Celtic’s Long Road to Lisbon – Mike Maher Back from Pittodrie for Midnight Mass

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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 Gers 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 Rangers 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 they 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.

3 September 1966

That’s us won the section and won every game too. Remember when we never qualified for the quarter finals for years. Only 1-0 today but that’ll do. Wee Jimmy got injured and we brought on a substitute – Willie O’Neill so we did not play with 10 men.  Wonder if this substitute idea will last.

On Wednesday we won at Shawfield too.  That is the first time I saw a whole game at Shawfield. Two seasons ago I went by service bus and it broke down. By the time replacement one came I was about 20 minutes late in getting in.

Celtic coming out at Shawfield

And then last season went for the supporters’ bus and discovered that because it was a New Year’s Day game the kick off was 2 o’clock and the bus had gone. Luckily there was a guy in a wee van who saw a couple of us in the same boat and he gave us a lift but we still missed the first half hour. Was not much of a game on Wednesday and it is hard to get a good view there. I went down the front not for from the dug outs. Saw Big Jock raging at Bertie Auld for sitting on the ball.  I thought it was funny but dad agreed with Big Jock – you don’t take the mickey out of other players.  Maybe if it was against Rangers it’d be different?

17 September 1966

Wish we had scored more against Rangers  today. But it was a stroll really. We always were in control. Almost the same start as on Wednesday night against Dunfermline – 2 up in the first 4 minutes. Thought we might have got another 6 but still 2 points and we showed them who the boss is.

24 September 1966

Home late from Dundee but nearly did not make it at all. Joe Haughian came along today like he said he would. Big John wasn’t there though. His dad said it was because the bus was not coming back till midnight. I don’t think he thought we should go either but we didn’t want to miss it now. He said he would get us a lift back down the road when the game finished.  They had to hold up the kick off for about 10 minutes to let the crowd in.  I had Celtic 9 in the sweep but Andy Penman scored first for Dundee.

Buzz Bomb equalised and Stevie Chalmers got the winner.  A linesman got hurt and had to get replaced so the game was stopped for a while. After the game John’s da took me and Joe to the bus park and got us on a bus going straight back to Glasgow. The bus stopped for us near Muirhead. Just as well Joe had come as I was not sure where I was. It was dark and we scrambled down a grassy bank then along the road to where Joe said we would get a bus to Coatbridge. Back home in time though to watch Scotsport and Sportscene.

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