JOCK STEIN didn’t hesitate in signing Motherwell’s powerhouse striker Dixie Deans after witnessing one of the most remarkable results in Celtic’s history.
Partick Thistle were no-hopers when they lined up against the Hoops in the 1971 League Cup Final at Hampden.
It’s history now that the Maryhill outfit were four goals ahead at half-time as they eventually held out for a 4-1 triumph against all the odds.
That was on October 23 1971 and Celtic were due to play them in a league game at Firhill on November 27.
Big Jock was in the mood for revenge and he added spice to the attack with Deans while he signed goalkeeper Denis Collaghan to replace Evan Williams.
Poor old Thistle, they were annihilated on their own pitch as the Parkhead men won 5-1 and it could have been 10 if it hadn’t been for some excellent goalkeeping from Alan Rough, who was, of course, destined to join the Bhoys in the twilight of his career.
For the record, Deans scored one while Jimmy Johnstone, Kenny Dalglish and Harry Hood added others while the unfortunate Hugh Strachan put one in his own net.
A while back, Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell recalled: “The game at Hampden is best forgotten.
“I played in it and I’m still not sure how we lost. I don’t think the Thistle lads knew how they won!
“It was one of those freak results that football throws up every now and again.
“Thankfully, Celtic managed to turn it around in Maryhill and that scoreline made a lot more sense.”
Ronny Deila will take Celtic to Fihill on Wednesday and a similar scoreline would no doubt suit the Norwegian.
* ‘Tommy Gemmell: All The Best’ is published by CQN and is available at www.cqnbookstore.com and from Celtic stores and all good book shops.