Read this Mr Beaton – Referee Mr Callaghan’s 8 week SFA Ban following Rangers Complaint

“CELTIC, who rarely reckon that they get the best of the refereeing decisions, must to-day consider themselves fortunate that they had eleven players on the field right through the game.

In the first half John Hughes was booked for a foul on Jardine and Mr Callaghan had no sooner blown his whistle for the start of the second half than the same Hughes used his knee to perpetrate a shocking foul on Johnston – when the ball was far away in the Celtic half of the field.

Mr Callaghan, who commendably likes to keep close to the football action, had his back to the incident, and it took a linesman to draw attention the fact that Johnston was writhing in agony on the turf and giving maybe an Oscar-winning performance of a man in his death throes.

When play had stopped, and after the referee and the sharp-eyed linesman had gone into a long huddle, Hughes was told, “Come, come – you cannot do that there ‘ere.” But he stayed on the field – and Celtic lived to win.”

This is an extract from the Evening Times match report for Celtic’s 1-0 win over Rangers in the League Cup on 20 August 1969. The full report is below. Tommy Gemmell got the only goal of the game with a diving header from close range after an error from the Rangers goalkeeper gifted him the opportunity.

Rangers were not happy with the decision not to send Big Yogi off and wrote to the SFA. You’re already thinking about Alfredo Morelos’s actions – when he assaulted three Celtic players (one twice) at Ibrox on 29 December last year and referee Mr Beaton took no action and then went out drinking with his fellow Rangers supporters that night to celebrate.

Celtic made their feelings on Beaton’s performance known to the Scottish FA, just as the old Rangers had done back in the summer of ’69.

We all know that in 2019 the Scottish FA stood by their man and Mr Beaton continued on refereeing, partially or otherwise.

But what was the outcome for Mr Callaghan 50 earlier? Well exactly 50 years ago yesterday the Scottish FA acted on the letter that they had received from Ibrox. On Twitter the Tweet Celtic account is currently taking us through season 69/70 on a day by day basis. They’ve just finished doing the 1978/79 season which incidentally saw Johnny Doyle sent off for kicking out at the Rangers winger Alex MacDonald in Celtic’s final game of the season.

Celtic were a goal down at that point and needed a victory to win the league. In a memorable conclusion to the game and the season the ten men turned a 1-0 deficit into an incredible and joyous 4-2 win. Anyway back to what happened in 1969, here’s what Tweet Celtic reported yesterday…

“The shock news from Park Gardens this evening is that the SFA have suspended referee Jim Callaghan for EIGHT WEEKS after holding an inquiry into his handling of the Celtic-Rangers match on 20th August, following a letter of complaint from Rangers.”

Some of the comments that followed are interesting.

“He continued to referee amateur games in Civil Service Saturday Morning League and was a favourite amongst all the teams and league officials,” Auldheid stated.

“Wow. What about the ‘referee’s decision is final’? You know the one we’re always told to adhere too! Wonder what Bob Kelly will say about this?” Jack Maguire asked.

“Nothing much changed from then then,” observed 8 in a row – 2 to go.

“Very little, if anything has changed. The SFA is and always have been totally unfit for purpose with blatant institutional bias towards one, now two clubs,” Lewis Vickers added.


Away Winners – ‘We can do well without a lot of our fans,’ Hatem Abd Elhamed…see HERE.

It’s the real thing as Celts take the fizz out of Kokkola…see HERE.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

Leave A Reply