TOMMY GEMMELL accepted the goalscoring responsibility yet again when he showed his forwards how it was done with the Celtic title winner in this month 55 years ago.

Jock Stein’s side had toiled against a Kilmarnock team who were determined not to be bit-part players in another Celtic surge for the championship.

The hosts, in fact, were two goals ahead at one stage as it looked as though the Parkhead club’s bid for a fourth successive crown was about to be derailed.

However, Gemmell and Co were not about to be denied on a Monday evening in Ayrshire on April 21 1969.

The Lisbon Lion, speaking to his friend Alex Gordon, told the author in his 2013 book ‘CELTIC: The Awakening‘: “We had drawn 2-2 with Airdrie at Parkhead on Saturday.

“I scored with a penalty-kick and Wee Bobby Lennox got the other. It hadn’t been our most memorable performance of the season.

“At that stage, we were so close to clinching our fourth successive title and possibly we were a wee bit complacent. That wasn’t like us, I must admit.

“However, we knew we could make certain of the championship when we played Kilmarnock at their place a few days later. We needed a point and I’m glad to report I got the goal that gave us a 2-2 draw and our fourth consecutive crown.

PICK IT OUT…Tommy Gemmell thumps in Celtic’s equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park that sealed the Hoops’ fourth successive title in April 1969.

“We were 2-0 down at one stage and just couldn’t make a dent on the Killie defence. And then Frank Beattie deflected a Bobby Murdoch cross had into his own net to give us our opener, but the Ayrshire lads, as they always did against us, fought like their lives depended upon it.

“I joined the attack once again and I remember the ball sitting up nicely and begging to be hit. I wasn’t going to disappoint it. I connected and it zipped past their keeper Sandy McLaughlin low into the net.

“Job done, but we would have to put the champagne on ice with the Scottish Cup Final against Rangers due on the Saturday.”

That Old Firm encounter saw Celtic thrash their old foes 4-0 at the national stadium with goals from Billy McNeill, Bobby Lennox, George Connelly and Stevie Chalmers.

READ ALL ABOUT IT…Alex Gordon’s tribute book to Celtic’s first 51 untainted titles.

That completed only the second treble in the club’s history following the 6-2 victory over Hibs in the League Cup Final earlier in the season.

On that Hampden occasion, Buzzbomb Lennox fired in a hat-trick while Bertie Auld, Willie Wallace and Jim Craig added the others.

The fourth championship on the trot was the priority, though, and Big TG, as was so often the case, did not disappoint.

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