The Lost Ten-Part Two.

Continuing the story of how we had a chance to win Ten In A Row in the eighties-but probably didn’t realise it-we resume with the 1979/80 season.

And what a season it was. Possibly our worst in terms of throwing it away,snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead of winning our second successive title,we gifted it to Aberdeen-confirming the arrival of Alex Ferguson as a manager of potential and of his team as a threat. And so it remained for the next six years.

Would he or his team have had that same self-belief if we had strangled it at birth that year? I doubt it,but we will never know. Another sliding doors moment.

We started the season brightly enough though. Once again,the board had declined to build from strength as we were largely unchanged from the previous season and while it left us a little light up front we looked strong elsewhere. And we were a confident lot after the heroics of the previous May. We didn’t,in fact,lose a match until the middle of October and the fact that it was to our nearest challengers didn’t faze us one bit. It was Morton,and they couldn’t maintain a challenge,could they?

As it turns out,they couldn’t. After the first Saturday of the New Year,they were still our nearest challengers,a mere two points behind. But we were eight points clear of the huns and St Mirren with the rest nowhere. At two points for a win,we were cruising.

Right? Well,yes. But it would be two months before we won another game in the league and suddenly it didn’t look so rosy in the garden. But while we were dropping points,so was everyone else and we still looked on course. Eyes on the prize,lads. That’s the ticket.

Two wins and two draws in March had us a bit nervous. That’s three wins and six draws in 1980 to the end of March,not title-winning stuff but we were still well ahead. The third of those wins came against Hibs,and it was the only time George Best played at Celtic Park. Frankly he looked as though he was still the worse for wear after a certain night in Detroit the previous June with COSYCORNERBHOY. Still head and shoulders above his team mates though. We would take five off them in the semi-final of the cup two weeks later too. I wish we could have played them every week.

But we couldn’t. As well as the semi,we had eight league matches in April-and the first Saturday match could virtually clinch us the title. Win at home against Aberdeen and we would be nine points clear with only sixteen points available to them. And the crowd knew it. A midweek victory over the huns had set us up for this and it was game on. We turned up in droves to welcome the spring sunshine,indeed there were so many of us that the game was delayed for ten minutes and Des White stopped counting after 40,000. The crowd stopped counting our chickens too when Aberdeen,who were turning into a bogey team for us,took the lead. Fortunately it didn’t last too long to equalise as a header from big Roddy hit Johnny Doyle on the way in. Half time and honours even,and we were looking to be the better side even if Aberdeen were a danger on the break,not helped by us losing Tom McAdam to injury after five minutes of the match. Ten minutes into the second half and that break proved vital,Mark McGhee firing home a loose ball.

We gathered our resources and hammered them for the next fifteen minutes or so,and that supreme effort paid off with twenty minutes to go when we were awarded a penalty. Bobby Lennox stepped up to take it,and much as I love him,he made a complete arse of it. Bobby Clark in goal could have nipped out for a pie and still got down to save it. I doubt Bobby has ever hit a ball so poorly,and the fight seemed to go out of us all at that moment. With the game ending 1-2,we were now five points clear with seven to play-and Aberdeen had a game in hand.

Worse was to come on the Wednesday night when a second half shocker saw us fall to pieces at Tannadice,Dundee United handing us our biggest defeat of the season. So far,that is! 3-0 and lucky to get nil.

We got back on track against Hibs in the cup,and they did us proud the following Wednesday by recovering to draw against Aberdeen. But they still looked favourites for the drop along with Dundee. That will be the same Dundee we were due to face the coming Saturday. And it surely can’t be as bad as our trip to their neighbours. It wasn’t. It was worse. Five bloody one against the worst team in the league,ffs. We were in trouble.

Off we went to Pittodrie hoping to protect or add to our two point cushion at the top. Well,Aberdeen weren’t in the mood for that. They were in the mood for a fight,ably abetted by a lenient referee. But that is not to excuse an abject performance where we lost 3-1 and saw Aberdeen go above us on goal difference. Potentially nine points clear only a fortnight beforehand,we were now in second place. Truly the wheels had come off,but it couldn’t get any worse and there were still three games to go. We had to win them all and hope that Aberdeen might slip up. Victories against Partick Thistle and Dundee gave us hope going into the final match against St Mirren. A win by five goals while Aberdeen drew and the title was ours. In fact,it was Aberdeen who won by five while we could only draw 0-0. Aberdeen were gifted a title which we should have all but wrapped up in April,if not earlier. Seasonal stats of W18,D11,L7 and goals of 61-38 showed that we lacked bite all over the field. Aberdeen had shown that they had it,and we would face a struggle to regain our trophy. The early season light had gone out,but tomorrow is another day,and there’s always hope.

