More than one historic object from this successful period of Celtic’s history will feature in The Sporting Medals & Trophies Auction on 19 July. Lot 1977 sees Jimmy Johnstone’s jersey go under the hammer, worn by the player during the 3rd game playoff of the Racing Club v Celtic World Cup Championship 1968, following the team’s European Cup win. After Celtic’s victory over Inter Milan in the European Cup in Lisbon in 1967, it was Jock Stein's chance to prove that his side was the best, in the World with qualification for The Intercontinental Cup. The fiery affair ended in a play-off third game versus Racing Club de Avellaneda, a match dubbed ‘The Battle of Montevideo’.
The game would prove a battle indeed, as the crowd of 65,000 witnessed a theatre performance, with ‘soccer skills abandoned for swinging fists’ and even an intervention by local riot police! The game started with a series of fouls by both sides, particularly from the Racing defenders – determined to nullify the threat of Jimmy Johnstone – and to go unpunished. Johnstone however saw red 48 minutes into the match when attempting to escape from his marker. The Racing team employed a rotation system with each defender taking turns to kick him, but after his shirt had been grabbed as he made his way forward, ‘Jinky’ had endured enough and he lashed out with his arm.
The defender Juan Carlos Rulli rolled on the ground in unimaginable agony. Jinky was the second Celt to be dismissed, he made his way to the dressing room and threw away his shirt in frustration and disgust. Jinky’s jersey was however retained by Bertie Auld (who was also red-carded, but refused to leave the pitch!) who later gifted it to the current owner’s father, a close friend of the Celtic legend. Battle scarred as expected, with stains abundant, the jersey comes offered with an estimate of £10,000-15,000.
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