EVERY PICTURE: The highs and lows of Celtic through decades

IN Pride and Passion, a new book on the history of Celtic, Lisbon Lion Jim Craig and Celtic historian Pat Woods take their own unique look back at the highs and lows the Glasgow club have experienced over the years.

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The European Cup is lifted high by Bobby Murdoch, Tommy Gemmell, John Hughes, Bertie Auld, skipper Billy McNeill and Willie Wallace
The European Cup is lifted high by Bobby Murdoch, Tommy Gemmell, John Hughes, Bertie Auld, skipper Billy McNeill and Willie Wallace

Here are some selected excerpts ...

Stein: MAN 'O WAR

A SIGNIFICANT factor in Celtic's success in the European Cup final in 1967 was the chord Jock Stein struck with the Portuguese public when he underlined their philosophy of an obligation to entertain.

He came out with statements of intent such as: "We play to score goals. Inter play not to concede them. We want to make neutrals glad that we have won it, glad to remember how we did it."

The final training sessions held by both squads at the Estadio Nacional the day before the final highlighted the differing approach of the men in charge of Celtic and Inter Milan.

Helenio Herrera blew on his whistle and shouted instructions. Stein, meanwhile, joked with his players and shouted for joy when he scored a goal in a light-hearted practice match.

Amid the chaotic scenes on the pitch after his side had won 2-1, Stein was caught up in the tide of emotion. He said: "They are the greatest bunch of boys I have ever met. No praise can be too high."

FINAL HEARTBREAK

THE events of the 1970 European Cup final between Celtic and Feyenoord can be summed up fairly briefly. In front of a crowd of 53,187 supporters, Celtic were upstaged by a Dutch side which seemed more at ease on such a big occasion.

Tommy Gemmell gave Celtic the lead in 30 minutes from a free-kick.

But Feyenoord midfielder Israel equalised two minutes later. That was the score at the end of normal time. Ove Kindvall got the winner four minutes from the end of the match.

One of the questions that was often posed is: "Was the team over-confident?" Jim Craig replied: "There was a definite feeling in the camp that the defeat of Leeds United in the semi-final had removed the chief obstacle to Celtic becoming European champions again.

"I can clearly recall an impression being given that Feyenoord, while a competent side, were not as good as some of the others we faced."

HAIL CESAR

THE impact Jock Stein had on Celtic could not be over-emphasised. After all, before his arrival in the spring of 1965 the club had not won a single major trophy since the 7-1 win over Rangers in the League Cup final in 1957.

But during the 13 years of Stein's tenure at Celtic Park success was a largely constant feature for the fans to enjoy.

The task of succeeding Stein was never going to be easy. The spotlight fell on Billy McNeill, who was rightly apprehensive at taking on such a prestigious post with limited experienced in management.

But Cesar - nicknamed such after the actor Cesar Romero rather than Julius Caesar - proved to be an inspired choice and his record over the next few years was impressive. He won the League Championship three times, the League Cup once and the Scottish Cup once.

McNeill shocked the Celtic support when he left for Manchester City in the summer of 1983. But those at close quarters could see he was unhappy. His relationship with chairman Desmond White was iffy. The obvious generation gap was compounded by conflicting views on that perennial Celtic problem of the period - money.

FOOTBALL SUICIDE

CELTIC lost the first leg of their European Cup-Winners' Cup first-round match against Partizan Belgrade of Yugoslavia 2-1 with Mike Galloway scoring a vital away goal in Mostar.

Far from heeding Billy McNeill's pre-match warning about the Slavs being "masters of waiting and breaking", they committed defensive suicide in spectacular fashion on the evening of September 27, 1989.

They were unable to pin down Partizan danger man Milko Durovski in the second leg. But Dariusz Dziekanowski scored four goals to put the home side 5-3 ahead on the night and 6-5 ahead on aggregate with just under 10 minutes remaining.

There was pandemonium inside Celtic Park after he flicked a Galloway cross home. This picture shows the Pole steering the ball past Goran Pandurovic.

The spectators engrossed in the breathtaking spectacle thought they had just watched its climactic act. But Celtic's recklessness, naivety and lack of concentration was punished by the visitors' final attack when Durovski exploited unforgiveable gaps to set up a Scepovi header past Pat Bonner.

McNeill delivered a pithy verdict on the unbelievable outcome of a match in which his players had consistently come from behind only to shoot themselves in the foot. He said: "We climbed three mountains and then threw ourselves off."

SAVIOUR McCANN

THE main features of the new all-seated Celtic stadium in Cambuslang sounded impressive when unveiled in April 1992.

The proposed £100million development was a circular stadium seating 52,000 in two tiers, had integrated leisure and sports facilities, a 200-room hotel, a retail village, an eight-screen cinema complex, a 30-lane, ten pin bowling alley, parking for 4,500 vehicles and two park-and-ride rail stations.

But it was a dream fated never to come true as the club's fortunes on the pitch deteriorated and doubts about the viability of the proposal surfaced. Concerns were expressed about financing and the possibility of the site being contaminated. It was "a toxic timebomb" in environmental terms.

With disillusioned fans chanting "Sack the Board" at matches, demonstrations by the "Celts for Change" supporters' pressure group and a takeover led by North American-based businessman Fergus McCann the board's demise was inevitable.

In the February of 1994 the board failed to secure cornerstone funding for the Cambuslang venture - on the site of which not one brick had been laid. McCann took charge the following month. With his no-nonsense efficiency and strong leadership, he quickly endeared himself to fans.

They endorsed his plan for the revitalisation of the club and backed a share issue with a £14m investment that contributed massively to the realisation of an all-seated 60,000-capacity Celtic Park.

O'NEILL TURNAROUND

AFTER the disappointment of the 1990s, when Celtic won only four out of a possible 30 domestic trophies and were never involved in European competition after the turn of the year, the arrival of Martin O'Neill gave the club and the support a big boost.

O'Neill secured the first domestic treble since the days of Jock Stein in his first season in 2000/01.

There were also some great moments in the European arena, particularly the Uefa Cup run of 2002/03. The Scottish champions beat Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo, Stuttgart, Liverpool and Boavista.

When the Hoops reached the final in Seville an estimated 80,000 Celtic fans turned the occasion into a marvellous festival despite the result, an extra-time 3-2 defeat to Porto. But the green and white-clad fans inside the Estadio Olimpico did have two fine Henrik Larsson goals to celebrate.

The following weekend Celtic lost the Scottish title to their Old Firm rivals Rangers on a thrilling final day. Worse was to follow two years later.

On Sunday, May 22, 2005, with Celtic away to Motherwell at Fir Park and Rangers away to Hibernian at Easter Road, the odds seemed stacked ever so slightly in the former's favour.

A story on the morning of the game claiming Martin O'Neill would be leaving at the end of the season - it turned out to be accurate - hit the players' morale.

Still, most Celtic fans were confident. Their team had won all three of their meetings against their opponents that season.

They went ahead on the half-hour mark thanks to a goal by Chris Sutton. But two goals by Scott McDonald gave the home team a 2-1 lead and when referee Hugh Dallas blew the whistle for full-time Celtic lost the title.

It was a terrible day for the Parkhead club. A few days later it was announced that O'Neill would leave after the Scottish Cup final and be replaced by Gordon Strachan.

The arrival of the former Aberdeen, Manchester United and Scotland player as manager, though, would be the start of another glorious chapter in the remarkable history of Celtic.

Celtic: Pride and Passion by Jim Craig and Pat Woods, is published by Mainstream Publishing and costs £14.99.

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