There can be little doubt that the European Cup win at Lisbon in 1967 was the number one performance by any Celtic team since the first official match in season 1888/89. However, when it comes to the next most important moment, then there is less unanimity.
The European Cup Final in 1970, although it ended in disappointment, is often mentioned. As is another disappointing night, the UEFA Cup final in Seville in 2003. However, for those supporters most clued up on Celtic’s history, the day they like to recall was back in 1957, the 19th October to be exact, when the Bhoys thrashed Rangers 7-1 at Hampden in the League Cup final.
Before the match, the press in general was favouring Rangers, although there were a few journalists less certain. Celtic had indeed won the League Cup the previous season but in the League, they finished 17 points behind Rangers, who took the title for the second year in succession. And in the first league match of that season thus far, Celtic had won 3-2 at Ibrox.
On that sunny afternoon, a crowd of 82,293 was at the National Stadium to see referee Jack Mowat start the proceedings. Right from the start, Celtic were in control, hit the post twice through Bobby Collins and Charlie Tully, then took the lead;
23 minutes. Billy McPhail nodded the ball down to Sammy Wilson, who slammed the ball home from 12 yards.
44 minutes. Billy McPhail lobbed the ball over Rangers right-back Bobby Shearer and Neilly Mochan cut in from the wing to blast in the second.
53 minutes. A cross by Bobby Collins is headed home by Billy McPhail
59 minutes. Centre-forward Billy Simpson pulls one back for Rangers.
69 minutes. Billy McPhail knocked in Celtic’s 4th from close range. In this photograph, you can just see the edge of the press box perched on top of the South Stand.
74 minutes. A powerful half-volley by Neil Mochan made it five.
81 minutes. Billy McPhail raced on to a through ball to score number six and collect his own hat-trick.
90 minutes. Willie Fernie calmly stroked home a penalty for number seven.
The fans were delirious and cheered their heroes to the echo as the players went up to receive their medals. It was one of those special days when every single player rose to the challenge – both singly and collectively – and after all these years, the win is still remembered in verse and song. This photograph shows the happy side proudly showing off the trophy a few days after the final;
Back, from the left; John Donnelly, Bobby Evans, Sean Fallon, Dick Beattie, Billy McPhail, Willie Fernie.
Front, from the left; Manager Jimmy McGrory, Charlie Tully, Bobby Collins, Bertie Peacock, Sammy Wilson, Neilly Mochan, trainer Willie Johnstone.