BRENDAN RODGERS takes Celtic to play Livingston in West Lothian on Sunday in the first of their eight-game obstacle course as they bid to win their twelfth title in 13 years.

If the Hoops boss requires 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 with the same amount of hurdles to overcome after successfully manoeuvring his way through soccer’s minefield to the finishing line to achieve 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 told all in his life story which was published in 2009. Here is the sixth instalment of his recollections from his best-selling book.

The former player and manager, now 76, remembered: “We were five goals ahead against St. Mirren before the hour mark and I was standing on the touchline in awe of my own team.

“Everyone remembers Brazil’s fourth goal against Italy in the mesmerising World Cup Final in Mexico in 1970.

“I’m talking about the one where it seems every Brazilian player gets at least three touches of the ball before Pele nonchalantly rolls a pass across to the right where the rampaging Carlos Alberto comes thundering in to first-time an almighty effort low past the bewildered and beaten Enrico Albertosi, the Italian goalkeeper.

“It was a fitting conclusion to a glorious and memorable World Cup.

GREEN FOR GO…Mo Johnston celebrates putting the finishing touches to a classic goal as Celtic pulverise St Mirren in Paisley. 

“Take it from me, Celtic scored a goal against St. Mirren that was every bit as good and it was just a pity that the planet wasn’t tuned in to witness it. Danny McGrain, a truly world-class right-back, started it on the edge of his own penalty area.

“He moved the ball to Murdo MacLeod who gave it back to Danny as we were swiftly building a move down our right-hand side. Danny shifted it inside to Paul McStay who switched it to Roy Aitken and once again the ball landed at Danny’s feet.

“He touched it on to Brian McClair and he flashed a ball across the face of the Saints goal. Mo Johnston, lurking in the danger zone as usual, came sliding in at the back post to nudge the ball into the net.

“It was all done at bewildering speed and it is right up there with any goal I have ever seen scored by any side.

“It was enough to win the title on its own. However, it all looked as though it was going to be of no avail. Johnston and McClair had both claimed doubles and McStay had joined in the procession with a blistering right-foot drive that almost took the net away behind Jim Stewart who didn’t even bother making a futile attempt at saving the effort.

UNSTOPPABLE…Brian McClair gets a good view as Paul McStay thunders in one of Celtic’s five goals against St Mirren in the extraordinary climax to the league race.

“Those strikes had us 5-0 ahead after 54 minutes, but Hearts were hanging on at Dens Park.

“It had been goalless at the interval in Dundee and we were in the dark about what was happening in the second-half. We didn’t have a radio in the dug-out as I didn’t want any distractions and, remember, these were also the days before mobile phones.

“After 83 minutes at Love Street, we were coasting to what might have been an impressive, but ultimately meaningless, victory.

“Then something quite amazing happened.”

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

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