Around 18k watched Celtic play China, many used the facilities under the Jungle

When Celtic played China…

It’s the international break at the moment and it disrupts our weekly fix of football. International football will always play second fiddle with me and probably the majority of Celtic supporters.

However on very rare occasions when Celtic played against an international opponent, that is course a different story. In our illustrious history we’ve played a few national sides in friendly games, most notable the Republic of Ireland but Celtic also had the honour of playing the Chinese national side back in August 1979.

Davie Provan in action against China

A curious choice, but a pleasant one all the same, if you were to ignore the ignorant insulting and offensive puns the papers used in Scottish printed media their reports of the game regarding our Chinese visitors.

The Chinese team were on a British tour and had arranged the game 12 months earlier. This was the last game of their tour and they had lost their previous friendly 4-0 to West Brom. Indeed they hadn’t won any of their games whilst on these shores, and hadn’t even scored a solitary goal.

Low and behold they did score at Celtic Park, although it turned out to be nothing more than a mere consolation as the Scottish Champions – still on a high from that 4-2 victory over Rangers on the last day of the previous season – scored six of their own to record an emphatic 6-1 scoreline.

A Murdo MacLeod hat trick, a brace by George McCluskey and a solitary Davie Provan strike helped us to an emphatic victory.

As you can see from the photographs there was a decent crowd of around 18,000 (cough) at Celtic Park for the game and the Jungle was as usual very busy.  The supporters in there who used the facilities situated below the Jungle would have headed down to enjoy their comfort break here…and who says you can’t smell a photograph?

This is from a collection of around 800 forgotten photographs of Celtic Park and Barrowfields that The Celtic Star is exclusively featuring at the moment. The collection was forgotten prints and slides in former Celtic Director Tom Grant’s loft.

Following a recent house move Tom discovered a few large bags of photos up in his loft and contacted The Celtic Star editor so that they could be shared with the Celtic support. It took a while to digitalise everyone and that has now been done and all photos will be shared exclusively on The Celtic Star over the coming week.

This image of the facilities underneath the Jungle was one of several we have released on social media over the past few days to great acclaim from Celtic supporters – it’s even attracted the attention of the other side of the city and has a thread of it’s own on their Follow Follow forum.

The images are being released on The Celtic Star – 50 at a time – and this started last night (see below) and more will follow today.

READ THIS…Forgotten photographs from Celtic Park and Barrowfields (Photos 1-50)

Here are some of the reports from Celtic’s 6-1 win over China, with some pretty shocking headlines which you should note were usually NOT written by the match reporter but by the sub-editors at the the papers…and also the match programme, which cost 15p, on top of the penny spent underneath the Jungle!

Click on image above to order a hardback copy of Majic, Stan and the King of Japan which will be personally signed by the author.
Click on the image above to order the Amazon Kindle version which comes will all the brilliant photos from that season which appear in th hardback version of the book.

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. was there that night along with 17,999 others (double cough-main stand alone held 9,000 and was pretty much full).an amusing aside,when china scored the”jungle’ iet rip a roar and started chanting ‘china,china,.happy memories.

  2. I was there too. 13 years old at number 7 in the jungle with all the pollok bhoys.
    The jungle was the place to be at games for younger tims and gradually you found yourself content to be in the celtic end.
    Older readers than me would be able to confirm but i think rangers used to get a small section of the jungle when it first opened, im sure i saw a picture of that years ago.

    • Eugene McElhinney on

      He Jim. I’m from Clydebank but I went to Turin in 81 with the Pollok Bhoys. Dreadful night outside the stadium after the game.

  3. Eugene McElhinney on

    What I remember about that night was the announcer reading out the teams. He used to read line ups out twice. So. he mumbled through the first time. The Jungle went ” ooooooooh … ” the way you do before the opposing goalie takes a goal kick, then…. ( after a long pause )
    ” And the China team again. ”
    ” WEY HEY !!!!!