CELTIC face an eight-game obstacle course as they bid to win their twelfth title in 13 years.

If Brendan Rodgers seeks any advice on how to plan ahead for the ultimate silverware success, he could ask club ambassador Davie Hay.

The Parkhead legend knows exactly what it takes to win the flag after successfully manoeuvring his way through soccer’s minefield to the finishing line. The former player and manager achieved the feat after a breathtaking finale to season 1985/86.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, the Hoops great, speaking to his long-time friend and author Alex Gordon, who co-wrote the icon’s best-selling autobiography, ‘The Quiet Assassin ‘, details the extraordinary run-in to a tumultuous, topsy turvy campaign.

Hay, 76, told all in his life story which was published in 2009. Here is the fourth instalment of his recollections from his best-selling book.

The Celtic icon recalled:

“We had three games to play and Hearts, two points ahead, only had two. They were in the driver’s seat.

“Our last game of the season at Parkhead was against Dundee, a well-drilled team who had made things difficult for us earlier in the campaign.

“I told the players the priority, of course, was a win, but I also asked them to put on a show for our fans who had been extremely supportive throughout a daunting term of ups and downs.

“There was still a title to be won and, intriguingly, Hearts were playing their final home game, too, at the same time on Saturday, April 26. They were up against Clydebank who were heading for relegation and anchored to the foot of the table.

“No disrespect to the Kilbowie club, but I did not anticipate a shock result in Edinburgh that afternoon.

RISE AND SHINE…Brian McClair and Owen Archdeacon put pressure on the Dundee defence in Celtic’s crucial 2-0 win at Parkhead.

“We beat Dundee 2-0 with goals from Brian McClair and Mo Johnston and, as anticipated, Alex MacDonald’s outfit overcame the Bankies with a good goal from Gary Mackay. The attacking midfielder was a key player for the team and I recall his effort against the Bankies was well worked and expertly finished with a drive high into the net.

“Credit where it is due. I watched the TV highlights later on that evening and it was clear the Hearts fans, who remained in the ground long after the final whistle, believed they were cheering the team that would win the league seven days later.

“We had a midweek fixture against Motherwell at Fir Park to look forward to as things got extremely sweaty.

“McClair, who started his career at Well, flashed in two superb goals in a 2-0 triumph and now it was all down to us and Hearts on the Saturday.

“The situation was simple. All they needed to do was avoid defeat against Dundee at Dens Park and the championship was theirs. They were also four goals better off on goal difference.

“We had to beat St. Mirren at Love Street by at least three clear goals, taking into the equation that Hearts would have to concede at least one to lose in Dundee.

“We also had to hope for a miracle. And, as my mother always insisted, miracles can happen.”

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the fifth dramatic instalment in the epic 1985/86 title battle. 

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