CELTIC have been crowned Scottish Premiership champions for the ninth successive season after the 2019-2020 campaign was curtailed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Back in late April 1974, they clinched a ninth consecutive title a few games early, thanks to a 1-1 draw at Brockville, home of soon-to-be relegated Falkirk.

Falkirk scored in the third minute through Kirkie Lawson (briefly silencing the “nine-in-a-row” chants from the visiting support), but Kenny Dalglish equalised in the 20th minute with a fine solo effort. There were no further goals, but that didn’t matter: Celtic were officially the champions, and equalled in the process the world record for successive league titles.

Thousands of delirious fans flooded onto the pitch at full-time. Celtic’s Tommy Callaghan was caught up in the celebrations. Manager Jock Stein shook hands with club physio Bob Rooney, with Neilly Mochan just behind.

Celtic saw out the remainder of the season with three draws, two against Morton and one against Aberdeen.

“It looks on paper like one of the easier successes, but it wasn’t”, Stein reflected the day after Brockville. “This was one of our harder wins”.

As the Glasgow Herald acknowledged, the club during the season had suffered from injuries and internal strife, had had a difficult run to the European Cup semi-finals (losing 2-0 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid), and had also committed to supplying half of Scotland’s World Cup team. They had won the Scottish Cup, beating Dundee United 3-0, and had reached the final of the League Cup.

The question – then as now – was, could anyone stop Celtic winning a tenth successive league title?

Read more: Herald Diary