Jim Craig’s 7am start: Every Celtic player was determined to ram such prognostications down the oppositions’ throats

On this day in 1969, a crowd of 132,870 was at Hampden Park for a Celtic v Rangers clash in the Scottish Cup Final.

The teams were;
Celtic; Fallon, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan, Connelly, Chalmers, Wallace, Lennox, Auld.

Rangers; Martin, Johansen, Mathieson, Greig, McKinnon, Smith, Henderson, Penman, Ferguson, Johnston, Persson.

Jim Callaghan was the referee for the occasion and he had plenty to do as, to be perfectly blunt, the tackling was intimidating if not downright brutal.

In the morning’s sporting press, more than one correspondent had tipped Rangers for a surprise win and this rankled with us, every player determined to ram such prognostications down the oppositions’ throats.

We got off to a perfect through a Billy McNeill goal in 2 minutes, followed by two more by Bobby Lennox (44) and George Connelly (45), which put us 3-up at half time, it was the happiest dressing room I was ever in at a cup final.

The Boss impressed on us that Rangers would come back but we were very confident and just refused to let that happen.

Another solo effort by Stevie Chalmers in 76 minutes wrapped the game up and everyone connected with Celtic could start the celebrations.

Jim Craig


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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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