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. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    God bless Neil Lennon – Oldco slayer extraordinaire.




  2. Gerry,



    I hope Kris joins Neil. I hope that Efe does 2, if there is no way back @ Celtic.



    Hibs 2nd place. ;))



    You heard it here First. :D

  3. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Another hurdle the morra,get over it,a invincible season.



    The care and God bless .

  4. Nye Bevans’ rebel soldier on 15th April 2017 5:19 pm



    Another hurdle the morra,get over it,a invincible season.






    Not fussed about going unbeaten. I just want that Scottish Cup.



    (I’d be over the Moon if we went through unbeaten).



    Brendan is on it.

  5. Having been forced into a new back four, including two youngsters, Sevco have had three consecutive clean sheets. Will Caixinha have the bottle to keep playing them next week?

  6. Will be visiting my son in London on 29 April.


    Would welcome recommendations on where to watch the Huns game. My son lives in Battersea so somewhere around there would be great, but not essential. Would really like a singular Celtic pub/ club. Know there are a number on line but a recommendation would be preferred.






  7. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Ref , Crawford Allan taken out by Ayr’s Paul Cairney, a few minutes ago.



    Their game v Dundee United on bbc alba the now.



    Somerset Park hasn’t changed much in the the last thirty years but has a nice new stand.



    There is a picture on twitter of a display at Ibrox today. It said. Sam English a young proud protestant 1908 – 1967.



    It shows their mentality by saying proud young protestant boy.



    I have read various articles about Sam English and he still felt guilt for his accidental clash with John Thompson. At no point did any of the articles mention his religion.

  8. Good wee lift for the Hibs ahead of next week. I reckon their match with Aberdeen is 50/50.

  9. thetimreaper on 15th April 2017 5:58 pm



    Good wee lift for the Hibs ahead of next week. I reckon their match with Aberdeen is 50/50.






    Neil is a Big Game Manager, of that there is no doubt.






    I hope Hibs destroy aiberdeen, and I don’t not like Aiberdeen.

  10. Sam English banner.



    Played 60 games for them over eight decades ago.



    What would they find about an unremarkable player to commemorate publically?



    Hun filth.



    The End is coming. Again. Can’t wait.

  11. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Pedro said he has began preparation for next week, and has watched a tape of the last Old Firm game…


    ….. what good will that dae him? Hooper and Mulgrew urny even here anymore, and he hardly has any o they players that lost that game 3-0 :)))




    There is a picture on twitter of a display at Ibrox today. It said. Sam English a young proud protestant 1908 – 1967. It shows their mentality by saying proud young protestant boy.



    I have read various articles about Sam English and he still felt guilt for his accidental clash with John Thompson. At no point did any of the articles mention his religion.



    Just saw that despicable banner , proclaiming sam english as a proud young ken dodd. John Thomson was a proud young member of the Church of Christ, a small protestant evangelical church, probably better Christians than that heathen mob that was flying the banner.



    They love tae lament that he was an ulsterman but he left there when he was 15 and settled in Dalmuir.



    The injury tae John was clearly an accident and I believe it was not the first time he had dived at a forwards feet. In fact the season before was seriously injured in a game against Airdrie. He broke his jaw, fractured several ribs, damaged his collar bone, and lost two teeth when making a diving save.



    I have family who were involved in minor fitba in the Dumbartonshire area and also worked in the shipyards and not one had a bad word tae say about sam, in fact they all say he was a terrific goalscorer.



    He had only joined the deid team 2 months previously fae Yoker and would go on tae set a record of goals scored that season which would remain for 33 years. The following one he didnae do so well and that has been attributed tae the abuse he received at away grounds which resulted in him moving away that summer tae England.



    He only lasted 2 seasons down there before a former Celt brought him back north tae the doonhammers, after a season he was given a free and went back down tae lowly Hartlepool, however, he was to find that his reputation had preceded him and he often faced taunts regarding the death of the young man fae the Wellesley Fife, and he never fully recovered his playing form.



