Glasgow Celtic v Tottenham 1967 ‘Battle of Britain’ – Know Your Tottenham History


In May, 1967 Tottenham defeated Chelsea in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. The same month Glasgow Celtic defeated Inter Milan in the Final of the European Cup in Lisbon to become the first British team to win the trophy. This high profile pre-season Challenge Match at Hampden Park to mark the Centenary of Queen’s Park Football Club attracted 91,708 spectators and was played on this day, 5th August, 1967. Both teams were at full strength represented by the players who had lifted the trophies the previous season.

A newspaper report of the game read,

"“In this magnificent football ‘Battle of Britain’ brimming over with entertainment and loaded with individual genius, the score see-sawed fantastically.”"


Glasgow Celtic 3 Tottenham Hotspur 3

Jimmy Greaves opened the scoring after thirty seconds which was an early indication of what was to come. Celtic were ahead by the 20th minute as they played some of the classic, cultured football which had brought the previous season’s European success. Celtic were now in control but Spurs came back strongly in the last fifteen minutes of the half and Alan Gilzean had them level before half-time. Greaves restored Tottenham’s lead four minutes after the interval but Celtic pulled them back again on the hour. Pat Jennings had an uncomfortable afternoon having difficulty with Celtic’s powerful shooting from distance and questions could be asked about all of the goals that he conceded.

In a barnstorming finish, Celtic should have won the game in the last twenty minutes as they hit the post, hit the bar and saw a goal bound shot hit Cyril Knowles on the head and rebound to safety.

How the Goals were Reported in the Newspapers:

30secs: An Alan Mullery free-kick found Gilzean who passed back to Frank Saul, whose cross was met on the line by ace chance-taker Jimmy Greaves, who whipped it into the net.

8 min: A shot by Wallace was cleared by Mike England out to Bertie Auld, who placed a perfect 25 yarder into the corner of the net.

26 min: Auld gathered the ball 20 yards out, passed to Wallace, who gave him a delightful return with a backward flick, and Bertie ran on to beat Jennings nonchalantly from 12 yards.

37 min: Jimmy Robertson headed a Greaves cross down to Gilzean, who was uncovered, and he coolly beat Simpson from eight yards.

49 min: Taking a pass from Terry Venables, Greaves was faced by Simpson, who came out to narrow the angle. But Greaves could see a little space at the foot of the post and that was where he put the ball for a beautifully taken goal. The goal came thanks to the brilliance of Jimmy Greaves as he picked out the only space in the Celtic goal – about a foot between Simpson and the post.

58 min: Stevie Chalmers ran on to a short pass by Auld, and from all of 30 yards he lashed the ball at Jennings, who dived a shade too soon and could only deflect it into the goal. The ball going through his hands as he raised them above his head.

A six goal thriller that either side could have won but at the end both sides and the crowd were happy with a draw. Neither reputations were really enhanced but neither were they damaged – honours even.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles; Mullery, England, Mackay; Robertson, Greaves, Gilzean, Venables, Saul.

Match Highlights: HotspurHQ Hub: here

#knowyourtottenhamhistory 4th August, 1994