“Oh Harry, Harry…Oh Harry Hood”: Part 2: Cruising with the Clyde

“Oh Harry, Harry…Oh Harry Hood”: Part 2: Cruising with the Clyde

Harry Hood’s second Clyde debut took place at Shawfield on Saturday, 8 October 1966, a 3-1 win over Motherwell in front of 4,000 spectators. He would not score on that occasion but was back on the goal trail the following weekend as the Bully Wee lost 4-3 to Dundee United at Tannadice. Clyde would edge another seven-goal thriller across the road at Dens Park just before Christmas, with Harry grabbing a brace on that occasion.

READ PART ONE HERE…“Oh Harry, Harry…Oh Harry Hood”: Springburn, Shawfield & Sunderland…but no Celtic

The calendar year 1967 would be a momentous one for both of the old east end rivals, Celtic and Clyde, whilst it would spell the end of the road for another traditional old Glasgow club, Third Lanark. The signs for the Hi Hi were growing increasingly desperate as Celts hosted Clyde on Wednesday, 11 January 1967, the match deferred from the Ne’erday holiday due to the frozen conditions. The Hoops began life minus their injured top scorer Joe McBride by thrashing the Shawfield outfit 5-1, Stevie Chalmers with a double and Charlie Gallagher, Tommy Gemmell and Bobby Lennox netting for Celts whilst Joe Gilroy – frequently rumoured to be a signing target for Jock Stein – briefly gave Clyde parity in the first half. It was only a second defeat in 10 for the visitors and halted a run of four successive away League victories.

Harry opened his Scottish Cup account for the season with another double, in the 4-1 win over East Fife at Shawfield on Saturday, 18 February 1967, and he would repeat that feat in the replayed quarter-final tie against Hamilton Academical on Wednesday, 22 March 1967, my sixth birthday, as the Bully Wee won 5-1 at Douglas Park in front of over 9,000 spectators.

That set up a last four clash between Clyde and Celtic at Hampden on the opening day in April, almost 57,000 braving a blustery afternoon to watch the sides battle the elements and each other before settling for a 0-0 draw. The two big incidents occurred in the closing quarter, first Ronnie Simpson pulling off a fabulous save from Joe Gilroy before Celts were denied a penalty by referee JRP Gordon when Jimmy Johnstone’s goalbound shot was stopped on the line by Dave Souter’s elbow. An injury suffered by Harry at Hampden saw him miss the replay, before 55,000 at the same venue four days later, and Clyde had also missed their chance of glory, goals from Bobby Lennox and Bertie Auld settling the tie within the opening 22 minutes.

Harry would miss the next three games but would return for the final four fixtures of the League season, scoring a double on the last day as Clyde came back from 2-0 down at half-time to beat Stirling Albion 5-2 at Annfield and secure third place in the Championship, the club’s highest League finish of all time.

They would be cruelly robbed of a place in European football by a strange rule whereby only one club from each city could compete in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, runners-up Rangers claiming Glasgow’s spot, whilst with the teams finishing immediately below Clyde – Aberdeen and Hibernian – qualifying on their own merits, sixth-placed Dundee got the nod to replace them. To rub salt into Clyde wounds, the Dens Park men would then go all the way to the last four of the competition before following the Easter Road and Ibrox outfits as the third Scottish club to be defeated by Cup-winners Leeds United.

Things continued to progress well with Harry’s career. He was chosen as part of a Scotland touring party for a series of close-season ‘test matches’ in May and June 1967, as new boss Bobby Brown looked at fringe players who may break into the full squad for the upcoming World Cup campaign. Hood replaced new Rangers signing Andy Penman in the opening match in Tel Aviv, scoring the winner as the Scots beat Israel 2-1. The next game would take place on Lisbon Day, Thursday, 25 May 1967, Harry also enjoying the taste of victory with a goal in Scotland’s 4-1 win over Hong Kong, Dunfermline Athletic pair Alex Ferguson – with a double – and Willie Callaghan – elder brother of Tommy – with the other counters for the tourists.

Three days later, Hood was in action again as another Ferguson goal, this time in Sydney, beat an Australian national team managed by a certain Jo Venglos! Harry would sit out further victories over the Socceroos in Adelaide and Melbourne before returning on Tuesday, 5 June 1967 for the match in Wellington against a New Zealand Under-23 team, Hood not on the scoresheet as the Scots won 7-2, thanks to a hat-trick from Joe Harper, a double from recent Wembley hero Jim McCalliog, a Tommy McLean penalty and a Gary Lake own goal.

