Jim Craig – Celtic 4 St Etienne 0, and Yours Truly got the second goal!

On this day in 1968, a Celtic side ran out at Parkhead to take on the Champions of France – St Etienne – in the second leg of a first-round tie in the European Cup.

Celtic had played poorly in the first leg in France, losing the tie 0-2, so the team was under considerable pressure to pull back the deficit, especially as defeat would mean that the club would go out of the European Cup in the first round for the second consecutive season.

The team on the night was Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, McBride, Hughes and the crowd of 75,000 was not happy in the first half as Celtic seemed off the pace. Right on half-time, though, the Hoops got a break when Joe McBride was grabbed in a head-lock by a defender and the Czech referee awarded a penalty in spite of vociferous protests by the St Etienne players. Tam Gemmell made no mistake from the spot.

The team was much better after the break and took the match to the French side. Yours truly got the second goal on the hour mark, Chalmers made it three in 67 minutes and McBride made it four just three minutes from time, putting Celtic through to the second leg on a 4-2 aggregate.

Many Happy Returns to Stephen Pearson, born on this day in 1982.

Jim Craig

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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