If You Know The History: 5th May 1967 ​Ronnie Simpson elected Player of the Year

5th May 1967 ​Ronnie Simpson elected Player of the Year

Ronnie Simpson had an astonishing career. He started with Queen’s Park in 1945, making his first-team debut at the age of 14 years and 304 days, the youngest ever person to represent a Scottish League club at that time.

In 1948, he was selected by Matt Busby to play for the Great Britain squad in the 1948 Olympics in London, where the team finished fourth, losing to Denmark in the bronze medal play-off match. After completing his National Service, Ronnie moved to Third Lanark, where he played 21 matches in season 1950/51. He then joined Newcastle for a fee of £8,750, played 262 games for the Magpies over nine year and picked up FA Cup medals in 1952 and 1955.

He then returned to Scotland, to Easter Road where he spent four years with Hibs, making 123 appearances before rather falling out of favour with new Boss Jock Stein, who transferred him to Celtic for £4,000. Only a year later, Jock Stein also made the switch to Parkhead but he immediately told Ronnie that what happened in Edinburgh should stay in the capital and that they should start afresh.

Ronnie took the advice, got an early chance in the first-team and over the following five years, turned out 118 times for Celtic, winning four League Championships, three League Cups and a Scottish Cup, as well as a European Cup badge in 1967. He also became the oldest-player – at 36 years and 196 days – ever to receive a first cap for Scotland, against England at Wembley in 1967 before going on to collect another four caps. He also represented the Scottish League in 1968.

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A remarkable record. And just to put the icing on the cake, on this day in 1967, Ronnie Simpson was chosen as Scotland’s Player of the Year.

Jim Craig

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