31st August – If you know your history
Another wee freshen up from the usual format: The following item was sent by Bawheid in honour of our esteemed visitors from Spain.
Hopefully, this will inspire others to share their fitba memories here.
Everyone and anyone welcome…you choose the format etc., etc.
In Dreams They Come To Me. Nostalgia FC.
Looking back, looking through rose-coloured spectacles, back in time to the years following WW2, a decade after, when the country was just beginning its long journey of recovery.
Slowly, new houses began to appear, the Pits were very busy, fathers and friends disappeared into the bowels of the earth extracting coal, to power houses, railways and industry, it was the “Wind Of The Past”, smog, soot and smoke hung over the cities, polluting but never diminishing our spirits and our hopes for the future.
We played football on red ash, on vacant land, and when it got dark, under the street lights, with jackets for goalposts, where cars were seldom seen. A pal had been given a size 5 Mitre football for his birthday; this was our bhoyhood in 1955 – 60 B.C. (Before Celtic).
We were Madrid, the Real Madrid. We jostled to be our hero’s, Di Stefano – Puskas – Gento -Santamaria – Del Sol – Kopa. We thought that they were the greatest football team ever, and perhaps they were.
At school, my spectacles changed colour and forever more would be coloured green. Dreams of playing football delayed any scholarly success, thankfully that would come later on. Back then only football mattered, on Saturdays we played school football, the ‘First’ team played with green tops, the ‘Seconds wore all white, as a youthful player I was relegated to the second team but, as team captain, memories of Madrid continue.
Real Madrid, European Cup winners in 1955 – 56 – 57 – 58 – 59 – 60.
Alfredo Di Stefano with 5 European Cups in a row.
Di Stefano: The brightest star in the constellation of stars in that team.
Puskas: Who fled communist Hungary, to join Madrid rivalled the Argentinian Di Stefano for best player in the team, as an inside left, scoring goals, or dropping deep his arrival forcing Raymond Kopa onto the right wing where he was superb.
Raymond Kopa: (short for Kupiszewski) A Polish immigrant and ex miner, who eventually made France his home, a French Ballon d’Orr winner in 1958. The team’s playmaker before Puskas’s arrival.
Santamaria: The rock at the back of the team.
Gento: One of the best left wingers ever in footballing history.
You would be hard pressed to find so many footballing legends in one team, legends, a term much over used today. The stars surely aligned to build that team.
The 1960 European Cup Final: 18th. May, the fifth European Cup Final. Real Madrid verses Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park, with 127,000 watching (a record crowd still unmatched today) and an estimated 7 million watching on TV. If you look closely you might spot “Young Heid”. But certainly watched by big Jock and many other footballing greats.
The greatest football match of all time, the highest scoring final in the history of the European Cup, finished 7-3 to Madrid, 3 goals for Di Stefano and 4 goals for Puskas.
Frankfurt goal scorers Kress and Stein.
Real Madrid at Hampden Park 1960
The memories and the dreams of my youth are still embedded in my psyche, never more so than of Celtic and Real Madrid, it seemed like they would never play one another again. I look back in time to Alfredo DiStefano’s Testimonial game, The Alfredo DiStefano Cup, when Jinky reigned supreme, his performance that day was such, that the Spanish supporters shouted out ‘Ole! whenever he touched the ball, Bobby Lennox scoring the only goal of the game. It was said that before the 1967 European Cup Final in Lisbon, that DiStefano, visited big Jock in the Celtic hotel to offer his best wishes for the final, perhaps then, he made up his mind to ask Celtic to play in his Testimonial game, the match took place on the 7th. June 1967. Just days after Lisbon, when Celtic were European Cup holders, what great, momentous times.
Remember, remember the 6th of September 2022, when new memories will be created as old friends visit Celtic Park. ☘
Guest article by Bawheid
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