THE last time Celtic won 5-0 in Sunderland they ended the season controversially deprived of a place in a European Final.
John Hughes – the original Yogi – was the star of the show when Jock Stein’s men ran amok at their opponents’ old ground, Roker Park, on Saturday, August 14 1965.
The powerful attacker thumped in two goals in an afternoon that saw the legendary Jim Baxter, bought for a massive £72,500 from Rangers in the summer, make a disastrous debut for the Wearsiders.
Hughes would love for Brendan Rodgers’ side to stage a good run in Europe this time around following their 5-0 victory at the Stadium of Light last weekend.
He recalled: “We put down a marker that day for the rest of the season.
“Big Jock had returned to the club and we had lifted our first trophy in seven years after beating Dunfermline 3-2 in the Scottish Cup Final.
“We went on to win the first of nine successive titles in the forthcoming campaign, but the major disappointment was not reaching the European Cup-Winners’ Cup Final.
“It was scheduled for Hampden that season and we were drawn against Liverpool in the semi-final.
“We hammered them at Parkhead, but had to settle for a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Bobby Lennox.
“We were confident of seeing it through at Anfield, but a refereeing howler put an end to our hopes.
“It was still goalless after an hour when they equalised with a dodgy free-kick. Geoff Strong got their second shortly afterwards with a header.
“But it was Belgian match official, a bloke by the name of Josef Hannet, who put an end to our hopes.
“With only minutes to go, Bobby Lennox rattled the ball behind their Scottish keeper Tommy Lawrence and left-back Gerry Byrne, who was standing on the line.
“The away goals counting double rule had just been introduced by UEFA and that effort would have put us into the Final against Borussia Dortmund in May that year.
“Remarkably, Hannet ruled it out for offside. Impossible!
“Later on, he admitted he had made a mistake when he saw a replay on TV. Too late for us, I’m afraid.”
Now, 52 years later, Hughes, who scored 189 goals in his Hoops career, is desperate for his old club to go on a similar run in Europe after a five-goal thrashing of Sunderland.
Callum McGregor (3), Jonny Hayes and Stuart Armstrong thumped in the goals in the runaway success six days ago and Yogi hopes lightning will strike twice.
The former fans’ favourite said: “I watched the game against Rosenborg on TV at home and, apart from 15 minutes minutes at the start of the second-half, I was hugely impressed by Brendan Rodgers’ side.
“As he has said, the team have been transformed in the past 12 months since his arrival.
“No disrespect to Ronny Deila, but this would probably have been a game Celtic would have lost a couple of years ago after drawing the first leg at home.
“But they were composed in Trondheim and it was clear every player knew what he was expected to do.
“I was at Parkhead for the first leg and I have to say that was as disappointing performance I have seen from Rodgers’ side.
“But they made up for it away from home. They took control and pretty much bossed the first-half and half-an-hour of the second period.
“James Forrest’s goal was stunning. I thought he had hit the sidenet with his angled effort until I saw the ball bounce over the line and his team-mates making a beeline to congratulate him.
“There were a lot of good things to take from this performance. Scott Sinclair, for instance, did an awful lot of work in defence on the left flank and I thought Leigh Griffiths gave the team a lift when he came on as a substitute.”
Yogi, who doubled up as a centre-forward or winger during his playing days, had a word of advice for new Bhoy Hayes: “Don’t be afraid to take on your man.”
He added: “I lost count of the amount of times Hayes came inside off the right wing.
“We know he has got blistering pace, but it was rarely seen against the Norwegians.
“I was shouting at the telly for him to go up to his defender, leave him for dead, hit the bye-line and sling in crosses.
“Obviously, I don’t know if he was following the manager’s game plan, but I thought he would have been more effective if he had committed the Rosenborg left-back.
“In my day, as a winger, my immediate thought was to go straight at my opponent.
“If a team-mate passed the ball to me and expected me to return it right away they were wasting their time!
“That’s the way Big Jock liked it, to keep your rivals on the backfoot, but maybe things are different now.
“So, now all eyes are on today’s play-off draw and it’s ridiculous a team of Celtic’s standing have to play six games before they get near the group stages.
“But it is what it and we have to hope the ballot is kind to them in Switzerland.
“However, one thing is certain – with Brendan Rodgers guiding them, this Celtic team could make an impact in Europe.”
Get a signed copy of Yogi Bare, the John Hughes biography from CQNBookstore.com where all books are only £10 for the summer period.
Meanwhile listen to the new CQN Podcast below, it really is worth taking the time.
This edition features a hard hitting introduction from Paul Dykes on the cheating and also a look back at The Celts for Change Years, which will remind you where we were as a football club in the nineties.