The day we won 7 in a row! And Jock Stein was delighted!

JIM CRAIG wrote in his diary on The Celtic Star about that night at Celtic Park on this day, 19 April 1972, when Dixie Deans missed the first penalty in the shoot out in the European Cup semi-final. With Inter leading 2-0 having scored with their first and second penalty, Jim had the most nervous moments of his Celtic career walking up to take the second Celtic penalty to keep us in it.

Jock Stein gives instructions to Jimmy Johnstone April 1972

As it turned out after the tie ended 0-0 over the two legs, Celtic lost out 5-4 in the shoot out.

We were so close to another final and undoubtedly were the better team over the two games.

Just days before this second leg in the European Cup semi-final Celtic had travelled through to play East Fife in the league and came away with a 3-0 win.

Why mention that? Well that was the game where Celtic won their seventh league title in a row, an achievement which our club can equal this Saturday at Easter Road.

Celtic had just reached the Scottish Cup Final in the previous match after a 3-1 win against Kilmarnock – they would go on to win the cup with an emphatic 6-1 scoreline in the final. If only one of those goals had been scored against Inter.

The 7 in a row celebrations were somewhat subdued. Celtic had the majority of the 12,000 crowd but it was in humble surrounds, on a windy day and everyone had the following Wednesday night on their minds.

But Jock Stein understood the significance of Celtic winning 7 in a row, saying that ‘It won’t happen again in my lifetime’.

The Celtic manager was fully of praise for his team.

“The young players we’ve brought in this season have been rightly praised but what would we have done without the experience of the older ones?” he asked.

“Bobby Murdoch, Jim Craig, Jim Brogan, Bobby Lennox, and Jimmy Johnstone have all played their part, and perhaps most of all Billy McNeill, who has been captain all these years, probably a record in itself, and who has had a magnificent season.

“We have an uncomplicated method of play which combines the discipline of a fluid 4-3-3 formation with allowing players to express themselves freely. Within the framework I can slot in a player, just as on Saturday when Lou Macari was taken off, Connelly moved forward, and Pat McCluskey came on and took over Connelly’s position comfortably.

“We make changes frequently, for that way no one becomes complacent. Our young players know that they are going to be given their chance and so, in addition to a good scouting system, we have players coming to us because success breeds success and we are the club they want to be with. But for all our resources I wouldn’t want to make any forecasts about next season’s league title.”

The Celtic side that secured the Magnificent Seven in a row was:
Williams; Craig, Quinn, Murdoch, McNeill, Connelly, Hood, Dalglish, Deans, Callaghan, Macari (McCluskey).

The Scorers were Deans 2 (39, 77), Hood (43)

Jim Craig’s Diary Thursday 19 April I took our second penalty after Dixie had missed

Watch this! “My name is John Clark, I am the proud kit-man for Celtic”


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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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