The night Stevie Chalmers shocked World Champions Brazil and John Clark kept Pele quiet

Scotland’s first ever match against Brazil took place on this day in 1966 when a crowd of around 75,000 turned up at Hampden on the Saturday evening for a friendly between the two footballing nations. And there were queues still outside who missed the early action and of course the early goal.

The Brazil side featured the likes of Pele, Jairzinho and Servilio who scored the goal for the visitors in a 1-1 draw and the Scotland side featured two Celts John Clark – responsible for ensuring that Pele had a quiet game – and Stevie Chalmers who got Scotland off to a brilliant start opening the scoring with just 38 seconds played!

This was a friendly  match ahead of the World Cup in England which Brazil had high hopes of winning. Brazil were back-to-back world champions in 1958 and 1962, but they couldn’t get a win against a Scotland side which had not qualified.  Scotland’s draw against the reigning World Champions was bettered the following year at Wembley when Scotland outplayed the new World Champions who were flattered by a final scoreline that read England 2 Scotland 3.

The Scotland team that afternoon in April 1967 featured Ronnie Simpson, Tommy Gemmell, Willie Wallace and Bobby Lennox.

Here’s a Brazilian video of the action from the Scotland v Brazil friendly on this day in 1966 which shows the goals…

David Potter’s new book, Willie Fernie – Putting on the Style is featured in the new edition of the Celtic View which is out now and available from the Celtic Stores.  You can also pick up the Willie Fernie book there too or order direct from Celtic Star Books, link below…

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


  1. Don’t think you’re completely accurate?? I attended the game as a young 19 year old and the reason I went was to see Pele. He had been my idol since I first seen him on TV when Brazil won the World Cup in 1958.
    Anyway, I remember that it was Billy Bremner who marked him and in typical Billy style booted him all over the park. In fact, I maybe wrong, but I’m sure he never appeared after half time. It was certainly a great result for Scotland but as it was just a game for Brazil to get used to the British style of play, they certainly learned a few hard lessons 😂

  2. To the first post, I enjoyed your words as i have been a follower of the greats of British football and to see Billy Bremer in the article is a flashback to the times he played at Leeds united and other fine clubs when football was the game of all games where you truly fought fir your place on Saturday at 3pm.

    The Brazilian team was the team to beat in the 66 World Cup, but we all know how that final turned out!

    I am from Wembley born and bred and was always torn between Spurs and Arsenal back then (!) and still remember the roar of the fans in and around the stadium when they played.

    A pity Scotland were not given the chance to play. They had some great players back then that paved the way for future gens’