Scotland had recently been thrashed 5-1 at Wembley by England and Celtic were now required to strike a small blow for Scottish football.
This is the match report from the Glasgow Herald and there is a Shoot front cover from the period which shows Dalglish and Hector on view from that game.
CELTIC ARE OFF TO THE RIGHT START
Celtic 1-0 Derby County…….by Ian Archer
Celtic, with happy enthusiasm and no little sureness, brought the close season of 1975 to a noisy and triumphant end. Their victory over the English champions, Derby County, will lie happily at the top of next season’s statistics.
Some 44,000 crawled back from the coast to gain their first sight of Celtic without Billy McNeill, Jimmy Johnstone, Jim Brogan – and without for the moment at least Stevie Murray and Jock Stein himself – Parkhead affairs seem to remain in good order.
Technically, their win may only prove that Celtic are a stage more advanced in their pre season training than Derby, for whom real hostilities are still two weeks away. But after Wembley the scoreline looked pleasant to Scottish eyes.
At first sight those who remain seem to count for those who have departed. Dalglish, for an hour was the best player on the field, McGrain never stopped running and Wilson is a player of a different order from the hesitant figure of just 12 months ago.
Latchford, now signed, missed nothing, catching the high balls all day and making the early saves that prevented Derby winning. The Iceman Edvaldsson, once he has autographed the contract, will add solidity to the defence. This Celtic remains a good side indeed.
The general conclusion was that it was good to be back. A brand new mobile fish and chip shop, a gleaming emporium of carbohydrates, stood on the corner of Davaar Street. The press box windows remained filthy. There was a nice combination of old and new.
Celtic paraded 16 players for the kicking in session and critics were saying ‘Never mind the quality, feel the width.’ There was no need for such base thoughts in the 90 minutes that followed.
Celtic refused to allow Derby to play at dress rehearsal pace and even with the presence of McFarland and Todd, the England pair, could not prevent our own cup winners from creating chances.
On the terraces the reaction to this encouraging sight was deafening. It is doubtful whether those fans will shout more lustily all season, although one hopes that, as the season wears on, football choruses will increasingly replace the contemporary pre-occupation with Irish politics.
In the end – or rather after 62 minutes – the match was rather romantically won by Edvaldsson, playing his first ever Parkhead game. Dalglish shot, Wilson headed onwards, and as the ball came down this big man side footed it over the line to write a small Icelandic saga.
He was delighted and Derby had to be content with a defeat which London Road responded with massive roar. It might have been different in a game of more severe tackling and competitive edge but that hardly mattered to a crowd who had come to see if Celtic were alive and well. And so they are.
Celtic – Latchford, McGrain, Lynch, McCluskey, MacDonald, Edvaldsson, Hood Glavin, Wilson, Dalglish, Lennox.
Derby – Moseley, Thomas, Nish, Rioch, McFarland, Todd, Newton, Gemmill, Davies, Hector, George.
Referee – I Foote (Glasgow)