Elgin prepare for Celtic Park
Although the team was doing well at that period and the fans had many things to talk about, a headline in one of the evening papers that day gave them some food for thought. It was about a player who had rather slipped off the radar screen –
McBride Trains As Celts go to Seamill
‘Five days before Saturday’s Scottish Cup second round ties Celtic, Partick Thistle and St Johnstone started their build-up by moving out to training head-quarters at Seamill, Largs and Blair Atholl.
For Celtic fans the good news that manager Jock Stein gave before he left Parkhead today with his posse of players was that all the players who went nap at Ayr are fit. For good measure Bertie Auld and Bobby Lennox, who sat out the Somerset Park game, are also available for recall against Elgin City if Jock so decides.
Celtic will spend most of the time at Seamill relaxing, either on West Kilbride golf course or in the baths at their Seamill Hydro head-quarters.
The lucky 13 Celtic players are the side which beat Ayr – Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Gallagher and Hughes – plus Auld and Lennox.
While their teammates are enjoying their Seamill break, reserve centre half John Cushley and leading scorer Joe McBride, both fighting their way back to fitness, will be training as usual.
McBride has not played since the league match against Aberdeen on 28th December. Last week he re-started training after a fortnight’s holiday from all football. Jock Stein said today “Joe is making splendid progress now. We are very happy about the way things are going”.
Slavs Light Up For Celtic
Celtic’s European Cup quarter-final tie with Vojvodina of Novisad, Yugoslavia, is now set for a 8pm kick-off.
The Yugoslavs have had squads of construction men and electricians working round the clock to have their new floodlight system installed and ready for the match on 1st March.
It was announced that Bobby Brown would be the full-time manager of Scotland.
To be quite blunt, I was not feeling my best at all as I was supposed to be ‘relaxing’ down at Seamill.
After the latter part of the previous week and the weekend, when all my aches and pains had disappeared, I had assumed that I had got over the worst stage of the damage from that ball hitting me full in the face in the match against Airdrie 10 days previously. Almost as soon as I arrived on the coast, though, the headaches came back, not at the front where the impact had occurred but at the back. On this second full day in the Hydro, I did not mention the problem to anyone, although every time I tried to power through a drive off the tee, I could feel a tightness just above my neck. I decided to wait till the morrow to see if there was any improvement.
We came back to Glasgow and trained at Celtic Park in the afternoon. The Boss was quoted in the evening papers with a threat – “Any player in this party who rates Elgin City a pushover will not be in Celtic’s Scottish Cup team on Saturday. Some of the Highland League teams are a good deal better than some people think. Elgin must be worthwhile. They have already beaten Ayr United, a First Division team, and we are not taking any chances”.
On the headache side, it was a little better but when I put in a stint at training, the pain was quite severe. I decided to give it another 24 hours.
South of the Border, Rangers – who went down to play a couple of friendlies as they were not involved in the forthcoming Scottish Cup ties – lost 1-3 to Stoke City.
Just a normal training session, which I coped with easily, although there were some pains and aches all over the back of my skull. I decided that I would have to come clean and admit to the damage. Dr Fitzsimmons was coming in to see the walking wounded at the end of training and I thought that he might be the man to ask about the pains.
I must admit at this point to having been a bit on the stupid side about my head damage. The point of contact when the ball hit me was in the middle of the forehead just above my eyebrows. Initially, the main pains were round that area but as the days went past, it the area at the back of my head that caused more grief.
When I described all this to the Doc, he almost laughed, pointing out that my head would have come down from around six feet and as almost everyone agreed that I had gone over almost backwards, it would have been the back of my head that hit the ground. Subconsciously, he went on, I might have managed to brace myself for the first impact but would have been unable to do anything about the fall and it would have been the back of my head that hit the ground. It was such an obvious answer that I felt embarrassed.
However, the crunch was still to come and that was the moment when the Boss had to be told. He was not exactly happy about it but Fitzy (the Doc) was quick to point out that a fit person like myself could recover very quickly. Eventually, between the three of us, we came up with a plan.
I would go home and rest for a few days, do as little as possible and report for training again on the Tuesday morning. It would mean that I would miss the Scottish Cup tie against Elgin but all three of us were more keen to have me ready for the remainder of the season.
‘Rest’ was the plan but when I mentioned the situation to my Mum, she was delighted. “Oh! that’s great” she burst out “you’ll be able to drive me up to town. I need to get a few things”.
I couldnae wait!
Home on the Range
Elvis Presley may soon become a rancher and farmer. His father said the singer would probably buy 160 acres of land near Hernando, Mississippi. “But the deal is not closed yet” he added.
Scots in Demand
Newly qualified doctors, engineers, teachers, vets, town planners and forestry specialists are being sought from Scottish universities for one or two-year periods of voluntary work in developing countries.
Some of the volunteers will attend training courses during the summer at Edinburgh University before leaving for countries in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world where skilled and professional help is needed.
The B.B.C’s experiment of using 4 disc jockeys as the panel of ‘Juke Box Jury’ has been voted a ‘miss’. From Saturday week, the idea is being dropped.