Dukla, Vojvodina, McNeill, Gallacher and a marathon


I remember the 10th anniversary of Lisbon.  The BBC marked the occasion with a memorable documentary and on the exact anniversary, Liverpool won their first European Cup, against Borussia Monchengladbach in Rome.  Celtic had just won the double, which would turn out to be Jock Stein’s last trophies.

We had little to celebrate on the 20th or 30th anniversaries, but the 40th anniversary was marked appropriately.  For the first time, I felt we correctly defined the achievement of the Lions, not just for becoming European champions, but for pivoting Celtic’s history away from mediocrity to spectacular success.

The 50th anniversary will be the final big celebration, nothing like this will happen again.  The groundswell you see from the fans, in particular on the 67th minute of each game, is unique to this year.

All of this leaves you and me with a question, do we let the anniversary pass us by as just another night on the calendar, or are we going to mark the occasion in an appropriate manner?  It has to be the latter.

For me, this means doing what I can for the Celtic FC Foundation.  I’ve signed up for what will be my first marathon, at Stirling, four days before the 50th.  It is five weeks on Sunday, and if I get a move on, I might get to Celtic Park to see the second half of our final league game of the season.
Stirling marathon
I know most of us are not in a position to take on a project like this, but maybe you can support me along the way, the next five weeks will be difficult.

On a related note, I discussing the Dukla Prague semi-final at Celtic Park with my Dad, which happened 50 years ago this week, and he emailed me the notes below, on that night and on the Vojvodina game.  We should tell each other as many stories as we have from that era.  Here’s Martin42’s:

“50 years is a long time in football and sometimes our memories become a blurred, however that game will always loom large in my memory, as will the last few minutes of the quarter final tie v Vojvodina Nova Sad, to give them their full name.

“For the life of me I cannot remember who scored the 1st goal that night.  1-0 down from the first leg, we needed to score 2 goals and keep a clean sheet to go through to the next round.

“I will always remember the tension around the whole stadium as we won a corner and Charlie Gallacher trotted over to take it.  I am sure the whole stadium was thinking the same as me, that Charlie and Billy had done it before in the Dunfermline cup final in 1965, and that they could do so again.

“The wait seemed to go on for ages but at last the ball came over, as straight as a die, to the forehead of our centre half and then into the back of the net.

“The duo had done it again, Charlie and Billy, 2 of the most important goals in our history.

“As for the home tie v Dukla Prague, we have spoken about it often, and you probably know my memories as clearly as I, so what I will tell you is about the break into my butcher van. That was the only time I used the van to go to a game.

“I always went to the midweek games with Thomas and John and we would to in via the Hamilton Road and Gallowgate but that night I went to the hospital before the visiting time to see your mum and then went straight into the game.

“We parked on the London Road and ran all the way to the ground, watched the game in a state of frenzy, and walked back to the van in a mind state that you will know when you think of Boavista.

“Policeman were standing at the van when I reached it and found that the back doors had been forced open, and the inside trashed.  My knives and chopper were stolen.

“Back down to earth with a bump, well for a wee while anyway.  Just had to face the consequences when I got home, clean up the van and mop up 2 or 3 trays of smashed eggs.

“At the end of the day, alls well that ends well and the football was more important that night than the mess and theft from the van.”

I’m not looking forward to the work I need to do for this marathon, but this occasion requires a significant gesture.  For lots or reasons you’ll understand.

You can sponsor me here, money goes straight to fund the important work of the Foundation.

Thank you.

Published today by CQN Books.

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  1. embramike supporting Res 12 on

    Celtic supporters enjoy a special Training Day at Paradise


    By: Newsroom Staff on 14 Apr, 2017 13:11



    BRENDAN Rodgers put his Celtic squad through their paces at Paradise today (Friday) under the watchful eye of around 15,000 supporters, who took up the manager’s invitation to come along and enjoy the open training session.



    The champions are preparing for this Sunday’s trip to the Highlands to take on Ross County, and fans were given an insight into how the manager and his backroom staff work with the players on a daily basis.


    The Hoops boss organised the training day as a thank-you to supporters for their backing of the team throughout the campaign and also because the team hadn’t been able to come back to the stadium after they had clinched the title at Tynecastle a couple of weeks ago.



