23rd April 1968: Build-up to final league match

After the penultimate matches in the league campaign on the Saturday, the papers had large headlines about the run-in –

Lennox’s Dramatic Winner Keeps Celtic on Top

Rangers Scramble to Victory

From the reports of the match at Rugby Park, it would appear that the Light Blues had not been too impressive in their display against Kilmarnock, their winner coming in the 77th minute of the match. Mind you, that was a bit sooner than our winner at Celtic Park, which came right on the final whistle. The lateness of Bobby Lennox’s winner was also the cause of much confusion amongst Rangers fans at Rugby Park.

Having had scored late on themselves, and hearing that it was 1-1 at Celtic Park long after the final whistle in Kilmarnock, they took to the field in celebration, thinking the title was theirs. Happily from our point of view, their celebrations were short lived – thanks to Lemmon.

On the Monday we had the day off, apart from those involved in the reserve match that night at Ibrox. I never felt quite comfortable with days off. You were usually given them – at least that was the way it was done at Celtic Park in those days – at the last minute, just after the match, so there was little time to prepare anything or to arrange something. I just usually had a long lie and sort of lazed about.

I would normally have gone along to see the reserve side in action but, as the game was at Ibrox, I decided that I would give it a miss, even though the ground was just along the road from my parents’ house.

There were things happening in the football world, as I gleaned from the papers. Dates had been organised for Dundee’s semi-final ties with Leeds United in the Fairs Cities’ Cup. The first leg would be played at Dens Park on 1st May and the second leg at Elland Road on either the 14th or 21st May.

The promotion and relegation issues were settled at the weekend. Arbroath, after nearly 10 years out, would be returning to the First Division with St Mirren, while going down into Division Two would be Motherwell, for the first time since season 1953-54, and Stirling Albion.

In the build-up to the Scottish Cup final – which will take place on the 27th April – Hearts had no less that five players on the treatment table, although they were hopeful that all would be fit to travel to Crieff, their chosen base for the last few days before the match. Dunfermline, by contrast, who will use Dunblane Hydro as their base, appear to be injury-free.

At a meeting of the Football League Management Committee in London, proposals were put forward for the idea of a ‘super-league’ involving clubs in England and Scotland.

And in the Reserve match at Ibrox, Celtic beat Rangers 1-0, the only goal coming from Jimmy Quinn. The Celtic eleven was John Fallon, John Murray, Chris Shevlane, John Clark, Ian Young, Willie O’Neill, Pat MacMahon, Davie Cattenach, Jimmy Quinn, Davie Hay and John Gorman.

Mr Enoch Powell was last night dismissed from the Conservative Shadow Cabinet by Mr Edward Heath, Leader of the Opposition, who said that Mr Powell’s speech at Birmingham on Saturday was ‘racialist in tone and liable to exacerbate racial tensions’.