“Oh Harry, Harry…Oh Harry Hood”: Part 9: Harry, Charlie, the Pope and the King
Season 1971/72 opened with Harry enjoying a new kid on the block as his striking partner. Kenny Dalglish had shown a glimmer of his world-class future by going on a scoring spree as the end of the previous season saw the transition from Lisbon Lions to Quality Street Gang accelerate, the 20-year-old hitting six of Celtic’s seven goals against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in a testimonial match for the Ayrshire side’s championship-winning captain Frank Beattie, two nights after the Double had been secured at Hampden.
He was then included in the party which enjoyed a short break in Israel at the end of the month, Harry, of course, scoring the only goal of the match against Hapoel in Tel Aviv. John Clark, Bertie Auld and Stevie Chalmers had all left Celtic to prolong their careers elsewhere, ‘10.30’ to Hibernian and the others to wear the blue-and-white hoops of Morton. Other Lions would soon follow.
Dalglish then followed his six goals against Kilmarnock with another four as Celts beat Limerick 6-1 as part of a short pre-season tour of Ireland on Monday, 26 July 1971, two of those from the spot on a night when Tommy Gemmell missed another penalty and the hosts – captained by Al Finucane, who had made his international debut for Ireland beside Charlie Gallagher in Ankara back in February 1967 – also converted theirs to grab a consolation goal. There was real sadness a few hours later, when it was revealed that another of Celtic’s Irish international players, Charlie Tully, had suddenly passed away at his home in Belfast. He had celebrated his 47th birthday just two weeks earlier.
Charles Patrick Tully is the stuff of legend. My dad was one of those behind the goal when he scored twice from a corner kick in a Scottish Cup-tie at Brockville in February 1953, a feat he had also achieved for Ireland against England in his native Belfast, four months earlier, albeit just the once in that instance!
There are perhaps more stories involving Charlie than any other Celt in history, and whilst most of these are funny – allegedly handing out comp tickets to defenders he was getting the better of during matches, for example – there is no doubting his talent. Tully was part of the squads who won the Coronation Cup in 1953, Celtic’s first League and Scottish Cup Double in 40 years the following season, our first League Cup-winning side in 1956 and the Hampden in the Sun destruction of Rangers in October 1957. He is Celtic folklore, piling on the agony for those who played against him and putting on the style for the thousands who hung on his every move or touch.
It was tragic that he should depart so young. He will no doubt be regaling the angels in Heaven about the time no-one recognised the guy wearing all-white on the balcony next to him in St Peter’s Square. Rest in peace, Charlie.
The new season opened with another tremendous Irish footballer named Charlie returning to Celtic Park. This time it was the aforementioned Gallagher, now using his talent and experience to help the young players at Dumbarton. The Sons were Celtic’s first opponents in the new brewery-sponsored knockout competition, the Drybrough Cup, introduced as a pre-season taster for the established events.
It was open to the four highest-scoring League clubs in each of the two divisions at that time, which as it happened included Scotland’s top three teams from 1970/71, Celtic, Aberdeen and St Johnstone, together with the clubs finishing in the highest four positions in the Second Division – newly-promoted Partick Thistle and East Fife, plus Arbroath and Dumbarton. With one match remaining of the previous League season, the eighth Drybrough Cup place had looked a stick-on for Rangers, who had pipped Dundee to secure fourth spot in Division One. Mid-table Airdrieonians would then go goal crazy in their final League match, defeating Falkirk 7-1 to pass the Ibrox club’s tally by two and qualify.
It was a strange feeling walking up to Celtic Park on Saturday, 31 July 1971, the old stadium looking totally different as the steel skeleton of the new stand roof stretched imposingly into the sky. And there was much change on the pitch too, with only Jim Craig and John Hughes from the Lisbon squad included in the team named by Jock Stein, back from pall-bearing duties with Billy McNeill at the funeral of Charlie Tully in Belfast, two days earlier.
Celtic lined up as follows, in front of 22,000 curious spectators:
Evan Williams; Jim Craig & Jim Brogan; Tommy Callaghan, George Connelly & Davie Hay;
Kenny Dalglish, Vic Davidson, Lou Macari, Harry Hood, & John Hughes.