    Hindsight is a wonderful thing but looking back he was probably suffering from PTSD and he eventually gave up the game at the age of 28, and was quoted afterwards as describing his playing career after the accident as being “seven years of joyless sport, and that he was that he was the second unluckiest footballer in the world”.’



    A true tragedy on both sides and yet these lowlife tend tae celebrate it with a mural tae his knee on wall in Belfast.



    After he retired he went ontae coach Duntocher Hibs, so no much of a hun and no animosity was felt in the wee holy village.



    As a young bhoy I recall a picture of him leaving John Browns, it might have been an anniversary of John’s death.



    He died in the Vale of Leven hospital on the same day we beat Dukla in the 1st leg of the semis of the same illness that took the life of our first goalscorer that night and big Cush.



    I would often walk by the hospital that season on my way tae meet my mates’ prior tae going tae the games as he was lying/dying up there. We would sing Celtic songs including John Thomson, not with any malice I hasten tae add, on the train while picking up fellow Tims at Dalmuir, Clydebank and Yoker.

  13. Good evening, a bit well lit, to be honest.


    Firstly, the good news is that the fair citizens of Wishy managed to humiliate the 2 or 3 dozen knuckle draggers who tried to present the case for the SDL and zero tolerance to refugees in Wishy today.


    I was down at the station today as the lowlife were forming and to be honest I was delighted to see the “quality” of their personnel. As I headed into Glasgow I was confident that they would have no impact on public opinion.


    Now , to Glasgow. It was cold and windy but for two hours I was transported to Bella Italia with a lovely lunch in La Lanterna this afternoon. I was wary of following recommendations from people I do not know, however I was delighted I took a chance.


    Don’t have to go all Trip Advisor here, suffice to say that I will go back. The service and food were of equal quality, the minestrone soup of enviable quality.


    Back home now, pondering opening a nice bottle of Amarone. Nice.

  14. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    In the weekend of the resurrection of our lord the last thing we need is point scoring about the tragedy of John Thompson



    It was a tragedy for both men.


    God rest their souls

  15. I reckon a few GFS2 participants would have had a joker on Spurs- like me- today.



    Wonder how the table is shaping up and who ole Token Tim went for!



    Hope GFTB went for Leicester :-)

  16. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Chris is a great boy and WDH knows his stuff

  17. Tontine Tim,



    A horrible thing to happen to any Sportsman.



    I gave up watching boxing after the Benn Mclellan fight – I Loved the fight. I didnae realise Barry McGuigan had done what he did until recently.



    Django unchained indeed.

  18. AuroraBorealis79 on

    TONTINE TIM on 15TH APRIL 2017 6:42 PM



    No disrespect meant to you but Evangelical Preachers are in large part of the worlds troubles today.

  19. J.McCormick.


    I’m pleased you enjoyed it.


    There is nothing worse if you sing something’s praises and then someone else doesn’t have as an enjoyable experience.


    Hail Hail.

  20. Gerryfaethebrig on




    Great joker on the Spurs, I think I am in danger of you making it 1-1 in the GFS competitions, I was on Everton, think you might have went to the top of the league with a joker still to play, remember it’s being on top at the end and not peaking too early :-)



    Petec 5.12



    I would be delighted with that scenario, Neil, Efe & Kris…… Good wee hattrick for the Hibees

  21. J.McCormick


    My post 6.56. Reading back my post doesn’t read well.


    Obviously there are lots of things worse but I’m sure you know what I was meaning.


    Hail Hail.





    Yer an absolute star,mate. Sam English was as much a victim of that horrific accident as John Thompson.



    There are no winners in a battle when both combatants lose,only sick minds can look for one.



    John Thompson was clearly a marvellous goalkeeper. Sam English was clearly a marvellous goalscorer.



    One life and career ended,another wrecked. Both far too soon.



    HH and God bless both. I reckon they pass the time upstairs by kicking a ball.

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