A Record High
The Hall of Fame Event held on the 11th of April 2014 witnessed the Induction into the Hall of Fame of the entire squad from the 1966/67 season.
This was a season that saw Celtic beat Internazionale in Lisbon to win the European Cup, and Rangers to lose the final of the Cup Winners Cup in Germany against Bayern Munich by the narrowest of margins, a single goal, scored in extra-time.
Domestically, Clyde, a part-time team operated on a shoestring budget and with a squad stretched to the very limit on many occasions, somehow contrived to finish third in the league, behind winners Celtic and runners-up Rangers. Manager Davie White’s declared philosophy was to let the games against the Old Firm take care of themselves, and look to win the matches against all the other games. With this approach he was spectacularly successful, and if the Old Firm results against every other team in the league were expunged from the record, Clyde would indeed head the Scottish League table.
In the Scottish Cup, Clyde fought their way to the semi-final, and took the mighty Celtic to a replay before succumbing to a 0-2 defeat in the replay. Celtic played seventeen cup ties in Scotland that season, and won sixteen of them – with only that “blemish” against the Bully Wee spoiling their record.
At this juncture it is probably worth illustrating the financial constraints Davie White operated under. One of his first actions – probably instigated by The Board – was to sell Alex Bryce to Dundee for £40000, which effectively funded the club through this great season.
The season didn’t have a particularly noteworthy start, and by mid-October not only had Clyde failed to qualify for the latter stages of the League Cup, they had exited the Glasgow Cup at the hands of city rivals Partick Thistle.
Then, in an inspired move, manager Davie White negotiated Harry Hood’s return to Shawfield from Sunderland for £13000, half of the fee Clyde received when Harry had went to Roker Park a couple of years previous.
From that point on Clyde went from strength to strength, and in the remaining thirty league matches won nineteen and drew five on their way to that third place in the league.
What must be remembered here is that this Clyde team were all part-time – they all had separate jobs away from football. In the lead up to the Scottish Cup semi-final with Celtic, Davie White was asked if he was taking the Clyde team away for any special preparation for the game. Davie’s reply, probably best sums it up…“well, if I could get all the players off their work at the same time…”
Another feature of this squad was the versatility of the players: Dick Staite played in five different positions this season, and Davie Souter wasn’t too far behind him. Graham Macfarlane played splendidly at either outside right or right back, whilst the likes of Stan Anderson and John McHugh could play anywhere in the midfield, or in John’s case, at the back if required. Ian Stewart and Harry Hood could interchange the inside forward positions, whilst in goals, where the need for outfield versatility was irrelevant, Tommy McCulloch and John Wright effectively provided the kind of competition for the number one slot that most managers can only dream about.
Whilst we talk about versatility there were constants; the fullback pairing of Harry Glasgow and Eddie Mulheron was only really split when Eddie broke his leg against Dundee United in the February of the season (after which Davie Soutar proved to be a more than adequate replacement), and Jim Fraser was generally played at centre half, except when Dick Staite was handed the number 5 jersey. In the midfield and forward berths, Sammy Hastings was outside left for the vast majority of the season, whilst Joe Gilroy was a fixture at centre forward, resulting in his finishing second-top goalscorer that season with 17 goals. Joe was beaten to the accolade of top goalscorer by Ian Stewart, who finished with 20 goals, although five of these were penalties. Following close on Ian and Joe’s heels was Harry Hood, who recorded 14 goals, but who only made his second Clyde debut in October. To perhaps illustrate the stretched nature of the squad at times, Stan Anderson was the only ever-present throughout the season.
And then there were the other players, who all contributed their own piece to this memorable season. The mercurial Kenny Knox, who finished with 4 goals from 18 games; the late Sammy Reid, who only made a couple of appearances for the Bully Wee this season, before heading to Berwick and a famous Scottish Cup goal; Henry Quinn, who played a couple of games towards the end of the season when the squad was stretched with injuries, and Mike Jackson, who played three games and scored a memorable double in a 4-1 win against Partick Thistle. Finally, the contributions made by Bruce Hay and the late Tom Craig should also be recognised. All contributions were welcomed!