    Thousands of Celtic supporters enjoyed the chance to watch the players train, while many of them were also able to meet the players, who spent a lot of time at the end of the session signing autographs and posing for pictures,



    And the manager, along with several of the squad, spoke to the crowd to thank them for their support as well as their attendance at the training day.



    Cheers mate.


    As for the Court Case this Tuesday, my main obstacle is to get the Sheriff/Judge to agree with me that my claim is NOT Time Barred ? I am very hopeful that the documented evidence speaks for itself. All being well, hopefully I will be home and dry IF The Sheriff agrees with me cos The Defenders have NO Defence, that’s why they are trying this Time Bar nonsense !



    I was in Court in Feb for the Prelim Hearing, and it it’s a bit tricky trying to remember to call a WUMMIN…..M’LADY ????? when addressing the Sheriff that day.


    I’m not quite used to that, being an auld fashioned sexist pig !



  3. Just to keep me interested (apart from watching Ajer) – at least 5 cards, 11 corners and 4 goals, 13/1….



    Will take my mind off food ;-)

  4. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Big Jimmy 7.00pm



    What will be will be be, keep it lit :-)



    Have noticed you mentioned the Tollbooth a few times, one of my favourite boozers, when I head “into the town” worked in Glasgow for over a quarter a century but up at Charing X for most of it then now recently Buchanan street end, always loved our wee bhoys days out every few months on a Friday payday…… my early memories of the Tollbooth, after two rounds the bar staff asked you “same again” even for us strangers….

  5. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Big Wavy- Preston have asked Everton to cancel last year of McGeady’s deal to sign him

  6. BRTH-outstanding tale from Lisbon (part 2) can someone point me to where part 1 is?


    That fair gets the old dander up for the trip in May:) Looking forward to seeing some old pals from the blog and meeting new ones.


    Your great organizational work is much appreciated.





  7. The Hoops boss organised the training day as a thank-you to supporters for their backing of the team throughout the campaign and also because the team hadn’t been able to come back to the stadium after they had clinched the title at Tynecastle a couple of weeks ago.






    Why were the Celtic players who had just clinched the title unable to come back on and salute the fans?



    I think I know why.



    “Just get on the bus Timmy!”



    They (the diet huns) were also blaring out their anthem (sic) ‘Hearts hearts glorious Hearts’, as the players celebrated with the fans at the end of the game.



    Feck the feckin lot a thum!




  8. ONE DAY IN LISBON (part one)





    I come out of the Baixa Chiado Hotel and walk the few short steps to the metro station of the same name. Descending deep below the city streets I know I only have to travel one stop on the Green line to reach the train station at Cais do Sodre where i can get the train out to the Estadio Nacional.




    When I reach the train station, I pause for a moment to look around and see which platform I should be on, but before I can make my mind up I am approached by a station employee and rapidly fires out a sentence in Portuguese which the expression on my face clearly states I have not understood.




    So he starts again and speaks very slowly in broken English.




    “Estadio Nacional?” He asks and I nod and say “Si” in reply.




    “Linha numero 2″ he says and adds ” stazione number 5 — Cruz Quebrada” and at that just walks away.




    Maybe it was the green and white jumper that alerted him to my destination,




    At platform two the train sits silently with the doors open. I climb into a carriage and take a seat without realising that the couple sitting opposite me are from England. They are headed out to Cascais for the day from what I can gather, and to pass the time they start to talk politics and essentially “Brexit”.




    They are in mid conversation when, without warning, they are interrupted by a wealthy looking Portuguese man who I would guess at being in his 60’s. He wears an expensive looking sailing jumper and his head is magnificently crowned with a leather cowboy hat.




    “Forgive me for interrupting, “he says in excellent if accented English “But a donkey will never be a horse!”




    For a moment the couple simply look at him as they are perplexed by this sentence and so he quickly continues and explains what he means.




    “A donkey is a donkey. A simple beast that has four legs, two ears and a tail like a horse but it is not, and never will be, a horse. This being so, you should never put a donkey into a race or a situation where you, in fact, need a horse!”




