The East is Green – Tam McVeigh, lifted at Ibrox then head-to-head with Harry Hood

More from The East is Green…

A week before the Ibrox Disaster a local girl, but stranger, knocked on Colin Stein’s door and handed him a little hand knitted teddy bear for their recently born baby. After the disaster Stein carried a heavy burden of guilt thinking that his goal could have contributed to it.

The Fatal Accident Inquiry, with many eye witnesses, proved this not to be the case. No one was moving back up the stairs to greet the goal, an outcome which eased Stein’s guilt to an extent, but 65 men and boys lost their lives that day and also one girl Margaret Ferguson the girl who handed Stein the teddy a week previously.

In no way would I belittle the tragedy of the saddest day in the history of Scottish football but another side issue happened that day concerning our bus which was parked in Broomloan Road.

We all made our way to the ground I was walking along with Tam McVeigh he said “watch for the polis I need a pee” then right out of the crowd two cops appeared and took Tam by the arms. “Sorry Tam I never saw them.”

As the events of that terrible day unfolded and we got back on the bus I completely forgot about Tam the following in week we are back on the bus when it arrived at Haymarket Tam got on. “Oh Tam sorry about last week”.  He says, “Listen you know what happened, I was taken to Govan police station and they have to verify your details make sure you are who you say you are and have no unpaid fines or warrants out for you.”

As you know no one had phones back then so they contact the cops in Edinburgh and they send a young constable in one of those blue and white panda cars down to Tam’s address in Ferry Road, Tam’s wife is sitting at the window looking out for him and listening to the death list on the radio going up and up she sees the car and the cop looking up and checking his notebook, he knocks on the door she answers and he says are you Mrs. McVeigh wife of Thomas the poor woman almost passed out in the lobby. “No it’s alright missus,” said the polis,  “he was caught peeing in the street, he’ll be home later.”


Tam and Harry

We used to stop off at Bellshill in the 70s for a couple of pints before the game on one occasion the discussion on the bus was Harry Hood’s hat-trick against Rangers some years previously.

Tam McVeigh insisted Harry scored all three with his head to which no one agreed with, Tam had a stammer which became pronounced when he got agitated, up and down the bus looking for someone to agree with him without any luck at this time all the old pubs in Bellshill were pulled down so we were looking for a new venue when we spot the lights on in a hotel in Uddingston the whole bus trooped in and wouldn’t you just know it, it was Harry Hood’s place and there he was behind the bar pulling pints!

‘‘Harry the very man to settle an argument, your hat-trick against Rangers”…  Harry’s answer was left foot, right foot and a header”. Big Tam was having none of it determined to put things right he leans over the bar nose to nose with Harry and says “Yer a f-f-f-f-flaming liar”.

(Okay, he didn’t actually say flaming! – Ed).

Those Hampden goalposts 

The 1976 European Cup Final was held at Hampden Saint-Etienne faced a Bayern Munich side containing six reigning world champions Just after the half-hour mark midfielder Dominique Bathenay let fly from 25 yards and beating goalkeeper Sepp Maier.

But to the dismay of Saint-Etienne’s 20,000 fans – and the majority of the neutrals in the stands the ball hit the underside of the crossbar part of the square goal frame that were a famous quirk of Scotland’s national stadium for more than eighty years.

The ball bounced down and Revelli headed the rebound straight into Maier’s arms English television, commentator Brian Moore wondered aloud whether the ball would have gone in, had the crossbar been round then Santini leapt at the near post to meet a Sarramagna cross from the left unbelievably, for the second time in five minutes, the ball came back down to safety off the underside of the bar.  The final arguably signalled the beginning of the end for the great Saint-Etienne team. 

Schlussjubel Bayern, u.a. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge re. und Franz Roth vorn

Although they won the Coupe de France the following year, and one more league championship in 1981, led by Michel Platini, the club never managed to come close to those halcyon days of the mid-70s, and have not won any silverware since that 1981 title. That lack of success has only served to increase the legend of those square goalposts in French minds. 

Had they been round, would Saint-Etienne have scored, one or maybe two goals? Would they have defeated the Mighty Munich Machine. Whatever one’s view, those goalposts have attained almost celebrity status.

“Whit a bloody cairry oan”

The East is Green is a self published booklet written by life-long Celtic supporter Brian McAuley, who has also personally designed so many Celtic Supporters Club badges and many of them will be shown on The Celtic Star as we serialise this brilliant little book. Running to just over 100 pages it’s a great insight into supporting Celtic and attending games stretching as far back as the 1950s to the modern day.

As we have done previously with Jerry Woods’ brilliant To Lisbon and Back on a Fiver, we’re happy to put any reader in touch with Brian and he’s post and package you a copy of The East is Green for the very reasonable cost of £5 including postage. Just drop an email to and we’ll make the necessary introductions.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

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