I hate to strike a despondent chord in this article but those heady European escapades, certainly in the Champions League, may be over for a number of years. The new qualifying procedures make it look well nigh impossible that Celtic will qualify, and automatic entry to the group stages by way of winning the SPL will now come to a stop with the plummeting coefficient figure that Scotland now has. While Arsenal can rely on Man U, Chelsea and Liverpool to assist them getting a place for finishing fourth in the EPL, we have ‘relied’ on Gretna and Queen Of The South these last few seasons. So batten the hatches Bhoys, we may be in for a long wait before we hear that stirring CL theme again in Paradise.
The five images in this article are :
1970 Celtic 1-2 Feyenoord
When I was growing up in the seventies the word ‘Lisbon’ would bring a huge beaming smile to my Father’s face. Mention the word ‘Milan’ and it was a total contrast. This game was spoken of in hushed tones similar to some sort of sordid family secret, a scandal never to be mentioned in public. Even after 39 years the defeat to Feyenoord still has scars that have not fully healed. I reckon I was in my 30’s before I even saw the goals from that final. Had we survived another four minutes we could have had a replay and who knows how history could have changed from then.
In this pic a young Davie Hay (one of the few Celtic successes on the night) battles with the great Dutch midfielder Wim Van Hanegem.
1974 Celtic 4-2 FC Basle
Imagine the scene – 70,000 in the old Parkhead for a European Cup quarter final second leg. The game is finely balanced at 5-5 on aggregate and is into extra time. Harry Hood controls a ball on the left bye line and puts a fine cross to the back post. Jinky stretches his small frame to head the ball back across goal to find midfielder Steve Murray, who sends a looping header high into the net past the despairing Swiss goalkeeper. You can imagine the bedlam on the terraces on that dramatic night with the most exciting finish since Vojvodina in 1967.
This pic shows Murray (far right) scoring the decisive goal. Is it just me or does the defender nearest him bear an uncanny resemblance to the great Carlos Puyol of Barcelona ?
1980 Celtic 2-0 Real Madrid
In my teenage years this was the one time I dared to dream we could lift the European Cup again when we reached the quarter finals in March 1980. Pirri, Santillana, Laurie Cunningham, Juanito and co were sent packing with a 2-0 deficit and it could’ve and should’ve been more. The more cautious of us could recall Derby County travelling to the Bernabeau a few years before with a 4-1 lead and folding 5-1 in Madrid and so it was that Real performed the trick again by cuffing the Celts 3-0. It was a huge disappointment at that time.
This pic shows Johnny Doyle waiting for a corner at Celtic Park between the Real pairing of Jose Camacho (wearing Real’s change kit of all blue) and goalkeeper Garcia Ramon. This was probably Doylie’s greatest moment in the hoops when he scored a superb header for Celtic’s second goal.
1981 Celtic 1-0 Juventus
This tie was very similar to the Real encounter a year previously. Celts won 1-0 and went down to the Italians 2-0 in the second leg. They were a hugely experienced side boasting Zoff, Scirea, Gentile, Cabrini, Bettega and Tardelli and they would win the 1982 World Cup in Spain for Italy nine months later with Zoff as their 40 year old captain. They also had a certain Irishman called Liam Brady who one day would return to Paradise as manager.
This pic shows Murdo MacLeod blasting a shot at goal past the Juve pairing of Bonini and Cabrini. Like Real Madrid, Juventus turned out that night in an unfamiliar all blue strip.
1988 Celtic 4-0 Honved
After their 1988 centenary league win Celtic travelled to Hungary in the European Cup and lost 1-0 in the first leg to Honved. The goal we conceded was another disaster for our new, expensive English keeper Ian Andrews who had lost five to Rangers at Ibrox a few weeks earlier when replacing the injured Pat Bonner. For the second leg the experienced Alan Rough was called up for a rare start in the Celtic goal and he excelled in a 4-0 win and we all wondered how a side so poor as Honved could have beaten us in the first leg in Hungary.
This picture, from Roy of the Rovers, shows Billy Stark scoring Celtic’s first goal in the 4-0 home win.