Substitute; Jimmy Quinn.
It was another of that immortal pool of players who struck first, Charlie Gallagher rolling back the years to strike a free-kick past Evan Williams after just eight minutes to give the Sons of the Rock a shock lead.
Celtic’s star man from the previous season, Harry Hood, then started where he had left off in Tel Aviv, hammering the ball past Dumbarton keeper Laurie Williams with the aid of a deflection off defender Ian Bolton to square things at 1-1 after 20 minutes. By the half-hour mark it was 2-2, Kenny Dalglish scoring the first of so many marvellous goals in the Hoops as he beat Williams to a left-wing cross from John Hughes to nod home, with former Rangers and Dundee United winger Davie Wilson then equalising within two minutes.
As we approached the final quarter of the match, those who had bothered to attend on the day got their just reward. The Bhoy King Dalglish announced his arrival in spectacular fashion, with an eight-minute hat-trick to add to his earlier strike, his 14th goal in three games, as Celts won 5-2 to move into the semi-final.
The other three first-round ties went with form, Aberdeen beating East Fife 3-0 at Bayview, Airdrieonians edging a three-goal battle at home to Arbroath and St Johnstone doing the same to Partick Thistle. The Perth side would now face the champions in midweek at Firhill, the game presumably moved from Celtic Park as the stadium refurbishment work continued.
There were fewer grounds I enjoyed visiting more than a packed Firhill, and packed it was on Wednesday, 4 August 1971 as we made the short trip from Springburn to cram into the Panmure Street end with around 30,000 others. It was some sight under the lights, Celts with an unusual combination of Hoops and dark green socks and Jock giving a debut to keeper Gordon Marshall, who had been freed by Hibernian in the close-season, having previously been a title-winner across the city at Tynecastle.
The other change in personnel from the weekend saw Harry Hood drop to the bench, Billy McNeill returning in a reshuffled half-back line with Tommy Callaghan moving further forward. Willie Ormond’s Saints had enjoyed their best-ever season in 1970/71 and looked like they would record a second successive win over Celtic, two goals ahead before the hour mark with Marshall culpable for at least the first of those. The naivety or confidence of youth meant that I always believed we would pull those goals back, as that was what we did back then, and so it proved. In a 10-minute spell, Kenny Dalglish would score a double before Lou Macari put Celts in front, then, just for good measure, Dalglish would add a hat-trick to his weekend quadruple with seven minutes to play.
Incredibly, he had now scored 17 goals in four games.
The Bhoy King would be in the line-up for the final against Aberdeen, played three days later at Pittodrie, the only time Hampden would not be used for such occasions. The Dons had beaten Airdrieonians 4-1 at Broomfield in the other midweek semi-final and would now seek revenge for the heart-breaking end to the title race just three months earlier.
Jock Stein brought back Evan Williams and Harry Hood, in place of Gordon Marshall and the injured Jim Brogan, with Tommy Callaghan and Davie Hay stepping back into more defensive roles. In the home dugout, new Dons boss Jimmy Bonthrone would have a baptism of fire, having moved up from his role as assistant manager just 24 hours earlier, following the sudden departure of manager Eddie Turnbull to his beloved Hibernian.
Aberdeen would take the lead after 20 minutes, in front of 28,000 spectators inside Pittodrie, a lead they held until the hour before John Hughes leapt to head home an equaliser for Celtic. The winning goal would come from the spot, just five minutes later, Callaghan somewhat harshly penalised for his challenge on Joe Harper.
The former Morton striker would only just beat Williams with his shot, however, only just is enough. The Dons would hold on for a 2-1 victory to claim the first Drybrough Cup, thus extending their run over Celts to four wins and a draw in the previous five clashes, albeit that draw had secured the 1971 title for the Hoops. Over the wall at the Beach End came the Red Hordes in triumph, Aberdeen sending an early signal that they would once again be the team to beat to secure the honours in Scotland.
Thanks, as always, to the wonderful Celtic Wiki.
Follow Matt on Twitter @Boola_vogue