If You Know The History: 27th March Kilmarnock 6 Celtic 0 1963

27th March Kilmarnock 6 Celtic 0 1963

At this time of year in season 1962/63, only around eight points separated the six top teams in the race for the league title. Rangers led the way but Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen, Celtic and Hearts were pushing them all the way.

On this day in 1963, Celtic travelled down to Rugby Park to meet Kilmarnock in their second league clash of the season, the first one having been a draw at Parkhead. Unfortunately, manager Jimmy McGrory was hit by injury problems, with Frank Haffey, Billy McNeill, Bobby Murdoch, John Hughes and John Divers all pulling out. He decided to give first-team debuts to two youngsters who had been showing up well in the reserves. Richard (Dick) Madden was a goalkeeper who had joined the club from Blantyre Celtic; as had right-winger Jimmy Johnstone, a 19-year-old getting rave reviews wherever he played. Both would have a night to forget.

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PHOTO OF CELTIC ON THEIR WAY TO PLAY MTK BUDAPEST IN THE CUP-WINNERS’ Cup IN 1964; DICK MADDEN IS JUST IN FRONT OF JOHN HUGHES, THIRD FROM RIGHT AT BACK

Celtic lost 0-6. Dick Madden, behind a very makeshift defence, could not be blamed for any of Killie’s counters; while Jimmy Johnstone, on the right wing, hardly saw the ball over the 90 minutes. At least he had the satisfaction of going on to make 515 appearances in the Celtic strip; Dick Madden never played for the first-team again. He did have the good fortune, though, just a few years later, to win the football pools!

Jim Craig

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