The woman, well-dressed and businesslike, resembled nothing more than the secretary she was. The man was a study. He was affected by an eye problem and carried a stick but he was familiar to many Glaswegians and a close friend of the celebrated.
Flax Flaherty and Irene McDonald were taking part in a ritual that seems unthinkable nowadays. The newspaper seller and the Celtic secretary were carrying the wages to Parkhead where they would be put into brown envelopes and distributed to some of the best players in Europe.
Flaherty may have been the unlikeliest of bodyguards but he would almost certainly have been able to identify any potential robber. Flaherty knew people. His pitch at Queen Street station brought him into contact with the mass of football life.
He became friendly with Jock Stein simply because the future Celtic manager passed through the station so often as a player. Stein, who led Celtic to unprecedented success, was driven to Dunfermline for his first interview for a manager's job by Flaherty.
"It is an extraordinary insight into how close football people once were to the fans," says Kevin McCarra, whose 'Celtic: A Biography in Nine Lives' features the story. Flaherty, he recounts, ran a supporters' club and was an agent for Celtic Pools but the vendor's familiarity with players and management was renewed on a daily basis. Flaherty would take papers out to Parkhead for players to peruse after training and attended faithfully to the task of delivering the Noon Record to Neilly Mochan, the Celtic trainer, before the start of the afternoon's racing.
"Flax symbolises a different time," says McCarra. "He met Stein because players took the train in those days. Stein was given a Ford Anglia by Celtic when he started coaching but before that he would use Queen Street station regularly. He also gambled in a bookies next to the station so Flax and Stein were never far apart."
The notion of two people walking towards Parkhead with the players' wages is now absurd. The sums involved would mean that any cash would have to be transported by pack horse. "But it symbolises how a fan could be part of the club," says McCarra, whose book contains a photograph of Flaherty clutching the European Cup in 1967.
McCarra's book seeks to address aspects of the club and its history through different personalities. The Celtic nine are: John Glass, who chaired the meeting that launched Celtic into existence; Willie Maley, player and long-time manager; Jimmy McGrory, extraordinary centre-forward and later manager; Bob Kelly, an influential chairman; Stein; Flaherty; Billy McNeill, player and manager; Fergus McCann, who saved the club; and Martin O'Neill, the manager who took Celtic to the UEFA Cup final in Seville.
The result is a brilliant, expansive portrait of a club and its heroes down the years. McCarra has also captured moments that will never occur again as the sport has changed dramatically. He points out: "Celtic won the league in 1972 and the next week there were 20,000 inside Parkhead."
The present economic climate is difficult yet Celtic and Rangers have both managed to sustain a hugely significant presence of season-ticket holders. But there is a distance between fan and celebrity. "Neil Lennon would have no problem interacting with the fans as Stein did," says McCarra, who interviewed the Celtic manager for the O'Neill chapter. "But the idea that he would need a lift from a fan to a job interview is risible."
McCarra was impressed by Lennon's character and candour when he interviewed him. He accepts that Lennon also speaks directly to a Celtic experience.
"It is a bit early to put him alongside the nine in the book but he has the maverick streak that characterises the rest of them," he says. "He is a strong character. When people talk of the awful situations that surround him and whether he will leave Celtic, I believe he is so thrawn he won't go. He doesn't back down whether it is in Northern Ireland or in Glasgow."
The route to greatness for Lennon as a manager must go through Europe. "There is a challenge for Lennon at Celtic to try to find a way to create some sort of success in Europe. I believe he is keen to meet that challenge. Where would he go if he left Celtic now? A mid-table club in England? He has the chance at Parkhead to test himself and his ideas in the Champions League.
"He certainly seems to be a motivator, too. Celtic may have been flat in the League Cup final against Killmarnock but he certainly had his team up for the match on Saturday at Rugby Park. His players tore Killie to shreds. I imagine he is a manager that players react to strongly."
Another contender for a place in an expanded Celtic history would be Peter Lawwell, the chief executive, who has faced strong criticism from some fans over his financial prudence. "He was obliged to create a new financial model," says McCarra. "The Martin O'Neill years were a lot of fun for Celtic fans but that scale of spending could not continue."
Celtic, he said, have invested wisely in the scouting operation and that has paid dividends with such as Emilio Izaguirre, Biram Kayal and Victor Wanyama. "It is a steep march upwards for Celtic. They need intelligence both in the sense of information and how to use it," he says.
This hard climb is the modern reality. The stroll seemed easier when Flax was heading out from the city centre.
*Celtic: A Biography in Nine Lives, by Kevin McCarra, is published by Faber at £16.99