If You Know The History: 25th February 1967 Stirling 1 Celtic 1 League

25th February 1967 Stirling 1 Celtic 1 League

On this day in 1967, a bright, fresh Central Scotland afternoon, a team of Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld and Hughes ran out at Annfield to face Stirling Albion in a league match……and hit rock bottom!

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PHOTO: ANNFIELD

At the time, we were three points head of Rangers in the League, had won the League Cup and were still involved in the Scottish and European Cups, so there was no question of us being able to relax or drop our standards. However, for whatever reason, that is exactly what happened that afternoon and the fans were not slow in venting their displeasure.

We could have come up with some excuses, like a smaller pitch (true), an uneven surface (true), a tricky slope( also correct) or a hostile crowd ( they were everywhere) but the truth is that on the afternoon, we just did not play and even talking about it today, 46 years on, I can find no reason for the poor display.

In some ways, we got out of jail. At least we picked up a point. They took the lead in 23 minutes through Peebles and it took us until the 52nd minute before John Hughes got the equaliser. That gave the support at least something to cheer about but to say they were not happy overall is an under-statement. We were not happy ourselves; only a few days later (1st March) we would be facing Vojvodina in the quarter-final of the European Cup. We had to shakeup!

Jim Craig

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