Jim Craig – Celtic 5 Partizan Belgrade 4

Billy McNeill was still in charge as Celtic went into season 1989/90, with the Scottish Cup in the trophy cabinet after the 1-0 victory over Rangers in May.

The new season started uncertainly in the league campaign, when the record read three draws and two wins after the first six matches, with midfielders Mike Galloway, having just arrived from Hearts, and Paul McStay, in his 8th season with the club, getting on the score sheet. Most of the goals, though, came from Tommy Coyne, who had come in from Dundee in March, and Dariusz Dziekanowski, purchased from Legia Warsaw in July.

Four league Cup matches had also been played, goals from Dziekanowski, Tommy Burns and Peter Grant giving Celtic wins over Dumbarton, Queen of the South and Hearts before they lost out to Aberdeen in the semi-final.

In Europe, Celtic were in the Cup-Winners’ Cup, where they were drawn against Partizan Belgrade in the opening round. The first leg was in Yugoslavia, where Mike Galloway scored Celtic’s only goal in a 2-1 defeat.

A crowd of 49,298 turned up at Parkhead for the return on this day in 1989 and my goodness, did they see a contest which swung from end to end. The scoring was difficult to keep track of – 1-0 (‘Jacky’ Dziekanwoski), 1-1, 2-1 (Jacky), 2-2, 3-2 (Jacky), 3-3, 4-3 (Andy Walker), 5-3 (Jacky) and finally 5-4. That meant that the aggregate score was 6-6.

It had been an exciting match but unfortunately, under the away-goals rule, Celtic were out and a hugely disappointed home support made their way out of the ground as the Slavs celebrated on the pitch.

Many Happy Returns to Peter Latchford, born on this day in 1952.

Jim Craig

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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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