Celtic won the league four times in the 1890s and then completed six-in-a-row between 1905 and 1910. The league continued during the First World War and we won five out of six titles between 1914 and 1919.
By then, Queens Park had well and truly been supplanted as Scotland’s top team, but there was a great decline in the air. The 20s brought only two titles, as did the 30s. The Second World War stopped competitive football for six years, but Celtic’s only league title between 1938 and Jock Stein’s first in 1966, was in 1954. Three generations of Celtic fans survived on precious few moments of celebration.
Stein changed everything.
Nine-in-a-row! How this happened is beyond our wisdom to explain but, with the notable exception of the 1990s, which brought a solitary, if beautiful, title, Celtic will this week solidify their position as dominant force for the past half century by winning their 25th title in 48 years.
If it happens tomorrow, the best part of two months before the end of the season, drink it in. Appreciate it on behalf of the thousands who sustained the Movement during those hard decades.
Seville – The Celtic Movement, is out now:
“After asking us what the green and white uniforms were about and us carefully explaining where we were going and its significance, the girl turned to her partner and suggested that they would maybe take this event in. We left them in blissful ignorance but wondered afterwards what they made of Seville and how it fitted in with their vision of Spain.”