Celtic were excellent of course – winning 6-0, but the thing supporters that were there remember most about it was the Jungle belting out ‘April Fools, April Fools, April Fools’ to the hapless Hearts players.
It was Wednesday 1 April 1981 and we were watching possibly the most exciting Celtic team of the eighties. They certainly under-achieved given the talent in the side and the exhilerating, attacking football Billy McNeill had his side playing.
1st April 1981, Celtic 6:0 Hearts.
— Li'l Ze (@LilZe85) March 31, 2020
Anyway doomed Hearts were thrashed at Parkhead by a rampant Celtic team with the Championship clealry in their sights. George McCluskey scored twice (one was a penalty) as did Murdo MacLeod while McGarvey and Provan scored the others in front of a paltry 13,300 crowd – contrast with size of the crowd to see Celtic play Ross County yesterday. Celtic would be champions 3 weeks later, after a dramatic 3-2 win at Dundee United. What a night that was!
Hearts were but a shade of their great teams of the past and were an eloquent testimony to the folly of incompetent management and stewardship. Celtic took advantage of their woes by hitting them for six. This was Celtic’s highest ever victory over Hearts – a record that stood until December 2013 when Celtic won 7-0 at Tynecastle.
Charlie Nicholas, the hottest property in British football, dropped to the bench after picking up a slight injury in the match with Aberdeen. The Celtic team was- Bonner, McGrain, Reid, Sullivan, McAdam, Aitken, Provan, MacLeod, McGarvey, Burns, McCluskey Subs – Conroy, Nicholas.
Scorers – McCluskey 23 pen, 48, MacLeod 62, 75, McGarvey 29, Provan 24.
Looking at that team, how would the Celtic side on 1981 compare to the Celtic team of 2019/20?