The day Falkirk hit Stein’s Celtic side for six

The 6'2 defeat was Jock Stein's heaviest as Celtic manager. Picture: SNS
The 6'2 defeat was Jock Stein's heaviest as Celtic manager. Picture: SNS
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CELTIC’S last six-goal mauling took place just a month after Jock Stein was appointed manager, when they lost 6-2 to Falkirk on 14 April 1965.

Stein – who, of course, would lead Celtic to European Cup glory two years later – had officially taken over at Parkhead the previous month and saw his side crash to a Falkirk outfit who would finish third bottom of Division One. Celtic finished in eighth place that season, 13 points behind winners Kilmarnock when it was just two points for a win.

The defeat at Brockville was Stein’s biggest-ever loss and a Falkirk side including the likes of John Lambie and Doug Baillie simply ripped their more illustrious visitors apart.

They got off to the perfect start when Doug Moran, who began his career at Hibs and had two spells at Falkirk, opened the scoring on just three minutes.

The lead was 2-0 on seven minutes and the Falkirk supporters in the surprisingly low 3,356 crowd were in dreamland when Sammy Wilson, the Northern Ireland centre forward, made it 3-0 with only 20 minutes in the clock.

On 22 minutes, Bertie Auld pulled a goal back for a Celtic side who had five players in their ranks who would eventually become Lisbon Lions. But it wasn’t the start of a comeback.

Just four minutes after Auld’s effort, Johnny Graham restored Falkirk’s three-goal cushion, and Billy Fulton made it 5-1 midway through the second half.

Moran, who had got the ball rolling, scored his second goal of the night on 81 minutes but Auld also grabbed a brace with a consolation penalty four minutes from time to complete the 6-1 scoreline.

A pint of beer cost 8p 48 years ago, the average price of a house was £3,600, The Beatles were No 1 in the hit parade with Ticket to Ride, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister and the big story that year was the Moors Murders. However, Stein and Celtic would soon bounce back. Just ten days after that thumping, they would defeat Dunfermline 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final to win their first trophy in eight years.

It was Stein’s first trophy with Celtic and was regarded as the launchpad for his golden era with the club.

Falkirk: Whigham, Lambie, Hunter, Houston, Baillie, Fulton, Graham, Gourlay, Wilson, Moran, Halliday.

Celtic: Fallon; Young, Gemmell, Murdoch, Cushley, O’Neill, Johnstone, Gallagher, Hughes, Lennox, Auld.

Attendance: 3,356.