After winning every available trophy during the 1966-67 season, the following one of 1967-68 did not prove quite so fruitful.
On the debit side, Celtic had gone out in the first round of the European Cup to Dinamo Kiev and lost in the final of the World Club Championship to Racing Club of Argentina.
On the plus side, Celtic had won the League Cup – beating Dundee 5-3 in the final – and were just two points behind Rangers in the race for the League Championship.
On this day in 1968, Dunfermline Athletic arrived at Celtic Park for a first-round tie in the Scottish Cup. As the Pars were lying 5th in the league table at the time, it was not expected to be an easy match for Celtic. However, no one expected that Dunfermline would be so dominant and score two goals, in the 64th and 72nd minutes, which put Celtic out of the competition.
It was one of the biggest shocks for Celtic in the Scottish Cup for some years and the press went to town on the story, many of them talking about a decline in the team’s performances and now expecting that Rangers would be a good bet for the league title. Rather than depress the Celtic players, however, the loss seemed to inspire them, as they went on to win every one of the final 15 league games of the season, eventually winning the title two points ahead of Rangers.
PS Fortunately, I was blameless in the defeat by Dunfermline Athletic, as I was out with a bad shin injury, ironically received against the Pars in a league match just after the New Year. In fact, I did not even see the match, as Jock Stein had sent me on a scouting mission to check on Hearts.