The roots of A Celtic State of Mind can be traced back to September 2016 when I arranged a video interview with ex-Celtic captain, Andy Lynch, as part of the promotion for his autobiography, ‘Hoops, Stars & Stripes’.
The original concept for ACSOM was to film one-to-one interviews with ex-Celts. These videos provide an insight into that early idea, which would later become an award-winning podcast.
In episode 1 of what was tentatively called, ‘On The Road’, Andy Lynch reminisced about his early days in junior football, and how it was Hearts who finally signed him on professional forms in 1969.
A first-team berth was quickly established at Tynecastle, as Andy flourished on the left-wing under the tutelage of Hearts’ Head Coach, Jock Wallace.
Andy spoke fondly of his time in the capital, but his heart was always set on a move to Celtic Park. After starring against many of Jock Stein’s Lisbon Lions, newspaper reports began to report that he may soon end up as one of their team-mates.
When the move finally came, Andy was thrilled to put pen-to-paper on a £35,000 transfer in February 1973, and he was welcomed to the team of his dreams by many of his Celtic heroes.
Finally, Andy recalled how his transfer almost turned into a nightmare due to recurring injury problems, and he revealed the unsung Celtic hero who decided to move him into defence to fill the left-back spot in the reserves.
This change of position revitalised Andy’s career, and he went on to establish himself as an integral part of Celtic’s first-team for the remainder of the 1970s.
Having signed for Jock Stein’s side for £35,000 in 1973, Andy won the Scottish Cup two years later. With solid displays (and free of injury), Andy soon established himself as Celtic’s first-choice left-back.
Andy explained how, in 1977, he won another Scottish Cup when he famously scored the winning goal against Rangers from the penalty spot. This Old Firm triumph completed a memorable League and Scottish Cup double, but it was to be Jock Stein’s swansong as Celtic’s orchestrator of success.
Billy McNeill’s first season as Celtic’s manager in 1978/79 culminated in him leading his ten men to a winner-takes-all victory over Rangers in a match that is now known simply as ‘The 4-2 Game’.
The remarkable ‘Ten Men Won The League’ success was to be Andy’s final hurrah in a Celtic jersey, as he moved to pastures new the following year.
Andy’s destination was the glamorous North American Soccer League (NASL), where he lined up for Philadelphia Fury and Montreal Manic against some of the greatest players in the world.
Looking back, Andy described how his Stateside coaching career began in Montreal, and how he was able to lead his unfancied side to an unexpected Soccer Bowl victory against the New York Cosmos.
A Celtic State of Mind are now producing more video content, so expect more in-depth video interviews with ex-Celts like the one I recorded with Andy almost three years ago.
In preparation for the launch of Andy Lynch’s book, I was also able to pull together some rare footage to present to the audience on the night. I’m sure you will enjoy the following compilation of Celtic goals and interviews from the 1970s.
Paul John Dykes