The Sunday Post (Dundee)
Bermuda’s Scottish striker found a way past Celtic
CELTIC fans are hoping their favourites will be a big success this season under new manager Brendan Rodgers.
They have one foot in the Champions League group stage after beating Hapoel Beer-Sheva 5-2 in the first leg of the play-off.
Fifty years ago, the Hoops got their preparations for a new season spot on.
After winning the league title in 1966, they embarked on a five-and-half week tour of North America.
Many of the players believe it gave them a togetherness that contributed to their famous European Cup victory in Lisbon.
The trip couldn’t have got off to a better start when Celtic beat Bermuda 10-1.
It was a match where all 11 goals were scored by Scots – and there wasn’t an own goal involved!
With the score at 8-0, former Kilmarnock forward Jimmy Copeland hit the net for Bermuda.
He recalls the series of events that led to him representing the Atlantic island against the champions of Scotland.
He said: “I was playing for Kilmarnock in 1959 when I suffered a broken leg.
“Things had been going well for me and the club were really on the up under Willie Waddell’s management.
“I was also in the middle of training to be a PE teacher at Jordanhill College in Glasgow, so it was a double blow.
“Fortunately, I was able to finish my teaching qualification but my football career suffered.
“I left Killie and played for Dumbarton, Montrose and Clyde.
“It was a good time at Clyde and we won promotion. But my injury caught up with me and I realised I wasn’t going to make it in Scotland’s top flight.
“I went to South Africa and played for Highlands Park alongside other Scots like Bobby Hume, Joe Frickleton and Charlie Gough.
“I spent two years there but my wife and I didn’t like the political climate.
“My wife comes from the Bahamas and that led to me looking for a job in that part of the world. “I got a post as teacher in Bermuda. “I was also involved in playing football and coaching teams.
“We had some decent players. Clyde Best, who went on to play for West Ham, is probably the most well-known.”
Jimmy’s appearance against Celtic took some of the visitors by surprise.
He went on: “I knew Billy McNeill quite well when I was in Scotland.
“I think he was quite taken aback to see me lining up for Bermuda.
“I was allowed to play for them because it was a friendly. The team was a select from teams in the local league.
“I scored when we were 8-0 down to make sure all the scorers were Scottish.”
Bobby Lennox hit four goals for Jock Stein’s men, Bertie Auld got a hat-trick, Tommy Gemmell bagged a brace and Billy McNeill was also on target.
Jimmy went on: “Celtic gave us a real going over that day.
“We played teams like Tottenham and Coventry, who only beat us by two or three goals.
“I remember thinking what a great team Celtic were developing and it was no great surprise when they went on to win the European Cup.”
Jimmy spent nearly 15 years in Bermuda before coming home to Scotland.
Now 74, he lives close to the village where he was born in Dumfries & Galloway.