    The English couple, and myself for that matter, have still no idea what he is talking about until he adds:




    ” ……. and Boris Johnson is a donkey. A really stupid donkey at that!”




    This brings a smile to the faces of the English couple and an involuntary snort of laughter from me.




    There follows an exchange of views between the English couple and the ageing Portuguese Cowboy about the state of UK politics, the asinine qualities of Mr Johnson and ineffectiveness of Theresa May.




    The English man opines that the UK will lose out culturally and financially as a result of choosing to leave the EEC and bemoans the fact that British Government in particular is dominated by a select few who look after their own and have no time for the wishes or best interests of the ordinary man in the street. He is clearly not a Theresa fan.




    Then the Portuguese man tells his story:




    ” I am here to buy a property. I have lived in the UK for the last 32 years and I have always been treated well. I have never before been looked upon as different or felt any antagonism towards me until a few months ago when a young man walked by me and bumped me with his shoulder. When I complained I was told to “go back to wherever I came from” and that shocked me a bit.




    ” I do not like the UK politics. There is a nasty current to it and so I have decided to “come home” as the young man suggested, not because I am afraid or anything like that, but because I object to having to apply and beg to stay anywhere, any country, any city, or wherever which I have considered as home for over 30 years. In those 30 years I have done well, made money, paid my tax and made many friends, but the law of the land is about to say I am a “foreigner” and as such I need special permission to stay. I don’t like that. It is oppressive and reminds me of Portugal before the revolution. And so I have decided to retire to Portugal ……. just like so many other “British” people!” ………. and with that he laughs.




    The English couple shake their head and sympathise with him, although the chap concerned seemed pretty happy and not the least bit sad to me.




    Thus far, I had said nothing but as we had passed the tower of Belam and were nearing the park which hosts the Estadio Nacional I decided to pipe up.




    ” It could be worse!” I announced ” You could be Scottish. Most of us don’t want to leave Europe and we are being dragged out of it by an electorate who think completely differently to the majority in Scotland. While I am no fervent nationalist for the sake of nationalism, many people in Scotland feel that they have more in common with the inclusiveness and mutuality of Europe than with the perceived exclusiveness and desire for isolation which seems to be favoured by the rest of the UK. At least you can retire to Portugal which will be in Europe — I don’t have that choice!”




    This announcement brought both favour and disdain from the English couple. They had sympathy for the European argument, but while expressing great fondness for Scotland they had clearly no sympathy for the idea of an independent Scotland though their reasoning for this was unclear, and to me at least, made no great sense.




    Portugal’s answer to The Sundance Kid, however, had said nothing but was looking at me with new found interest. Eventually, he decided to speak.




    “Where are you from?” He asked




    ” Glasgow”




    ” Ah, I thought so. I suspect that where you come from, if the majority of the people don’t like something in politics they will take to the streets to protest if the Government will not listen. No?”




    “Maybe” I said “Long ago, Glasgow had a reputation for protest and I get the sense that some of that is returning but with our own Parliament to speak for us through democratic channels, mass protests on the street will not be immediate. Though the very existence of President Trump may change that.”




    All of them laughed at the reference to Trump before the Portuguese continued.




    “Well, while I sympathise with the democratic voice as expressed by the people of Scotland the fact is that as part of the UK you had a vote and the vote went the other way — not that I would have voted that way you understand. If you don’t like it, ten you can either accept it or protest against it at the ballot box on the first possible occasion. Alternatively, you can take to the streets.




    ” I learned long ago that when people take to the streets en masse you create a massive problem for the existing Government especially in this age of instant news via the net. Many years ago, no one dared to take to the streets in Portugal. We were ruled by dictator and had been for many years. The country was poor and there were was military rule with curfews, no freedom of expression, and physical consequences if you protested. Journalists were banned, people were imprisoned and there was no chance to go tom the ballot box. The very idea of crowds protesting on the street was only a dream.




    “But then, for some people, all of that changed one day without anyone really realising it. Something happened that no one anticpated and the effect of what happened was not really seen by everyone until much later …….. in fact years later. Only the undercurrent of political agitators really saw and understood the significance of the events concerned.”




