This day in Celtic history by Jim Craig: Evan Williams

1st December 1969 Evan Williams debut.

After three years with Wolverhampton Wanderers, goalkeeper Evan Williams signed for Celtic, making his debut against St Mirren on this day in 1969.

Being the successor to Ronnie Simpson was never going to be an easy task but Evan did really well, especially when manager Jock Stein was never a great fan of goalkeepers in the first place, often stating that they could ruin all the pre-match planning.

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Evan was the last line in the championship successes of 1969/70, 1970/71 and 1971/72;won Scottish Cup medals against Rangers in 1971 and Hibs in 1972; and had some great moments in Europe, against Ujpest Dozsa in 1972 and Inter Milan that same year. Evan was also one of Celtic’s few successes in the European Cup Final against Feyenoord in Milan in 1970.

Unfortunately, he also carried some of the can for the 4-1 League Cup Final defeat to Partick Thistle in 1971 and Jock Stein then brought Denis Connachan in. Evan, though, still got the occasional chance and finished his Celtic career with a record of 59 shut-outs in 148 appearances, a very impressive 40% ratio.

Jim Craig

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