight teams remaining in the tournament were Rangers, Bayern Munich, Moscow Dynamo, Torino, Red Star Belgrade, Steau Bucharest, Dynamo Berlin and, Atvidabergs. The final club were the Swedish cup winners and clearly the weakest of the eight; however, they had knocked out the then current holders of the trophy, Chelsea in the last round. We drew Torino, daunting because a decade prior they had signed both Dennis Law and Joe Baker.

 

We had eight weeks to prepare.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bairns and Dandies.

 

After four weeks, Ernie had ridden his milk cart off into a setting sun. There was a battle between the New Seekers and Don McLean to succeed Bennie Hill as the UK's number one. No doubt boosted by the Coke advert, 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing' beat 'American Pie' to the top spot. The good old boys might have been drinking whisky and rye but the rest of the country was preparing warmer draughts as the National Union of Mineworkers(NUM) announced an official national strike, their first since 1926. Joe Gormley, Mick McGahey and, Arthur Scargill became both famous and notorious as they led a campaign for better conditions, a moratorium on pit closures and, an increase in pay.

 

The Tory Government was headed by Prime Minister, Ted Heath and he announced a three part strategy to ensure power stations continued to receive supplies of coal. The RAF were ordered to set aside airfields to stock pile coal, Lord Wilberforce was instructed to lead an inquiry into Miners' pay and, COBRA was created to coordinate national and regional crisis. A wee aside, nearly forty years ago I spent a year as a Staff Officer preparing briefings for COBRA and COBRB. You never hear of the second one - Cabinet Office Briefing Room B(Bravo); because everyone wants to say they were briefed in Cabinet Office Briefing Room A(Alpha). The biting point on the strike would come in a month's time.

 

More importantly, at Ibrox a crowd of 20,000 welcomed Falkirk on Saturday 8th January'72. The Chair of the Scottish Players Union, Alex Ferguson was included in the Bairns line up and, the former Ranger had already called upon all Trade Union members to support the official strike. The teams ran out, Rangers - McCloy, Jardine, Mathieson, Greig, Jackson, Smith, McLean, Johnston, Stein, A MacDonald and, I McDonald. Falkirk - Rennie, Abel, Jones, Bruce, Markie, Gibson, Hoggan, Ferguson, Somner, Shirra and, Setterington. The People versus the Steeple was finished in ten minutes, Greig opened the scoring on the 2nd minute and Bomber Jackson added another from a corner on the ninth. Keeping warm was the main concern for the next eighty minutes.

 

Just below the Derry(corner of the Copland and Sandy Jardine stands) a fire had been lit and several dozen fed cardboard boxes into the flames. The Polis dispersed the cold and extinguished the fire to a chorus of boos. Another former Ger in the Bairns ranks, Dennis Setterington took his cue, slipped a ball through for Shirra to knock past McCloy on the hour mark. It was an uneasy half-hour until young Iain McDonald came in off the wing, drifted past a couple of defenders to place the ball past the Falkirk Keeper in the last minute. As we filed out of the Stadium, the rumour was Wullie Henderson had endured an Albion Training ground spat with Willie Waddell.

 

I am sure it's a false memory but I swear three of us stood waiting for the Tannochside RSC bus at the bottom of the lazy S, in the dark. Kick off at Pittodrie was 3 O'Clock, the bus departed before nine. The conversation was warming, Wullie had walked out of Ibrox two days before, vowing never to return. We reached Stonehaven after Noon, purvey was taken. The Scotch Broth and Steak Pie was the highlight of the day because the match was a hard watch. Thirty-five thousand crammed into the hill o'dung, the old high terrace ran the length of the pitch and the North Sea wind cut through everyone viewing second against third. 

 

Aberdeen - Geoghegan, G Murray, Hermiston, S Murray, Young, Buchan, Miller, Robb, Harper, Willoughby and, Graham. Rangers - McCloy, Jardine, Mathieson, Greig, D Johnstone, Smith, McLean, Johnston, Stein, A MacDonald and I McDonald. A number of running spats between the players culminated in Colin Stein being subbed, we put on Aberdonian Bomber Jackson to kick Joey Harper. The Ref' blew the final whistle and we were jealous of the ball being stretchered off, we had a mile walk over the Golf Course to our bus. Aberdeen had triumphed 2-1 at the start of the season in the Dryborough Cup final against ra Sellik. The game at Pittodrie attracted a crowd less than 25,000 in August, a zero-zero League fixture against the Famous in the second week of January drew an attendance of 11,000 more. Things don't change.

 

The guy playing left back for the Dons, Jim Hermiston would leave Aberdeen a couple of years later. He joined the Polis and remarked he earned more Policing Pittodrie games as a Constable than he did as a player in a successful Dandies team. Joe Harper finished the season having scored 45 goals, Colin Stein achieved 25. Aberdeen would sell half-a-dozen of that side within a couple of years for nearly £500,000, bib big money back then. Finally, Alex Willoughby was a cousin of Jim Forrest and like Jim, a favourite of the Bears. He scored 39 goals in 75 appearances, a tremendous return for a midfielder He played with his cousin at Rangers, Aberdeen and, Hong Kong Rangers.

 

 

Edited by 26th of foot
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