That scoreline would be repeated in the final tour match against Canada, played in Winnipeg, this time Harper grabbing five with Bobby Hope and Willie Morgan also netting for Scotland. Of the 19 players who travelled, only seven would not receive full caps for Scotland, Harry Hood and Alex Ferguson being the most high-profile of those. To this day, I would struggle to name a better uncapped Scottish player than Harry Hood.

Clyde would open their 1967/68 League campaign at the home of the European champions, Celtic, Chris Shevlane and Pat McMahon given League debuts as Mrs Kelly unfurled the flag. The Shawfield club were now under temporary new management in the shape of former Airdrieonians boss, Archie Wright, Davie White having moved to Ibrox as assistant to Scot Symon, who he would later replace whilst Rangers were at the top of the League as the Govan outfit began to fear, feel then resent the chill in Jock Stein’s shadow. Kilsyth Bhoy McMahon would open the scoring before Lions Bobby Lennox and Bertie Auld completed a 3-0 win before the interval.

Harry would then hit the goal trail with three in the victories over Partick Thistle and Aberdeen which followed, before the run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat by Falkirk at Shawfield on Saturday, 30 September 1967, a match my father actually took me along to, if I recall correctly. The highlight of the autumn schedule was a 5-0 win over Dundee United at Shawfield just before Christmas, with Hood scoring twice.

The new year 1968 opened with another Clyde managerial appointment, former player Archie Robertson – the man whose goal directly from a corner had prevented Jimmy McGrory’s Celtic from retaining their Scottish Cup in April 1955 – picking up the reins from Archie Wright. Jock Stein’s current Hoops side would eventually edge a five-goal thriller at Shawfield, with Harry Hood very much to the fore if Press reports are to be believed.

“The power of Murdoch and Brogan at wing-half and the hard running of Chalmers and McBride, who scored Celtic’s goals between them, were unmatchable over the whole game by Clyde, for whom Anderson, Hood and McFarlane took the eye in much briefer glimpses. Clyde forestalled any thoughts of a rout two minutes after the interval, when McFarlane took Anderson’s pass and shot home from an angle. Indeed, they played their best football in the next 15 minutes, during which Hood hit a post and Simpson made timely saves from Hood and Stewart.”

Sadly, Ronnie Simpson would sustain a rib injury which would rule him out of the following day’s clash with Rangers at Celtic Park, a vital match with the two rivals neck-and-neck for the title. John Fallon would take Ronnie’s place and would be blamed for the two goals which gave Rangers an undeserved draw and left the advantage for the flag race with the Ibrox club.

There would be joy for Harry with a hat-trick for Clyde in a 6-3 win over Hearts at Shawfield on Saturday, 20 January 1968, then disappointment as they exited the Scottish Cup following a 3-2 defeat by Partick Thistle at Firhill in front of 14,000 spectators in late February. In between those matches, however, there was finally some well-deserved international recognition for Harry, chosen in the Scotland side for the Under-23 international with England at Hampden on Wednesday, 7 February 1968.

He was joined in the navy blue by a number of stars who would go on to become household names, Pat Stanton, Peter Cormack and Colin Stein with Hibernian, Bobby Moncur at Newcastle United and Willie Morgan at Manchester United, together with Steve Murray, who would later join him at Celtic. Hood would score Scotland’s only goal, early in the second half, sadly sandwiched between strikes from Martin Chivers and Rodney Marsh, as the visitors won 2-1.

Following the high of playing for his country at Hampden, Harry would suffer the heaviest defeat of his career at the same venue as Clyde ran into a rampant Celtic side in the final of the Glasgow Cup, on Wednesday, 17 April 1968. The Hoops scored seven goals in an incredible 24-minute spell in the first half, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Lennox with a hat-trick, John Hughes with a brace and Tommy Gemmell doing the damage.

Fortunately, for Clyde, Celts eased off in the second half, only Bobby Murdoch early on adding to the Bully Wee misery. The 8-0 victory witnessed by 25,000 equalled a record scoreline for this final which had stood since the year Celtic was founded. Clyde would win two of the final three League games, with Harry scoring the winner at Fir Park, to finish the season in a highly-respectable eighth position.

Hood commenced what would be his final season with Clyde by scoring in a 4-1 win over Aberdeen in the League Cup sectional tie at Shawfield, on Saturday, 10 August 1968, then again in a 3-2 victory at Tannadice in midweek. He would then return from injury to hit a hat-trick in the final game, a 3-0 defeat of Dunfermline Athletic at Shawfield which saw the Bully Wee emerge from a difficult group to face Ayr United in the quarter-final.