During the course of the season there were many great games, so here’s a quick summary of some of those matches:
12 November 1966 – League: Clyde 5-1 Hibs
Full-time Hibs, sitting above Clyde in the league, came to Shawfield on a wet November afternoon, took the lead after 38 minutes, but that was it for the Edinburgh team! By half time goals from Hood and Gilroy had us in the lead, then a double from Graham Macfarlane and a fifth from Ian Stewart with twenty-three minutes left to play made the scoreline an emphatic one for the Bully Wee.
Footnote: If we use a “Davie White” approach here and remove the Old Firm from our statistics, then from this game until the end of the season Clyde played 22 league matches, of which 16 were victories, 4 were draws, and only 2 were lost. In those games 47 goals were scored (better than two goals per game), and only 22 (exactly one per game) were conceded.
28 January 1967 – Scottish Cup: Morton 0-1 Clyde
Once again we were up against a full-time team, and although Morton were Second Division in terms of league status, they were so far ahead in that league that their Championship would be wrapped up in a matter of weeks. Graham Macfarlane, the “Brigton Dynamo”, was the man who scored the only goal of the game, in 23 seconds! Morton, not unexpectedly, applied significant pressure, but Clyde’s defence held firm and we progressed to meet Hamilton in the next round.
4 March 1967 – League: Clyde 1-0 Dunfermline Athletic
A Kenny Knox goal wins us this game, but I’ve included it for one main reason – a quote from the famous Sunday Post journalist “Rex”, who proclaims that Clyde:
“…were slicker to the ball, slicker in the pass, and slicker in the move that carries the ball to the other end. They moved out of defence into attack with the grace and accuracy of a conjuror opening his scarves to reveal a dove.”
11 March 1967 – Scottish Cup Replay: Hamilton 1-5 Clyde
This replay, following on from a disappointing no-scoring draw on the Saturday, kicked off at 5 o’clock, and by a quarter to six local referee Paterson (from Bothwell) could have gone home and watched the six o’clock news! Clyde, thanks to goals from Kenny Knox, a double from Harry Hood and a fourth from Graham Macfarlane, were cruising. In the second half, Tommy McCulloch quashed all resistance by saving an early penalty for the homesters, and Joe Gilroy’s goal just before the hour ended the game. A last minute consolation for Hamilton was irrelevant.
1 April 1967 – Scottish Cup semi-final: Celtic 0-0 Clyde
Clyde were never out of this game, and despite the anticipated Celtic pressure never capitulated. Joe Gilroy had Clyde’s best chance, midway through the second half, and was only denied by a miraculous save from Scotland’s player of the Year Ronnie Simpson. At the end of the day, Clyde lived to fight another day, but they would have to do so without the injured Harry Hood.
Journalist Harry Andrew wrote of the Clyde players that day…
“Harry Glasgow was a grand captain and right back…Dick Staite a never-say-die pivot…John McHugh a real last-ditch fighter with TWO goal-line clearances…Tommy McCulloch brilliant when he had to be…Souter stout of heart against the elusive Johnstone…and Stan Anderson ever in the thick of the battle.”
26 April 1967 – League: Clyde 4-1 Partick Thistle
This was a re-arranged game, the original game having been snowed-off at the turn of the year. The significance of the victory in this one, aside from a win over our old rivals from Maryhill, was that Clyde were guaranteed no worse than fourth place – which would ensure qualification for the Inter City Fairs Cup the following season.
29 April 1967 – League: Stirling Albion 2-5 Clyde
Two down at half time, and with – according to captain Harry Glasgow – the manager’s wrath ringing in their ears, a glorious second forty-five saw Clyde achieve their best comeback of the season, and cement themselves in third place in the league.
Inter City Fairs Cup Qualification
Clyde’s league record qualified them for their first venture into European football (other than the now-defunct Anglo-French Cup at the start of the decade) via the Inter City Fairs Cup. Other matters came into play, however, and an obscure rule of “one city one club” was dredged up to keep Clyde out of the tournament. Dundee, who had finished sixth in the league, took our place.
European qualification, though, was the icing on the cake of an unforgettable season for a group of part-time players and a club in the East End of Glasgow. The players, the manager, and the entire backroom staff, fully deserve this accolade for their part in one of the most successful seasons ever for the club.