If You Know The History – 28th February 1976 Celtic 4 Hibs 0 League

The season of 1975-76 did not turn out to be one of the better ones for Celtic. Before the campaign started, disaster almost struck. At the beginning of July 1975, Jock Stein was badly injured in a car crash while coming up the A74 and had to take time off from his manager’s position to recover; Sean Fallon took over in his absence.  Some of the old guard had left – Ally Hunter to Motherwell, Steve Murray retired through injury – and some new boys came in, Roy Aitken, Tommy Burns and George McCluskey.

fallon

By the end of February 1976, Celtic had been beaten in the final of the League Cup by Rangers and had been knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Motherwell; but the side was still in top spot in the league.

On this day in 1976, Hibs came through to Parkhead for the third clash of the clubs that season, the results thus far being a draw at Celtic Park and a 3-1 win for the Hoops at Easter Road. Celtic’s eleven that afternoon was Latchford, McGrain, Edvaldsson, Aitken, Lynch, McCluskey, Glavin, Dalglish, Lennox, Deans, Wilson and frankly, the match turned into a rout, goals by Deans (13 ;pen), Lennox (39), Wilson (44) and Dalglish (65) giving Celtic a comfortable 4-0 win which maintained their position at the top of the table, one point ahead of Rangers.

Three more successful league outings followed – Dundee (1-0;Away), Motherwell (4-0; Home) and St Johnstone (1-0: Home) – then, unfortunately, the team’s form hit the buffers. Of the final seven league games, Celtic won only won one ( Ayr United 5-3 Away), drew two ( Aberdeen 1-1 Home ; Rangers 0-0 Home) and lost four (Dundee United (2-3; Away), Hibs (0-2; Away), Hearts (0-1; Away) and Ayr United (1-2; Home).

That left a clear run for Rangers to pick up the League Championship, which they did quite easily;-

P W D L F A Pts

Rangers 36 23 8 5 60 24 54

Celtic 36 21 6 9 71 42 48

PS Only a few weeks later, Celtic also went out of the Cup-Winners’ Cup, beaten in the quarter-finals by a side which even dedicated football fans knew little about, Sachsenring Zwickau of East Germany. An indication of the quality of this team can perhaps be provided by the result of their semi-final tie, when they were beaten 5-0 on aggregate by Anderlecht.

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If You Know The History – 24th February 1894 Celtic 2 Rangers 2 League

Winning the First Division title in season 1892-93 was a big event for Celtic Football Club. Granted, at the time, the cup competitions, particularly the Scottish Cup, were regarded as the most important but to win a league meant that a team had to show consistency and the committee which ran Celtic at that period would have been delighted with the performance of the players. The stats for that season were

P W D L F A Pts

Celtic  18 14 1 3 54 25 29

and the fans would no doubt have enjoyed seeing their side scoring roughly three goals per game.

Directors, committeemen and fans would have wanted a repeat of that form in the following season of 1893-94 and indeed, that was what occurred. Of the first fifteen matches in the league campaign, Celtic won thirteen of them, scoring forty-eight goals in the process. The only defeat had come at Ibrox on 2nd September 1893, when Celtic had been humbled 5-0 by Rangers.

On this day in 1894, the second league meeting between the Glasgow rivals was played at Celtic Park, with the green-and-whites keen on revenge. The team chosen on the afternoon was Cullen, Reynolds, Doyle, Curran, Kelly, McEleney, Madden, Blessington, Cassidy, MacMahon and Divers.

The match turned out to be the usual, tense affair between these sides, with honours even at the end in a 2-2 draw. Celtic’s two came from Johnny Madden and Jim Blessington and the draw sealed Celtic’s second league championship. And that was probably just as well, as in the final two league fixtures, Celtic lost 2-3 to Hearts at home and then 0-5 to Leith Athletic away!

madden

JOHNNY MADDEN

If You Know The History – 20th February 1982 Celtic 2 Partick Thistle 2 League

Celtic were lying top of the table at this time year back in 1982, four points ahead of Morton and five in front of Rangers.

