Willie Wallace on what Jock Stein would have done differently at Ibrox yesterday

Willie Wallace and Heart of Walfrid shines on Brisbane Celtic in Game for the Ages…

Willie and Olive Wallace on the far right of the photo

I doubt anyone who witnessed this epic Derby at Ibrox will forget this match as the Glasgow Titans went head to head – 3-3 it finished, and my only gripe was that we were 2-0 and then 3-2 up, but like a drunk pet-minder, couldn’t hold a lead.

Celtic were so far ahead tactically in the first 45’ that theRangers should have been looking for snookers. But, with the kind assist of Mr Current Affairs, John Beaton, the spoils were shared. It wasn’t only the late penalty decision which irked, but the general handling of the match, the little things which swung the advantage in favour of the home side.

 Referee John Beaton  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Obvious fouls which ‘mysteriously’ went against us, Celts systematically booked whereas no cards flashed to the blue offenders in similar situations, especially the pathetic play-acting of Fabio Silva who gave us all a marvellous Neymar skit.

The ’neutral’ ref continuing the game when a Celt was in agony on the floor after a head clash, that sort of thing. Taking the advantage from Celtic to frustrate and infuriate. That, he did so well. Yes, we knew what we were up against from the off, but the Crown Bar punter went above and beyond to publicly exhibit his desire to elicit a favourable result for his Ibrox heroes.

However, there was more than one occasion to enjoy for we Antipodeans as the Brisbane Celtic Supporters Club took advantage of a heaving support in the Lord Alfred Hotel to follow in the footsteps of Celtic’s revered founder, Brother Walfrid.

Walfrid got his wish as four long tables were left bulging with bags full of food and other vital products on behalf of the Loaves and Fishes foundation, a Christian charity who take care of the most vulnerable families in our Brisbane parish. It was truly heartwarming to see the fans laden with donations to fill the van and send the charity workers away with more than good wishes.

Loaves and Fishes CEO, Scott Bourke was at pains to express his gratitude to everyone who contributed to this success and was given a warm welcome by the supporters. Scott was impressed by the vocal talents of our resident pre-match talent, Mark Duffy who made us feel like we were back in the old Jungle in Paradise.

Club stalwart, Toddy McCormack was busying himself, steadying the ship as donation after donation found their way to the poor via the Celtic club. Toddy, like Mark, is often at the heart of things and a big thanks should be afforded him. He’s no’ a bad fella either…

Celtic-A Club Like No Other, and demonstrating that, no matter how passionate we are about our sport, people do, and always will, come first.

Another joy was the attendance of Brisbane Celtic ambassador, Lisbon Lion, Willie Wallace, accompanied as always by his effervescent better half, (his words not mine!) Olive. Willie and Olive attend most of our big matches, impressive since they are Octogenarians now and have to travel from the Gold Coast.

I had the great pleasure of sitting with the ‘Celtic celebs’ during the match, and, as always, regaled with stories and unshareable tales of Jinky, Bertie, Big Tam, and the rest of the Lions. One thing which stood out last night, Willie is normally quite laid back in his assessment of players and referees, but he was quick to denounce the officialdom which was on display at Ibrox.

25/5/1967 European Cup Final. Celtic v Internazionale (Inter Milan). Willie Wallace. Photo: Offside / L’Equipe.

After the match, I asked him what Jock would have said to the players at half-time whilst 2-0 up. His response?

“I’ll tell ye son. Stein would have has us wipe the floor with them in the second half and we would have attacked them more than we did in the first half! We’d never have took our foot off the pedal,” Willie Wallace.

Two things there. First, Beaton. He swung the advantage away from us with his succession of ‘honest mistakes’ and allowed theRangers back into the game, particularly in the second 45’.

Second, I felt that Brendan made a couple of poor decisions in his substitutions. Kuhn was anonymous, but instead of bringing on Yang, I’d have gone for Forrest who has been over this course so often.

Willie Wallace  25.05.1967 Photo  imago/Kicker/Metelmann

Calmac was not ready – both Mr Reliable and Yang gave it up at the death and this cost us two points. Sadly. I’m sure the skipper will be champing at the bit to exact revenge when they come calling again shortly!

All in all, the points shared leaves us exactly where we were before this match before the Parkhead game of games – Celtic need to win all of our remaining six games to be guaranteed the title and we will have four at home and two away. Yes, should things go the way I believe they will, this next meeting will mostly likely determine the fate of the Flag, and it will be proudly fluttering over the green and white support once again come May.

Thanks to all who contributed to a wonderful evening of charitable giving and raucous song. Should you choose to see video footage of our superb evening together with some great fan pics with Wispy and Olive, check out the Brisbane Celtic Supporters Club Facebook page.

In Celtic,

Eddie Murray

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About Author

Eddie Murray – I Grew up with the Lions, coming from a Celtic-daft family. Played against Jinky once! Paradise was my second home and Dalglish was my hero. A long term Brisbane Bhoy for many years and have been blogging here for many years. Written a book on Ange/ Brisbane Roar/ Celtic which awaits publication. Writing on other genres as I speak. Top moments? Interviewing Cesar, Wispy, Cairney, The Maestro, Alan Thompson.

1 Comment

  1. Eddie.
    Willie relating to a different era which I remember well.
    The present squad bear no resemblance to Jock Stein’s Lions unfortunately.
    B R can only manage with what he has and his record against Rangers is 2nd to none including the Great Jock.RIP.
    Adh mor.
    Hail Hail.