‘A debut is always a big occasion for any player,’ Jim Craig

A debut is always a big occasion for any player. Your first chance to play a match in the first team ; just what you have been waiting for all this time.

This particular player had joined Celtic in 1959 after three seasons with Ashfield Juniors. He had then spent some time in the Reserves, initially under the coaching regime of Jock Stein and trying to show the then manager of Celtic – Jimmy McGrory – that he deserved a chance in the first team.

On this day in 1959, Stevie Chalmers got his chance and the 22-year-old ran out at Celtic Park to face Airdrie in a league match.

The team that day was Frank Haffey, Dunky MacKay, Neil Mochan, Eric Smith, Bobby Evans, Bertie Peacock, Matt McVittie, Stevie Chalmers, John Colrain, Sammy Wilson, Bertie Auld.

Things were different in those days.

Rather surprisingly, Airdrie were 4th in the league table and Celtic 9th, while the attendance was a very low 4,000. Airdrie had ex-Celt Jim Sharkey at outside-right and opened the scoring through inside-forward McGill in 25 minutes. John Colrain equalized in 32 minutes but the crowd then had wait until the second half for another goal and it came from centre-forward Black for Airdrie, who held out for a 2-1 win.

It was the first of 405 appearances in a Celtic shirt for Stevie, who scored 228 goals in total.

jim Craig

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About Author

Lisbon Lion and Celtic Ambassador Jim Craig provides The Celtic Star readers with a 365 day diary of all things Celtic, providing a remarkable and unique insight into our club from one of the players who won us The Celtic Star in Lisbon on 25 May 1967.

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