On this day in 1982, Partick Thistle were the visitors to Parkhead for a league match. The Jags were not having a good season, lying second-bottom in the ten-team league. In the league matches already played between the sides that season, Celtic had won both home and away by 2-0.

On that afternoon in Glasgow, manager Billy McNeill had put out a team of Bonner, McGrain, Aitken, McAdam, Reid, McStay, MacLeod, Burns, McCluskey, McGarvey and Halpin. In the Partick Thistle were three future Celts, Alan Rough, Brian Whittaker and Mo Johnston.

The first half was fairly even and the game was still goalless at the interval. Indeed, the first goal did not arrive until the 52nd minute when Mo Johnston scored for the Jags; and they went two-up in 72 minutes when Watson scored from the penalty spot. The Celtic players, though, refused to give up, knowing how vital points were at that stage of the season. George McCluskey pulled on back in the 75th minute and two minutes later, Roy Aitken got the equaliser.

george

GEORGE MCCLUSKEY

A lowly crowd of only 14,200 was present with the Celtic fans making up the majority less than impressed by their side’s performance. However, one point was better than none, a point that a relieved Billy McNeill put over to the press after the match.

If You Know The History: 16th February 1901 Dundee 0 Celtic 1 Scottish Cup

Dundee Football Club was founded in 1893, when two local teams – Our Boys and East End – amalgamated to form a new club. Most unusually, they were immediately elected straight into the First Division.

Although Dundee went on to play Celtic regularly in the league in those early years, including an 11-0 win for Celtic in season 1895/96, the clubs had only met once in the Scottish Cup, on 19th January 1894, at the quarter-final stage, when Dundee won 1-0 at Carolina Park, the club’s ground of the period.

On this day in 1901, the sides met again, once more in the quarter-finals and this time at Dens Park Stadium, where Willie Maley put out an eleven of Donnelly, Davidson, Battles, Russell, Loney, Orr, McOustra, Divers, Campbell, McMahon and Findlay.

Willie Orr

Willie Orr

Dundee were in 10th place in the table, Celtic were 2nd but league positions seldom matter in cup ties and this one was no exception, both sides going hammer and tongs at each other.

The only goal of the game was scored by outside-left Rab Findlay, who had been brought in earlier that season from Kilmarnock for the sum of £450. He made his debut for the club against Morton on 18th August 1900, which was also the Tail o’ the Bank club’s first match in the Scottish League. Unfortunately, knee problems tended to hamper his career but on that afternoon at Dens Park he did get the crucial goal which put Celtic into the semi-final, where they would meet St Mirren.

Jim Craig

If You Know The History: 12th February 1966 Celtic 6 Falkirk 0

This was Jock Stein’s first season as manager of Celtic and things were going well thus far, with a League Cup win, a place in the top two of the table and a spot in the semi-finals of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup already done and dusted. Oh!  I nearly forgot, there had also been a 4-0 thrashing of Stranraer in the first round of the Scottish Cup.

However, old rivals Rangers were pushing all the way in the league, so every match was crucial, like the one played on this day in 1966, a home game against a Falkirk side in 10th place in the table. Only 19,500 were there to see the encounter, for which Jock Stein put out the future Lisbon defence – Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark – behind a forward line of Johnstone, McBride, Chalmers, Auld and Hughes.

Joe McBride had been brought into Celtic Park by Jock Stein on 5th June 1965 for a fee of £22,000 from Motherwell. Joe became an instant hit in the side and was banging in the goals. In that Falkirk match, Bertie Auld opened the scoring in the 20th minute but then the Bairns held out until the half-time. After the interval, though, the flood gates opened, Joe McBride getting a hat-trick ( 51,77,89), with Bertie Auld notching another one (71) and John Hughes also getting on the scoring sheet (75).

JOE MCBRIDE

PHOTO: JOE MCBRIDE

6-0 was the final score, the result helping to maintain Celtic’s push for the league title with eleven games left. Joe McBride eventually finished the season with 43 goals, 31 in the league, 7 League Cup, 3 Scottish Cup and 2 Cup-Winners’ Cup.

Jim Craig