THE article on Celtic’s 1971-72 season by DidsburyCelt prompted one of his old colleagues Gerry to get in touch and share his own memories of that season. You can read DidsburyCelt’s article HERE and a fine read it is too!
Here’s Gerry’s contribution to our look back to our season 1971-72..
I’m a mad keen fan too. I worked in the (old) IR, starting in Centre 1 in 1970 and managed to get a few promotions eventually heading to Edinburgh (1988) as an Inspector before returning west again to LP 20 in Bath Street, Glasgow.
I’m quite good with dates and the 1971/72 season I remember very well. I played junior with Blantyre Vic’s (as did Big Jock & Big Billy) and had hit a wee bit of good form which prompted Bobby Shearer (no introduction needed) and he invited me to play as a “trialist” for Hamiton vs Dumbarton at Douglas Park.
It was a 5.15 KO., I was a CA at the time and had to ask permission from my Inspector (no flexible working hours at that time) to leave early. I was introduced to my team mates and what a surprise to learn that one of them was a certain Ralph Brand? How I remembered how he tormented me as a young hoops fan!
Anyway, who was playing midfield? Charlie Gallagher!! He ran the show, what a gifted footballer.
Hamilton lost 6-2, I got changed and drove to see the Hoops beat Copenhagen 3-0 in the match to which DidsburyCelt previously referred. On the following Friday, I got a call from Shearer asking me to play as a “trialist” versus St Mirren (Denis Connaghan, Gordon McQueen, Archie Knox to name a few) but a poor Hamilton team (I include myself) lost 6-2 (again) … Shearer was sacked and I never heard from them again. Celtic drew 2-2 that day vs a St Johnstone side who included Jim Pearson and John Connolly, both of whom ended up at Everton.
I hope this isn’t too boring a story but I returned to Blantyre Vic’s and was on the bench that day in October when we lost 4-1 to Thistle. Our groundsman was a blue nose and took great delight in telling me it was 1-0 then 2-0 (I thought ‘that’ll make a game of it?’) then he told me 3-0, 4-0.
The Vic’s lost to Maryhill that day too but as you doubt you’ve gathered, my thoughts were elsewhere.
The cup tie in March 1972 vs Hearts I remember well too. A young ex Ranger, Derek Renton scored in the last minute to make it 1-1. I bought 3 terracing tickets for the Tynecastle replay to witness Lou Macari score the only goal of the game. Sadly, I travelled through to Edinburgh on my own because what I thought was a good “deed” turned sour as none of my Centre I colleagues were interested in going.
Finally, the January 1972 game vs Rangers brings back great memories of Brogie’s headed goal in the dying minutes. What was especially good was seeing the look on Gerry Neef’s face as he was sitting a few rows behind me in the Main Stand.
As DidsburyCelt said that was 5 wins on the bounce vs Rangers to include the 1971 Scottish Cup Final, making up for their clean sweep during the 1963/64 season when they won 5 on the bounce against us. Two in the League Cup, two in the League and the final one? March 1964 when they knocked us out of the Scottish 2-0, Forrest and Henderson scoring on the strike of and just after half time.
And which famous victory were we returning from on that day in March 1964? Slovan Bratislava 1-0…. Yogi scoring after a Bobby Murdoch penalty had given us a 1-0 lead from the first leg. A Slovan team which had included 2 members of the Czech national team defeated 3/1 by Brazil in Chile 1962. Scoeff the goalkeeper & Jan Pipuhlar the centre half.
I hope you enjoyed the read. I’m sitting on a sunbed in Cap Salou as I write this.
Yours in Celtic!
Here’s Gerry and his wife with the Treble Treble Trophies…