There’s always next season!


Above article by BMCUWP. Get your thoughts highlighted as Article of the Day. Mail it to Mahe at

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The more I think about that Lost Ten,the more pissed off I feel. We could have nipped Ferguson McLean and Souness in the bud.

If Christoper Jullien and Luca Connell are as good as what I’m reading about them it’s going to be good. Joe McHugh at video Celts has a good article about Luca and a clip from a young Bolton fan – brilliant. If that young man doesn’t have a future in the media I will be surprised.


If they are as good as the last two defenders we signed from Toulouse and Bolton,I’ll be a happy Bhoy. And I’ll be honest,I don’t think they’ll disappoint.

Julien looks first-team ready and Luca will be pushing for that very soon. I expect the latter to be aimed at a holding mid role or possibly left back.

Just finished Part Three of this series. Over three hours. Canny rely on my memory for it all,so have to check everything. Took me that long that it’s too late to go down to the pub now!

Twists n turns

I recall some of the above but my memory isn’t as good as yours so it was interesting to see the facts and details laid bare.

I would have been 21 at that time and for a few years up to that point I’d been a great admirer of only one other side outside of Celtic. I loved watching Liverpool at that time.

Money wasn’t the major factor in those days. Yes it played a part no doubt but not to the level things have changed these days. I know King Kenny headed south and I’m sure he moved on to better money but generally it wasn’t the major driver in my opinion.

That season you write about, Liverpool were still flying whilst we were, well, you cover it in your article. We weren’t!!

I feel the managerial factor was huge. When Shankly called it a day, Bob Paisley has been part of what they referred to as the boot room team. The transition was seamless. When Paisley retired, Fagan, another boot room man, took over. In fact when he quit I’m sure it was another who succeeded him as well though for the life of me I can’t remember his name.

Sean Fallon , assistant to big Jock took the caretaker role and it just didn’t work out. Did Sean and Jock have the same level of togetherness that was evident in the Anfield boot room? Was Sean punted into the background? Or was it all good but simply didn’t work out as well?

We opted for big Billy when Jock Stein went and our fortunes declined.
That’s not a criticism of Caesar by the way but I often wonder why the transition for us didn’t work out in the same way as it did for Liverpool?

Sorry I’m deviating away from your main point but with my crap memory I’m interested in the recollections if anyone with regard to that period when Jock went, Sean took over temporarily, and then when big Billy stepped in. We’re there other factors going on? Money? Unrest?

I read your article Bobby but I’m afraid none of it was wringing any bells for me. 79/80 I was hanging around with a crowd of about a dozen, boys and girls, and football wasn’t on our menu. Pubs and clubs now that was different matter entirely. I didn’t regain my interest in Celtic/ football until the early & mid eighties when I moved to Paisley. My assistant manager was from Dundee and a huge Utd. fan. So it built from there. Another pal was a buddies season ticket holder. So I felt the need to represent Celtic.


Happy Canada Day ? Neil Young-Heart of Gold

Gordon64 BMCUWP would look the part wearing a Celtic Kiltee in his local in Swindon ??


Fuxake,is it the first of April or the first of July?

Pure tat.

They Embarrassed The Hoops!


Remiss of me as we have so many readers and contributors in Canada. I was on holiday there forty years ago as well,hence the reference to a drunken night out in Detroit with George Best and his pals. So…

Happy Canada Day.

And Happy 20th to The Scottish Parliament.


Twisty, Kenny Dalgleish took over from Joe Fagan as player coach. I think you might be referring to Ronnie Moran, who also took over temporary charge at Liverpool, before Graeme Souness arrived, another member of the Liverpool back room staff.
Sean Fallon, Celtic’s Iron Man, began his Celtic career in 1950 as a player and as captain till 1953 when big Jock took over the captaincy when Sean got injured. A part of the 7-1 cup winning team. His Celtic career span was decades long, player, captain, assistant manager, temporary manager when big Jock was injured in the car crash.
This Sligo man had a hand in signing many of the “Lions” before Jock returned as manager, he certainly had a big part to play in signing many of the Quality Street Gang. So this quiet spoken Celtic legend was considered to be big Jock’s foil, if Jock was brusque, Sean was calm and considered. They had a great friendship, no doubt about it. As I recall, it was Jock who instigated Cesar’s return from Aberdeen to Celtic as manager, surely he would have had a quiet word with Sean and discussed it, these two were joined at the hip. I do not recall any fall out of any sort, I am not so sure that Sean would have enjoyed the managers job, I believe for a very short time he managed Dumbarton, but his heart was clearly with Celtic, but it could have been that he liked to stay in the background as an assistant. Billy brought his own assistant.
When you look back at his career Sean was born and brought up in Sligo, he had Sligo embedded in his DNA, he for me epitomised that particular part of Ireland, he liked to be strong in the tackle, a winner, but always very fair, it was said that he and Jock both liked the tactical side of the game and as you are aware, they were way beyond their time. He was a gentle-man, by all accounts , trusted by all, loved by many. I always think of him as big Jocks consigliere. Sean Fallon RIP 1922-2013.

