CELTIC scored a landslide TEN goals in a League Cup quarter-final annihilation of unfortunate Hamilton Accies exactly FIFTY-ONE years ago.
Just as incredible, there were only TWO scorers for the Hoops that evening at Parkhead – Stevie Chalmers and Bobby Lennox who each bagged five.
Coincidentally, the champions face the same opponents in the High Noon shoot-out at Hamilton on Saturday as they get back to Premiership business following the 2-0 success at Ibrox at the start of the month.
Author Alex Gordon spoke to both Chalmers and Lennox about their astonishing goal spree against Accies in his book, ‘CELTIC: The Awakening’ which was published by Mainstream in 2013. Here is an extract from the publication.
CELTIC went on an amazing ten-goal spree against Hamilton in the League Cup quarter-final first leg at Parkhead, the goals being shared equally between Lennox and Chalmers.
Over four decades later I spoke to both marksmen about this remarkable game. Chalmers said: “You have to feel a bit of sympathy for the goalie. He probably made a few good saves, too, with the game being so one-sided.
“As I recall, we started at 100-miles-per-hour and just got faster as the game wore on. Hamilton didn’t stand a chance and it looked like a race between Bobby and myself to see who could score the most. We had a friendly rivalry and we were both ruthless in front of goal.
“A lot of teams might have eased up if they had gone four or five goals ahead, but not this Celtic team. Big Jock hammered into us to always entertain the fans and I would like to think we managed that against Accies.
FIVE-GOAL BHOY…Stevie Chalmers.
“It was just one of those nights when everything clicked into place.”
Lennox admitted: “I still smile whenever someone mentions that 10-0 game. It gives me a warm glow. As I remember, it was a thoroughly miserable night in Glasgow. The rain was lashing down all the way through the game.
“In fact, I think it had been chucking it down all day. Mind you, it must have been even more miserable for their goalkeeper, Billy Lamont. No-one wants a scoreline like that on their CV.
“I agree with Stevie, you’ve got to feel something for the fella. Losing ten goals can’t be much fun for any keeper, but when you are piling on the misery you don’t actually think about your opponent’s feelings. That wouldn’t be too professional.
“You are there to do a job for your club and that’s the end of it. The fans turn out to see you win and score a few goals and that’s what we achieved that night.
“I believe I might have scored with the last kick of the ball to level with Stevie. Ten goals and only two scorers? Amazing! I suppose it is also fairly unusual for a player to score five goals in back-to-back games as had happened with me against Partick Thistle and Hamilton.
“A lot of unusual things happened around that time.”
Did Jock Stein make a fuss of the two goalscorers afterwards?
FIVE-GOAL BHOY…Bobby Lennox.
“Not a chance,” answered Chalmers. “He never did, not with me, anyway. That was just not his style. He always liked to keep you on edge.
“I never looked for a pat on the back. I just wanted to do my job and cram as many goals into the opposition’s net as possible. That’s what the Hamilton game was all about. If the match had lasted another ten or fifteen minutes we would still have been chasing goals.
“Joe McBride played that night, too, so he would have been looking for a few. It’s incredible to note he didn’t score, but he would have made a few, that’s for sure.”
That overwhelming victory opened the way for a bunch of the Quality Street Gang to take a collective bow in front of their new fans, all 4,000 who turned up at Douglas Park a fortnight later.
Lou Macari, who had played in the first leg, Davie Hay, John Gorman and goalkeeper Bobby Wraith played alongside Pat McMahon, Jimmy Quinn and George Connelly, who, by then, had already made a handful of appearances in the first team.
Kenny Dalglish came on as a second-half substitute.