Declan McConville with A Celtic State of Mind – A Moment in Time: Celtic 2 Leeds United 1

Declan McConville looks at a moment in time, through the prism of a match programme…

Welcome to Leeds United

Leeds United are undoubtedly one of the new ‘greats’ of English Football. In season 1963/64, they won the Second Division championship and qualified for the top division in England. In season 1964/65 and in 1965/66, they were second in the championship. In season 1966/67 and 1967/68, they were fourth in the championship, and last season they won the English League.

In those five seasons, they showed remarkably consistent form. When they won the championship last season, they did so with a record number of points (67), which will indeed stand for a very long time and, in the whole season, they were only beaten twice.

In 1967/68, they won the Fairs Cities Cup, beating Ferencvaros 1-0 in the final. In 1968/69, they were defeated in the fourth round by Ujpest Dosza.

If one must highlight a special characteristic of Leeds United, it must be their undoubtedly consistent high level of achievement. Tonight we meet them in the semi-final of the European Cup and, although we were victorious in Leeds, Don Revie and his men will certainly not give up the struggle easily, and we must expect an epic battle on the football field here this evening.

This is more than a club match, the honour of England and Scotland are at stake.

Listen to PHIL SCRATON with A Celtic State of Mind here:

The Wider World

Paul McCartney had left The Beatles, and Everton were the champions of England. At number one in the charts was Dana with All Kinds of Everything and there was a new band on the horizon, with Black Sabbath releasing their debut album. Closer to home, the town of Fraserburgh was in mourning as five RNLI volunteers died in the Fraserburgh lifeboat disaster. The joint funeral of those who perished was attended by 13,000 people.

Facts and Figures

Tonight will be an all-time record for an attendance at a European Cup match. This considerably beats the last record figure of 110,000 and is unlikely to be beaten by any European country. It is only in South America that attendances in excess of this figure are recorded.

Mr. Stein’s Message

We play tonight for Celtic and for Scotland against a club that represents the might of England. Let there be no doubt Don Revie’s men are one of the new ‘greats’ of English Football. They represent formidable opposition and we expect an epic struggle. However, the better the opposition the higher Celtic can raise their game.

Tonight, San Siro is our goal – San Siro and a second European Cup victory for tonight the victors must indeed be favourites for that honour.

I ask you to give this great Leeds team our usual Scottish welcome – and after that, that tremendous Celtic sound behind the colours of green and white.

The Match

Celtic Starting XI:
Williams, Hay, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan, Johnstone, Connelly, Hughes, Auld & Lennox.
Substitutes: Fallon, Craig, Hood, Callaghan, Macari.

Celtic started the match positively from the off, forcing six corners in the opening eight minutes. Despite the early domination, the Scottish champions found themselves trailing on the night after Leeds captain, Billy Bremner, fired an absolute rocket past Williams from around 30 yards.

The constant pressure continued and eventually the breakthrough came for Celtic two minutes after the interval. Davie Hay took a short corner to Bertie Auld who whipped the ball across for John Hughes to head into the net.

On the evening, Jimmy Johnstone was simply sensational and ran both Terry Cooper and Norman Hunter ragged. Bobby Murdoch played a fantastic one-two with Jinky then lashed the ball into the net at the Celtic end.

Celtic were now the first British team to make it to two European Cup finals.

Watch Sophie Millar’s stunning rendition of ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly’:

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