Gawn yersell Mahe, as your French Connections continue, the same tae you Bobby Murdoch, when you played Celtic played and how they played with you driving them on…


Hmmm,Sean Fallon? Jock would have trusted Sean with his life,and vice-versa. They hit off from the off apparently,both being veterans but both appreciative of each other’s specific talents. I think Sean was the captain in the 7-1 game-my Dad will tell me if I’m wrong!-before he joined Jock in the coaching staff,helping out the youngsters.

Jock left,Sean stayed. Jock came back,with Sean as his Assistant Manager and legends were made!

Sadly,when we had wrapped up our ninth successive title,Jock had his infamous car crash. Sean was promoted to interim first team manager-but he had a problem. Jock could rely on Sean,but who could Sean rely on on? He was in charge for most of the next two seasons and they didn’t go well,particularly the second one. He lost David Hay,Stevie Murray,Billy McNeill and George Connelly for different reasons. And had to deal with an ever-fractious Kenny Dalglish who by this time also wanted out too.

When Jock returned,it was with the proviso that,as Sean had clearly failed in the job-!-he be sacked and replaced by Davie McParland. Jock wanted none of that apparently but finally agreed with the proviso that Sean-who famously could spot a player!-be made Chief Scout.

All three were sacked by the end of the 77/78 season. Lovely people skills,our board back then.

Re the bootroom philosophy,it didn’t seem to be encouraged much. Prior to Jock,Bob Kelly ruled the roost. Then Jock did the same. For two people who placed so much emphasis on youth,in order to replace or help put the players in situ,they didn’t seem too interested in being replaced themselves by protégés! Hark my iPad wi the accents,eh?

At Liverpool,I would suggest that the Bootroom Philosophy is largely a myth. Bear with me on this!

Paisley was Shankly’s right-hand man and was recommended by the great man. He succeeded a legend and became a bigger one over the next decade. That was where the bootroom legend was born,with players and staff telling of how everyone disappeared down there to talk football,smoke,crack out the whisky. You couldn’t read an interview about the club without reference to it.

So it was natural that they would turn to another from there when Bob retired. A decade of success from him,quarter of a century of it,all told. Sure,we want more of that!

Joe Fagan probably wasn’t the man to provide that. Without being unkind to either man,he was Sean Fallon when they could have done with a Jock. A title and a European Cup are no mean feat in two seasons,but he was too nice a man to deal with the egos and struggled with replacing players. He decided it wasn’t for him and handed over the reins to Kenny Dalglish in 1985.

The bootroom got a final outing when Roy Evans was promoted to manager after Souness about a year later. They haven’t tried it since.

I personally think that there is a lot going for the bootroom philosophy but only when it is a successful manager who leaves. They know the personnel and the playing system,they know the club inside out.It provides continuity as the new incumbent can always phone up his now-retired pal for a chat. Perhaps Alex Ferguson had that in mind with Mick Phelan at one stage before events dear boy-like,fuck,I’m too old to rebuild this team and they’re too old for another season!-took over.

However,Liverpool had to eventually bar Shanks from the training ground because he was there every day,and the situation at Man Utd around a decade earlier with the legacy of Sir Matt destroying two clearly unsuited successors can’t be overlooked.

I suppose it comes down to succession planning. But there’s the problem. Succession planning for the eventual departure of the current manager when the current manager has no intention of leaving?


I wish I’d said that. It would have saved me a good twenty minutes or so!



Sorry Bobby trust me to butt in, I just couldn’t help myself. Dave McParland was my P.E. teacher, I followed his career always, what a great person, kind and encouraging. Twisty’s post took me back to distant memories of humble men and woman. You know it made me think about Jock’s friend and advisor Jimmy Gribben, these quiet, modest, back ground people that did so much for our club, we owe them so much and yet know so little about them. Awerabest ..


