Around this time of year in season 1973-74, Celtic FC was on top of the First Division, with Hearts, Aberdeen, Ayr United and Dundee United close behind. Of the 10 matches played, Celtic had won 8, drawn one and lost one ( 1-2 versus St Johnstone at Muirton Park Perth on 29th September 1973), scoring 22 goals in the process while only losing 8.
On this day in 1973, a crowd of 22,000 had gathered at Parkhead for the visit of Partick Thistle, who were placed in the lower quarter of the table…and were struggling! Jock Stein put out a team of Hunter, McGrain, Quinn, McCluskey, McNeill, Murray, Lennox, Hood, Deans, Callaghan and Wilson; and right from the kick-off, Celtic took control.
Dixie Deans ran riot, scoring in 8, 16, 24, 56, 74 and 89 minutes to reach a tally of 6, a post-war club record for a competitive match. It was certainly Dixie’s day, so much so that when Bobby Lennox scored Celtic’s other goal in the 64th minute, he almost apologized to Dixie for stealing some of his glory.
NB The club record for goals in a competitive fixture belongs to Jimmy McGrory, with 8 against Dunfermline on 14th January 1928 at a rain-swept Celtic Park.
NB2 After McGrory’s 8 and Deans’ 6, a whole host of players scored 5 in one match, including Sandy MacMahon (1891), Johnny Madden (1892), George Allan (1897), Jimmy Quinn (1904), Jimmy McGrory ( on four occasions in 1926 (twice), 1927 and 1931), Johnny Crum (1931), Neil Mochan (1960), John Hughes (1965), Bertie Auld (1965), Steve Chalmers (in 1965 and 1968) and Bobby Lennox (also in 1965 and 1968).