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Alfie Conn On Homework

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World of Soccer Cup



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In the summer of 1977 Celtic made their first ever trip to Asia and Australia to compete in the two tournaments held under the banner of the World of Soccer Cup

The tournaments were the idea of English entrepreneur Reg Lambourne and would be staged in Singapore and Arsenal. Both competitions would feature the Bhoys as well Arsenal, Red Star Belgrade and a select side from the host nations.

So on July 13th Celtic walked out in front of a 45,000 crowd at the impressive Singapore National Stadium and set about inflicting a 5-0 thrashing to a Singapore select XI. Alfie Conn netter twice while Tommy Burns, Bobby Lennox and Johannes Edvaldsson grabbed a goal each.

However it was a much less enjoyable experience for the Hoops four days later when they crashed 3-1 in the final to an impressive Red Star team who had adapted much better to the hot and humid conditions. It was a thoroughly deserved victory for the Belgrade side. Bobby Lennox netted Celtic’s goal but in truth a rather sluggish looking Hoops side were well beaten.

The World of Soccer Cup then moved on to Melbourne for a second tournament, this time played under a league format with the top two sides playing in a final. After their semi-final defeat to Red Star in Singapore things got even worse for Arsenal when they lost 3-1 to the unfancied Australian select side.

Celtic’s campaign began with a dramatic 1-1 draw at Olympic Park, Melbourne on July 21st with Red Star. In a competitive encounter Roddie MacDonald snatched a late equaliser after Pat Stanton had been sent off for retaliation. The Bhoys then moved on to Sydney where a double from Paul Wilson and a goal from Ronnie Glavin saw Celtic defeat Arsenal 3-2 at the S.C.G ON July 24th.

A couple of days later at the same venue Glavin again netted while Edvaldsson bagged a double to secure another 3-2 win – this time over the Australia select team. That victory set Celtic up for a final clash with Red Star back in Melbourne on July 31at. Given the nature of the last encounter between the clubs this was always going to be a keenly fought contest and a crowd of 22,000 gathered to witness a fiery encounter.

The Belgrade team had finished second in the mini-league but were viewed as being favourites for the final. However Jock Stein had as usual done his homework and learnt from past mistakes. He sent out a team to frustrate the technically superior Red Star side and his men did their job perfectly.

The Bhoys allowed the Slavs plenty of possession in the middle of the park but frustrated their opponents by crowding them out whenever the ball got near to the danger zone. When in possession Celtic played a quick counter attacking game and it worked a treat. Just moments before half-time Celtic took the lead when Red Star failed to deal with an inswinging corner from Alfie Conn which hit the bar before being forced home by Roddie MacDonald.

A desperate Red Star began to take gambles in search of an equaliser and were punished after Paul Wilson made a ligtening break up the right flank and delivered a decisive cross which was finished by Edvaldsson.

It was clinical and impressive performance by the Bhoys and Danny McGrain lifted the trophy which unbeknown to all at the time would be Jock Stein’s last as Celtic manager.



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For other people with the same name, see Alfie Conn (disambiguation).

Alfred James Conn (born 5 April 1952) is a Scottish former professional footballer, who was the first post-World War II player to play for both Rangers and Celtic.

Background[edit]

Conn is the son of the footballer Alfie Conn Sr., who was one of the 'Terrible Trio' of Heart of Midlothian in the 1950s.

Rangers[edit]

Conn made his senior debut for Rangers against Dundalk in the Fairs Cup tournament in November 1968.[2] He was part of the Rangers team which lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 and also helped the Ibrox team win the Scottish Cup in 1973, scoring their second goal in a 3–2 final victory over Celtic at Hampden Park.

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

Hee played for Tottenham Hotspur football club from 1974–1977. He was the last player to be signed by their manager Bill Nicholson. Despite playing only 35 games and scoring six goals, he was a huge fan favourite, dubbed the "King of White Hart Lane" after scoring a hat-trick on his debut in a 5–2 win at Newcastle. In the final game of the 1974–75 season at White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hotspur had to beat Leeds United to prevent relegation from the First Division. Conn scored a goal, set up two others and even sat on the ball in a 4-2 victory.[3]

When at Spurs he made two appearances for the Scotland national football team at the end of the season in 1975.

Celtic[edit]

He later, in 1977, won another Scottish Cup medal with Celtic when they defeated Rangers 1–0 in the final.[4][5]

Heart of Midlothian[edit]

Conn Jr. followed in his father's footsteps by signing for the Tynecastle club in 1980, following a short spell playing indoor football in the United States with Pittsburgh Spirit.[6]

Blackpool and Motherwell[edit]

Conn wound down his career with short spells at Blackpool and Motherwell before retiring in 1983.[5]

Legacy[edit]

On 5 February 2007 Conn was included in the Rangers F.C. Hall of Fame.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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