You weren’t butting in,far from it!

I remember my PE teachers too,but I’ll get even one day. Even if it’s only by dancing on their graves.

Anyway,ESTADIO did a wonderful wee tale about Jimmy Gribben. I’ll try to find it. If I can’t,I’ll ask him to find it for me,it will keep him off the Guinness for a minute or ten.

Please be advised that the above should not be used as inside information and a suggestion that anyone should short shares in Diageo…


I suppose it comes down to succession planning. But there’s the problem. Succession planning for the eventual departure of the current manager when the current manager has no intention of leaving?

Succession planning should not mean the present coach has to look over his shoulder.
It should be that like the team we are training people who may make the grade.
Having people on staff who understand the system and can fill voids for whatever reason is far less risky than taking a chance on the unknown.
I find it interesting that we always expect coaches being ex footballers.
Especially as many truly great footballers fail in management.Barnes and Brady being good examples at Celtic.
Teaching sports is a very difficult skill and very few can bring their ideas to fruition.RD had some very good ideas as Celtic’scoach and where he fell down was his inability to replicate those on the field of play.
This is why a Director of Football with a clear forward thinking strategy is so necessary in the madnesss that is the modern football landscape.

Found it. All credit to ESTADIO for this wonderful piece.


Director of Football? Peter not good enough for you?!


Are you serious?
Was just concerned that poor wee Peter who is overworked and underpaid as well as vastly under appreciated has enough on his plate without being burdened by this title.


Couldn’t agree more,old boy. Especially as his full title is even weightier.

De Facto Director of Football. I mean,that’s heavy duty stuff and worthy of another pay rise even on top of his miserly bonus,which we only pay him to take him above Minimum Wage.

Worth every penny. Not that he would have enough time to count his money in pennies.

bada bing1

Joe Ledley rumour…..


Hail Hail Estadio, a wonderful piece of writing, I very much enjoyed reading it. So its an Abernethy biscuit tin, I often wondered.

Cheers Bobby.


Morning troops,,,
Bobby thanks for that read and tbh I had no idea about most of that stuff so I’m a wee bit wiser now.
Half expected to see KT gone when I woke up but seems he’s still ours at the moment. Happy days.
Hail Hail

I experienced two PE teachers at high school. The first one was brilliant. There was lots of enjoyable stuff like basketball in the gym, the swimming baths, track and field on the sportsground, cross country running. Then came the second one. Ex Army. He barked out orders to you like we were soldiers. 90% of it was gymnastics in the gym. PE had become something to dread. Humiliated pupils right left and centre. He raised money from us every week for charity, not a request – a demand! To this day I still don’t know how much was raised or what the charity was. Probably Help for Heroes.


My abiding memory of school sports was cross country.
Guys who always won were the smokers.
They had some serious short cuts and hiding places to smoke and usually reappeared near the finish line just in front of us honest suckers.
Remember once running in a downpour and they finished with dry clothes.
The PE teacher was either incredibly naive or just didn’t give a Donald Duck.


Jim ,
Of the 2 pe teachers I had I still hate one soo much that if I bump into him I will seriously consider giving him a kicking.
I will never attend a school reunion because of him,,there would be murder.
The other is a well known Celtic fan who is over as much as often but still a prick imo.
Teachers,,,a room of people smaller than them and they think they are role models and hard men. I’ve done well better in life than the prick has and I bet he’s not a tough guy when you’re fairy evenly matched.
Met a few like that. Some mothers do have em.
Hail Hail pal and hope all is well Sir!

Canada Day 1990. I was in Halifax Nova Scotia, on holiday. A friend of mine was doing a year’s teaching exchange. She got an invite to the Lieutenant Governor’s Garden Party at Government House. I tagged along! It was fine, we were introduced to the LG & his good lady but the best part for me was meeting a real life Mountie. I had only ever saw them on films with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. 🙂


I feel like moving to Canada after the scenes in Portland over the weekend, , a city I used to love visiting.
This place is getting worse.

bada bing1

Documentary on BBC about John McEnroe, well worth a watch

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL, whats this talk about pe, my pe teacher at st augustines mr reilly, said I was the best runner in the school, I have still got the plaque on the wall he gave me, when I actually ran the 4 minute mile in 4 hours 59 minutes, bet jim and mahe cant beat that.hh.


