At this time of year in 1977, three sides – Celtic, Aberdeen and Dundee United – were vying for top place in the league, with Rangers only a few points behind.
On this day in 1977, 52,000 turned up at Celtic Park for the third meeting of the Glasgow giants that season. The first one, at Parkhead, had ended in a 2-2 draw; while the second, at Ibrox, was won by Celtic, the solitary goal by Joe Craig.
JOE CRAIG 4th From Right
For this third encounter, the teams were;
Celtic- Latchford, McGrain, Lynch, Stanton, MacDonald, Aitken, Doyle, Glavin, Craig, Dalglish, Wilson.
Rangers – Kennedy, Jardine, Miller, Forsyth, Jackson, Watson, McLean, O’Hara, Parlane, McKean, Johnstone.
Celtic scored the only goal of the match and it came from an unlucky o.g. by Colin Jackson. After Andy Lynch and Johnny Doyle had indulged in some short passing from a corner, Lynch crossed to the far post where Roddy MacDonald headed the ball rather weakly towards goal. It seemed to be covered by Rangers goalkeeper Kennedy but a deflection by Jackson carried it into the net with 76 minutes gone.
From then till the end, the Light Blues possibly had the better of the play and two minutes from time, they nearly equalized when a lob by Tommy McLean beat Peter Latchford before being scrambled away by Roy Aitken. However, when the final whistle blew, that single own goal was enough to give Celtic victory.
NB The Hoops fans were delighted with the win, which put Celtic on course for the League title and their happiness only increased when their heroes beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final to do the ‘double’. They celebrated all summer and were looking forward with anticipation to the new season of 1977-78. Unfortunately, that euphoria was dampened when news came through that Kenny Dalglish had been transferred to Liverpool on 10th August 1977 for the sum of £440,000