    By this time the English couple were somewhat entranced by the cowboy’s story as he was good at painting a picture and expanding an argument.




    I was equally interested, but felt that I knew where this lesson was going because I had heard a similar story years before (1982 to be precise).




    The Portuguese man looked directly at me and asked simply:




    “Do you know when this change took place, almost by accident?”




    I couldn’t help but break into a huge grin.




    ” 25th May 1967!” I said confidently as the train just about pulled into my station.




    ” Ha!” said the cowboy ” Viva Celtic! Viva Portugal! Viva The Revolution!”




    The English couple simply looked on astonished.




    TO BE CONTINUED ……………………

  9. prestonpans bhoys on

    Watching the Killie Hertz game, things you do when you canny drink, and the commentator comments that the Hertz fans being located at the back of the stand doesn’t look well on live TV.



    Just what I was thinking , you would think the away support was those five guys at the corner!




    That’s a shame….they are worthy of each other.



    The Tollbooth Bar? Only been in it twice, very entertaining and some lovely old style bar decor.

  11. Just back from downtown Fuengirola. Great buzz for the Good Friday parade. Lots of colour, pageantry and music. Very different to Dublin.



    Lots of people out socialising in the cafés and bars where alcohol is available. Talk in Ireland at the moment is that this will be the last Good Friday where alcohol can’t be legally sold. Legislation is going through the Oireachtas (parliament) to change the law.

  12. Delaneys Dunky on




    One Day in Lisbon 1 was a good read.


    One Day in Lisbon 2 was a great read.


    You have fair whetted my appetite for our trip to Lisbon next month. Bravo

  13. Delaneys Dunky on




    Glad you enjoyed.


    Hertz at home on 21 May. Will be in touch.



  14. I was hoping that Cathro would make a fist of it at Hearts,if for no other reason than to have a GIRFUY to the media.But listening to him,and watching his tactics,


    he is a bit of a fud.


    His attire leaves a lot to be desired.His wardrobe looks like its come from the set of Take The High Road in the 80s

  15. Delaneys Dunky on




    Got offered a freebie at Scotstoun tonight for Warriors match. Must be better than this dross at Rugby Park.

  16. DD: Holy days are big events here and there is huge participation by the locals. Will try and catch more of it over the weekend. When in Fuengirola do as the……..



    Ruairí is talking about coming over for the Hearts match as well, with his younger son.

  17. Delaneys Dunky on




    This time last year I was supping my first beer of the Good Friday in Dublin. Without the tickets for the Eirè Swiss match with bar access, espresso would have been my strongest drink in Dublin that day. :)

  18. Possibly the poorest 45 minutes of football I’ve watched this season. It can only get better, surely?

  19. prestonpans bhoys on




    Has there been a shot.



    Btw. Does the guy beside you wear glasses? Was trying to look out for you against Killie at HT but you must have went downstairs

  20. Prestonpans Bhoys –



    I let my 2 Bhoys go to the North Curve last Saturday as I had the use of another ticket at the other end. I’ll be on holiday for the St Johnstone game but there for the Hearts party. Might be a bit busy mind.




    True, I heard that admission was free at Rugby Park tonight, however it costs £30 to get out.


    I expect record gate receipts.

  22. Delaneys Dunky on




    Wow. That Bhoy’s talent amazes me.


    Think this should be all for Shay.


    Help you any way I can.


    Hope Thunder Road’s talent as an artist is universally recognised, before we all expire. :)

  23. prestonpans bhoys on




    Yip maybe a bit busy.



    Wiz talking to my cousin before the game a Killie fan, said he drove because his bus was full of folk getting pished, wonder why. Oh second half starting……..

  24. Almore


    Given some of the comments after the Moab was dropped Clogher could have got a lot more indulgences staying on the blog for lent.


    Enjoy and HH

  25. PR67: cheers.



    Five degrees of separation:



    Will watch Sunday’s match in Timmys in Torreblanca which is owned by Kevin who is good friends with Dave who is secreatary of Craobh Chiaráin’s GAA club where last year’s centenary (of the 1916 Rising) Rhebel Session was held. Cloghercelt made contact with Dave who’s Dad attended the same primary school, at the same time, as Almore.




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