The big push was on. The League Cup and Glasgow Cup were already in the bag; Celtic had just beaten Arbroath 4-0 in the first round of the Scottish Cup; in just under a month they would face Vojvodina Novisad in the quarter-finals of the European Cup; while in the league campaign, Celtic were just two points ahead of Rangers at the top of the table.
However, nothing could be taken for granted, so each match had to be treated a though it was a cup final. Such was the case on this day in 1967, when Celtic travelled to Broomfield – the highest ground in Scotland at that time – to face Airdrie in a league match. Boss Jock Stein put out a strong side of Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld and Hughes; and a very large crowd of 23,000 was packed into the fairly small stadium, with the changing rooms behind the goal at the west end.
Broomfield was never the easiest ground to play on, as the pitch not only sloped from left to right in front of the main stand but it also dipped quite severely to the top right corner. When I was in the right-back position for instance, the terrain sloped down towards me in two directions! Still, we just had to get on with it and that we did, Jimmy Johnstone scoring the only goal of the first-half in 12 minutes.
Two minutes after the break, Steve Chalmers made it two and halfway through the half, Bertie Auld secured the points with a third goal and we maintained our place at the top of the table.