Let’s do it today for Cesar, all the Celtic greats and Albert Kidd

Memories Of Love St And Cesar Should Drive Celtic Towards The Double…

In case you’re just emerging from hibernation after a long winter, but there’s a big game coming up tonight, (Aussie time), a match every bit as important as the crucial Glasgow Derby next week.

Steven Naismith brings his resurgent Hearts to Celtic Park, and of course, bhoyant – pun intended – from a marvellous run in the league (barring games against their big cousins), and fresh from the memory of prior results, legitimate or otherwise, against Brendan Rodgers’ title-chasers this season.

This topsy-turvy Premiership has been exhilarating with Celtic and theRangers vying for supremacy, only to adopt an ‘after-you-Claude’ philosophy by passing the title baton to the opposition when least expected.

It’s fitting that the Jambos are this week’s opposition as the Celtic diaspora are currently sporting an air of impish schadenfreude, celebrating the anniversary of ‘King Albert Kidd’. Albert is, of course, the man who famously scored two late goals to deny Hearts the title on the last day of season, 1985/86.

Hearts had gone 27 games unbeaten, and, under the tutelage of ex-Rangers legends, Alex MacDonald, and Sandy Jardine, only had to conjure a draw at Dens Park to secure the flag. Celtic by comparison had to travel to Love Street to face former hero, and the late, great, Frank McGarvey’s St Mirren side in the unlikely hope of a four-goal or more win whilst praying for a miracle in Dundee.

I turned up after late discussions with my pal, Stevie McGill as we mournfully agreed, ‘Well, we always celebrate the last game and give the Bhoys a rousing reception as they finish the season, win, lose or draw.’

Memories of this day are embedded in my memory, and that of 17,000 other stalwarts who found themselves singing and dancing in the Paisley rain when it became evident that we were on the threshold of one of the greatest days in Celtic’s history, and we were there to witness it.

Brian McClair’s early header, and Judas Johnston’s striking genius allied with Paul McStay’s screamer had the old stadium in a frenzy of delight as we bounced and sang our way to what we though would be a bitter-sweet climax.

When ‘Choccy’ McClair netted his second goal minutes after the break, despite the customary cheer, it bizarrely seemed like another bullet to our own ‘hearts’ as it would all prove to be academic should the result up north, (0-0 at that time), remain the same, or worse.

THAT moment, six minutes from the end of an ultra- dramatic season when ex-Rangers ‘keeper, Jim Stewart fumbled, then caught a high Celtic cross has become a moment in time.

As the bewildered net-custodian looked around to find a team-mate, there were pockets of the huge Celtic support screaming and jumping, transistor radios in hand. The mini-tide became a tsunami as the vast majority in the ground went ballistic, faces contorted with joy, or disbelief, as Jim Craig, reporting for Radio Clyde, tried to keep himself in professional check.

The Lisbon Lion excitedly declaring that ‘Albert Kidd had hammered the ball into the roof of the Hearts net, and they had only six minutes to save their hopes of a Title!’

“Oh My God! Oh My God!” The words were being spewed out of gaping mouths along with exploding, joyous expletives as the impossible became hear-stoppingly probable 71 miles down the road from Dens in Paisley.

We were ecstatic and still in mid-bounce when the ground went silent for a moment. Then, ‘YEEEEESSSSS!’ Carnage ensued and ‘Cairney’ was running out of words to describe ‘Sir Albert’ as his marauding run and finish sent the heaving Hearts end of Dens Park into dark depression, and deep despair.

As the Jambo support despairingly tried to get the game cancelled with a tactical invasion of the field, we were cavorting all over Love Street as a once-loved, wee Mo, a dancing Tommy Burns and the rest of the Celtic team tried to keep a straight face as they saw out the last minute, knowing the Flag was ours.

As the Hearts fans were throwing their scarves onto the park and at the players in disgust, we were draping our heroes on the pitch with ours in honour of a momentous victory, one which will go down in our history as on par with the famous 4-2, 10-Men-Won-The-League against Rangers in 1979. Lest We Forget.

