Ajax in the quarter final of the European Cup

After the league matches on the second last week-end of March 1971, Celtic, whose fans were expecting to win a 6th consecutive League Championship, were not even top of the table –
P W D L. F A. Pts
Aberdeen 28 21 4 3 58 13 46
Celtic 27 21 3 3 70 18 45

The players had other things to think about too. On this day in 1971, for instance, as the main stand at Parkhead was under re-construction, a huge crowd headed for Hampden, where Celtic were due to face Ajax from the Netherlands in the second leg of a quarter-final tie in the European Cup.

The Hoops were 0-3 down from the first leg, so had no alternative other than to pressurize the Dutch champions all the way. Celtic did get an early goal through Jimmy Johnstone but the press reports the following day were pretty unanimous in their verdict that Ajax were always the more comfortable side on the ball and for the most part of the match, also controlled the game.

It was a disappointing evening for the 83,000 at Hampden that night and also for Celtic fans throughout the world, as their team went out of the European Cup on a 1-3 aggregate.

Celtic….Willams, Hay, Gemmell, Callaghan, McNeill, Brogan, Johnstone, Hood, Wallace, Auld, Hughes.

Ajax…..Stuy, Suurbier, Vasovic, Rjinders, Muhren, Krol, Hulshoff, Blankenberg, Cruyff, Rep, Keizer.

Jim Craig

About Author

Lisbon Lion and Celtic Ambassador Jim Craig provides The Celtic Star readers with a 365 day diary of all things Celtic, providing a remarkable and unique insight into our club from one of the players who won us The Celtic Star in Lisbon on 25 May 1967.

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