MICHAEL was fourteen when the 1966-67 got underway. He loved the Celtic and that season he kept a diary. Tonight you can begin reading a diary of a teenager who attended the games, home and away, on his supporters bus from Coatbridge. Little did her know it when he started his diary but he was putting pen to paper about his own personal road to Lisbon.
This is not memories of that time, this is a day by day account of going to the football that season.
Part 2 tomorrow morning, you’ll be hooked by then! Here goes…
A BHOY’S DIARY
30 July 1966
We saw the World Cup Final on the TV today. It was live too- not like the one in 1962 – we had to wait until the next day then to get the pictures from South America. We have been watching all the games on television. I think it is brilliant but Dad is not so sure- he thinks if you get too much on the tele then people will stop going to the games.
About 5 minutes after the kick-off I had to go into the kitchen to get a drink of ginger. Mum was there – she is not that interested in football. She was not looking happy. Did not think that us laddies should be supporting Germany after what happened to Dad in the war. I knew he was a POW. I have seen the marks on his body but the war seems a long time ago. I had not thought of it like that before.
Maybe we should think again about supporting Germany. I went back into the living room to watch the game with that thought in my mind. Just as I got back in Helmut Haller scored for Germany – Dad was up out of his seat yelling “Yes Ya Beauty” Wonder what Mum would have thought?
We were all cheering just at the end when Germany scored again but England won in extra time. Dad said the third goal never crossed the line and we all agreed.
Maybe there will be a photo in the papers tomorrow to show it. At the end Dad, Gerard and Jim went out of the room but I stayed to watch the World Cup being presented even though I can’t stand that Nobby Stiles.
Imagine if you could see a Scottish team winning a big Cup on TV?
6 August 1966
Well what a day – We thumped Manchester Utd 4-1.
That wee rat Nobby Stile was up to his dirty stuff again but we showed them. And a big crowd too – must have been over 50,000 there today. Me and Peter Dickson right in the middle of the Celtic End. The new Jungle roof was up – some people in the Jungle were even joining in the singing – Never heard that before.
Lots of banners there too – Dad said it was good to see the flags and banners back again. There was one designed like a Union Jack but Green, White and Orange instead of Red, White and Blue. Lots to talk about back at school next week. And I got that Weekly News Colour magazine. Glossy pictures from last season with all the results and us winning the League.
Also had a page about the European Cup we will be in. Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Anderlecht are all in it. The final is in Lisbon on Wednesday 24 May next year. It will be on the tele no doubt.
13 August 1966
Got soaked today. It was pouring all day. At least when I went to the Public Trial game at Parkhead on Tuesday I could get under cover but not at Tynecastle. Went on the Kirkwood bus again with John Fagan, his da, his cousin and his uncle.
Traffic was bad when we got to Edinburgh. Somebody said we would miss the kick off and me and John got up out of the seat to see what was happening up the road. His dad said “no Panic- just remember the 3 C’s- cool, calm and collected.”
He was right and all. We had to step on it going up the road but we made the kick off.
Only about 25,000 there but no way we could get under the cover. Looked like a lot of Hearts fans in there anyway so just as well standing at the Gorgie Road end. Had to keep wiping my specs to see. John said I should fit windae wipers. But I could see the game all right.
Wee Joe scored 2. Cost me 5 shillings! No Boys Gate tickets. Last year I got the train to Tynecastle and we walked back to Haymarket after the game. Today it was the other direction back to the buses. “Watch out going under the bridge” says the uncle. “Hearts fans sometimes go up on top and throw bricks and bottles down,”- was OK the day though.
Hail Hail sounded great echoing in the walls of the bridge.
24 August 1966
My first win at Ibrox last night.
Missed the start though. We had a double decker bus last night and it was packed.
Tom Tumilty came along too. John’s cousin was telling us how he had heard the wee Huns in the school next to him singing “We all live in an orange submarine”.
Took ages to get there. Parked near Helen St. We were all walking to the ground at a fair pace but me and Tom decided to run. When we got to Edmiston Drive it was mobbed. Thousands trying to get in the turnstiles and no order in the queues.
We were pushing and shoving as best we could. We heard the roar for the teams coming out and still nowhere near the gates. Then a wee bit later another roar – It was from the Celtic end – we’d scored!
The mounted polis were there then. Somebody said they should have been there ages ago. Another guy says it was because the Polis wanted an 8’clock kick off but the Huns insisted on 7.30 and that is why the coppers didn’t get it sorted sooner. We missed the first half hour near enough. We ran up the big stairs to the top of the terracing.
Just as we got there I looked on the pitch and saw wee Bobby Lennox swing his leg at the ball. Bang! Into the net – 2 up. Second half the wee man got another 2. He is so fast the Huns can’t catch him.
We were singing “we’ve just sunk an orange submarine” on the way home.
Dad was beaming when I got home – there were highlights on Scotsport so I saw the first goal too. The paper this morning said there was about 80,000 there and the headline was “Rangers Torpedoed” Everyone calling Bobby Lennox the Buzz Bomb at school today.
PART 2 – tomorrow morning. Please share Part 1.
Written in 1966 by a 14 year old Mike Maher, 51 years later he included his diary in the CQN Books’ bestseller, the wonderful In The Heat of Lisbon which is out now on CQNBookstore.com – there are less that 100 copies of this Lisbon tribute book left. Order with CQN’s authentic Jock Stein Lisbon 1967 t-shirt and get both for just £19.67, while stocks last – see below.