Another celebration of note for the Parkhead faithful this week is the anniversary of Celtic’s greatest captain, Billy McNeill’s last match in the famous ‘Hoops’. Cesar’s trophy haul during his lifetime commitment to Celtic is there for all to see, therefore I don’t need to reiterate his overwhelming achievements.

Nor do I have to mention the fact that the great man stood atop the winners’ podium of the Estadio Nacional in 1967, European Cup proudly held aloft in front of adoring fans, Scots, Irish and Portuguese alike after he led Celtic to what many knowledgeable observers consider to be the greatest ever European achievement when the Bhoys became Champions. So, I won’t mention it.

On 3 May, 1975, Cesar stood atop the main stand podium in front of 75,000 supporters within a cavernous Hampden Park as he proudly offered all four sides of the ground a final glimpse of ‘his’ Scottish Cup. It was the 25th time a green and white Hooped captain had brought rapture to the faithful in this competition, but for Cesar, this would be his last.

Having presented Celtic with their first trophy in eight barren years, (a 3-2 Scottish Cup victory over Dunfermline in 1965), to herald a decade and more of Stein-led superiority, the skipper looked resigned to his fate as he took the applause at Hampden. His face was different, melancholic perhaps.

Airdrieonians were sporting famous names in their ranks, McWilliams, Jonquin, McCann, Whiteford, legends who are still revered by Diamonds fans to this day. With these guys leading the charge, Airdrie provided a stern challenge and put up a very good fight with Kevin McCann’s tenacious strike to draw them level being the highlight.

However, it would never be enough as a Kenny Dalglish/Harry Hood masterclass, a superb double from the late, Paul Wilson, and a cool penalty slot from Pat McCluskey negated this setback.

For many seasoned campaigners on the terraces and in the stands, this may perhaps have been viewed as just another trophy in the cabinet. The news that filtered through after the match that they would never see our icon, Billy McNeill in a Celtic strip again changed all that.

Along with the shock came the temperance valve that we had been in the presence of greatness in all the years gone by. The Lions had broken up and there was a new generation of superstars on display. But, still…

Today, as we commune to cheer on the newest generation of Celts, Brendan Rodgers, Joe Hart, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate, Kyogo et al, Celtic will once again address the threat of Heart of Midlothian as they try to derail yet another green Championship Flag.

The Gorgie outfit have Steven Naismith in charge, a battling competitor who once adorned the blue top of *Rangers, and they have serial goal-scorer, Lawrence Shankland, a striker with blue-blood flowing through his veins.

Celtic will have to be at their very best to claim all three points against a charged, skilful, and motivated Hearts side. It is certainly one of the more difficult obstacles to overcome as we go into the final few games of the season.

Win, and only a defeat by theRangers in Paradise next week could prevent Zadoc the Priest being feverishly welcomed at Celtic Park in the European Champions league next season, and a prize of £60,000,000 nestling in our bank account.

However…it’s not just about the money! Celtic were built on the tenacity and passion of Walfrid, Maley and Stein. They were out to win trophies and win with style and verve, ‘The Celtic Way.’

Brendan Rodgers and Callum McGregor must now conjure the ghosts of Celtic past, and Cesar in particular. The legends’ images should be plastered all over the dressing room wall with the explicit edict that the current crop follow our past leaders into battle to bring home the League and the Scottish Cup.

Millions of Celtic fans around the globe demand it. History demands it. Let’s do it for Cesar, and all the Celtic greats.

Eddie Murray

ON CELTIC SHORTS…Liam Scales signs new four-year deal to stay at Celtic until 2028

About Author

Eddie Murray – I Grew up with the Lions, coming from a Celtic-daft family. Played against Jinky once! Paradise was my second home and Dalglish was my hero. A long term Brisbane Bhoy for many years and have been blogging here for many years. Written a book on Ange/ Brisbane Roar/ Celtic which awaits publication. Writing on other genres as I speak. Top moments? Interviewing Cesar, Wispy, Cairney, The Maestro, Alan Thompson.


  1. Eddie I wish the team got to read your great story of blood sweat and tears of joy! What an inspiration!
    We go again 🙏