MacEnroe to wife after 3rd failed pregnancy test and lots of trying,,,
You cannot be serious the balls were in,,,,
I’ll get my coat

Twists n turns

Mike, Bobby and Fan a tic

Tyvm for the detailed and considered response. Very informative.

Yes Mike. Joe Fagan! That was the name that I couldn’t recall. I wasn’t being lazy btw!! I was typing my post and had to dash away or I would’ve googled it.

I loved watching Liverpool play in the 70’s.

Man Utd

The British winners of the big cup back then. All very attractive attacking teams.

How on earth Villa got their name on it a few years later I don’t know.

I had a mate lived up here who was a big hoops fan. He married a local girl which is how I got to know him. Work took him South and he ended up watching Villa. I remember the year they won it , he’d been up to go to a Celtic match. I asked him how the Villa thing was going? I always remember him telling me it was dreadful football. Boring and dull. Said he missed Celtic badly.

Within a relatively short space of time they were European cup winners. So either they improved, or my mate was watching all the wrong games!

Mahe, What’s all that stramash in Portland about?


Only politics could make the Yanks act like that. I’ve never met a people soo involved in that filthy subject. Look what it just done to a downtown in a lovely city on a nice Saturday afternoo
I’d ban politics if you voted for me ! 😉
Texted a Belfast fella living there how is this better than home? Well ok you’re not shot dead like thousands were , but what happened to liberty and freedom of choice.
That mob seen you as the opposite side you got done,,,you step in to help someone getting done you get done!!
They had what looked like milkshakes but was quick mix concrete in a plastic see through cup,,deadly weapon?
Mobs in motorbike helmets on the rampage for their politics?
Cops were told to stand down as people have right to protest?
The major is getting fired for it apparently.
This place,,
Hail Hail

bada bing1

African Nations Cup on Eurosport if yer bored,game at 8pm


Off subject but wee Res12 Update the wait goes on.

big packy

AULDHEID, many,many thanks for your perseverance,.cap doffed.hh.

bada bing1

Tin hat on.

When Rogic is good he is very good. But I get scunnered with the amount of time he spends away from us playing for Australia. And comes back injured.

In the past 4 seasons, Tom Rogic has played an average of 35 games per season. In ALL competitions. Compare and contrast that figure with others in our squad.

Gordon64 Bobby Bonilla day-The best ever sports contract

Mike in Toronto, get on here please so we can wish you happy Canada day. 🙂

I think there is someone from Newfoundland too ?

I am with Jim on this M, I would have been in a haze at the time, great writing tho 😉
Forgot to post my daily acca, sorry bout that, a bit late as most of the games are either finished or half way through, couldn’t be helped, it was
St Pat’s v Rovers more than 2.5 goals
Ivory Coast
A fiver pays 120
In play took Rovers at 21/20 then they scored a min after, also have a treble with Rovers, Senegal and Algeria, Senegal have missed a pen and they are doing everything but score FFS, might just be one of those games, fingers crossed.

I guess I’m talking to myself. But I just wondered. What if we built an hotel. A museum. A visitor’s experience. And of course a super dooper store. Would it give us prestige?

I can understand folks not favouring these types of projects at the expense of on the pitch requirements. But going into debt for bricks and mortar projects is the norm! I think we could do both. With the amount of visitors, from near and far, to Celtic Park it should be a goer. Think of the supporters to CP from Ireland! Special rates for ST holders at the hotel. It’s a winner. Then there’s that big arena across the road from us! It would take an idiot not to make a new hotel work.

If the club are after prestige they need to upgrade the stadium to a 5 star rating, it would mean redoing the main stand, buses need to be able to get into the stadium etc, the dressing rooms need to be……basically the main stand needs gutted and redone, a fair outlay, but it’s the only way football wise will they get what they crave.

TET, It’s OK I’ve thought about it. We rebuild the main stand. Increase the capacity a wee bit but mostly affordable posh. Special times out for ordinary folk, not millionaires. But most importantly. An underground bus park. For the home and away teams. Access to the changing rooms uninteruppted.

The stadium would look finished. As if it had been designed that way. Not like the 3/4 brilliant stadium it is today. But unfinished.

5Stars no problem. 20 million?

I think you could double that to 50 minimum

TET, that’s what we have in the bank at the moment! Packy, Bobby, Mahe told me.

If we make the group stages this season I reckon there may well be movement on that front, they would so like to host euro finals.

One more goal in the St Pats game please for a very decent day betting wise. but as ever it’s nearly always just the one that lets you down, the Mrs keeps telling me to leave the one that lets me down out 😉

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