Declan McConville with A Celtic State of Mind – A Moment in Time: Celtic 3 Dukla Prague 1

Declan McConville looks at a moment in time, through the prism of a match programme…

Bud’ vitana Dukla Praha

Facts about our visitors

The Dukla Prague FC, which draws its players from the Czechoslovak Army and is sometimes known as the Czechoslovak Army side, was founded in the year 1948 in Velka Chuchle, a suburb of Prague, under the title ATK Prague. Following this, in the year 1953, the UDA Prague was founded in the capital as an Army organisation which catered not only for football but for all sporting activities for men and women.

In 1958 there was reorganisation of sports in Czechoslovakia which resulted in the name of Dukla Prague being adopted. The sporting activities of the club extend to football, handball, athletics and swimming sessions, limited to men only. Two years later, Dukla Prague moved to their present ground – the Juliska stadium.

There is scarcely a country where football is played which has not been visited by the Dukla F.C. in recent years. Six years ago, Dukla won their section in the New York International Tournament and beat Everton FC 7-2 and 2-0 in the two-leg final of the competition. Three years ago, they did the same, beating West Ham United 1-0 and drawing 1-1.

Dukla won the Czechoslovakian Championship in 1953 and in successive seasons between 1956 and 1958. There was a hat-trick of League Championship victories for Dukla from 1960-63. In the year 1964 and 1966 Dukla won again.

In the Czechoslovak National Team, which took part in the World Championship in Chile in 1962, were six members of the Dukla Prague squad. Their successes in Championships took them in the European Cup on six occasions.

Listen to PHIL SCRATON with A Celtic State of Mind here:

The Wider World

With Engelbert Humperdinck at Number One in the charts with Release Me and Harold Wilson in Downing Street as Prime Minister, much had been going on in the world at the beginning of 1967. War was still raging in Vietnam between the Vietnamese and Americans while the Soviets showed off their nuclear power with a nuclear test being conducted at Semipalatinsk Test Site, Eastern Kazakhstan. The world was also treated to some first class music with debut albums from The Doors and The Velvet Underground.

Chalmers of Glentoran?

You may be surprised to learn that one Celtic player, Stevie Chalmers, has already played against Dukla. About two years ago, Stevie went over to Ireland as a guest player with Glentoran when they played the Czechoslovakian team. Stevie recalls them as a very accomplished side who won 2-0, playing well within themselves.

A message from the manager

Tonight you will see a strong, competent, technically expert set of players who will give us a hard match.

Once again, I ask our support to give them a strong Celtic welcome but once again, when the game starts, I want to hear that Celtic sound behind the boys. Tonight is the moment of truth. Tonight we can make history. Let our boys know it and hear it.

The Match

With a crowd of around 75,000 behind him, Ronnie Simpson pulled off two vital saves to keep the tie level with some outstanding attacking play from the away side. On the 27th minute, Willie Wallace had a shot blocked which fell to Jimmy Johnstone who at the second attempt lobbed the ball over Viktor to give Celtic the lead. It looked as though the Scottish Champions would be heading into the break with the advantage only to be spoiled by an equaliser from Stanislav Strunc. This didn’t dishearten Stein’s side, who came out all guns blazing in the second-half. Wallace scored a fantastic brace to give Celtic a 3-1 advantage going into the second leg.

Watch Sophie Millar’s stunning rendition of ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly’:

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