Before that clash, Clyde found themselves again facing the champions Celtic in the opening League game of the season, this time at Shawfield on Saturday, 7 September 1968. The old Rutherglen stadium was crammed with 22,000 fans, most expecting to see Celts continue the high-scoring form which had seen them blow away Rangers, Morton and Partick Thistle in their own League Cup section.

They would get three goals from Jock Stein’s men, two of them late on to put a rather flattering look on the scoreline at 3-0, after Jim Brogan had scored the finest goal of his Celtic career midway through the first half.

Clyde would win both legs of the quarter-final against an Ayr United side who would be promoted from the Second Division at the end of the season, Harry on target in the 2-0 win at Shawfield on Wednesday, 25 September 1968. On the same night, a young man called Kenny Dalglish was given his Celtic debut by Jock Stein at Douglas Park as the Hoops followed up a 10-0 first leg humiliation of Hamilton Academical – Stevie Chalmers and Bobby Lennox each scoring five – with a 4-2 victory in the return, Charlie Gallagher’s final match for Celtic.

The two east end clubs would now meet at Hampden for the third time in 18 months, on Wednesday, 9 October 1968, Harry Hood described as a “constant threat” to Celtic who won thanks to a late George Connelly strike, the big Fifer scoring with a fierce shot just three minutes after replacing the injured Joe McBride, to send most of the 35,000 fans home happy.

The clubs would clash again two months later in the by-now annual New Year’s Day fixture, this time at Celtic Park. New signing Tommy Callaghan from Dunfermline Athletic helped himself to a double, whilst a Tommy Gemmell penalty and second-half strikes from Willie Wallace and Bobby Lennox made it a comfortable 5-0 victory for the hosts.

Harry would be joined up front later that month by Jimmy Quinn, a young player on loan from Celtic, grandson of the Mighty Hoops striker of the same name, the Bould Bhoy from Croy. Quinn would score before being sent off in a 1-1 draw with Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday, 25 January 1969, as the Bully Wee finished the Scottish Cup first round match with just nine men.

The Shawfield men would then win the home replay 2-1 in midweek, to set up yet another cup clash with Treble-chasing Celtic, the following month. On the same night, the Hoops had destroyed Partick Thistle 8-1 in their replayed tie – with SEVEN different goalscorers – the sides having drawn 3-3 at Firhill on the Saturday thanks to Jimmy Bone’s last-gasp strike.

The second round would prove significant for two wonderful Celts, albeit for vastly different reasons. The game took place at Shawfield on Wednesday, 12 February 1969 with a 4.30 kick-off, due to issues with Clyde’s floodlighting system. Nevertheless, more than 25,000 crammed into the Rutherglen arena and they would see Celtic goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson dislocate his shoulder early on following a clash with – would you believe it – Hoops loanee Jimmy Quinn. Tommy Gemmell would replace ‘Faither’ in goals as the match petered out to a goalless draw. Sadly, this would be the start of Ronnie’s injury problems which would ultimately cause his retirement from football. Such a cruel and crazy game is football sometimes.

The replay would take place 12 days later at Celtic Park, the Hoops buoyant after an excellent 0-0 draw in the San Siro which raised Parkhead hopes of a second European Cup triumph in three seasons. A higher-than-normal crowd of 38,000 turned out on an icy evening to see Stevie Chalmers give Celts the lead midway through the first half. Despite incessant attacking, they had to wait until the closing 15 minutes before further strikes from John Hughes and Bobby Murdoch sealed the 3-0 victory and a quarter-final match with St Johnstone.

Back at Shawfield, Harry Hood would continue to get himself amongst the goals as February became March. There was a touch of symmetry about the match with Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday, 15 March 1969. Back in November 1962, Harry had made his debut for Clyde in Govan as an 18-year-old hopeful. This day would now mark his final game for the club, at the same venue.

Two days later, on Monday, 17 March 1969 – St Patrick’s Day – after 96 goals in 197 matches for Clyde, Henry Anthony Hood became Harry Hood of the Celtic.

Life would never be quite the same.

Hail Hail! Part 3 to follow shortly on The Celtic Star.

Matt Corr

Follow Matt on Twitter @Boola_vogue

About Author

Having retired from his day job Matt Corr can usually be found working as a Tour Guide at Celtic Park, or if there is a Marathon on anywhere in the world from as far away as Tokyo or New York, Matt will be running for the Celtic Foundation. On a European away-day, he's there writing his Diary for The Celtic Star and he's currently completing his first Celtic book with another two planned.

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