BBC Scotland has alleged that some St Mirren players ‘didn’t try as hard as they ought to’ in the final match of the 1985/86 season which Celtic won 5-0 to clinch the title.
The teams on the afternoon were:
Stewart, Wilson, D Hamilton, B Hamilton, Godfrey, Cooper, Fitzpatrick, Abercrombie, McGarvey, Gallagher (Spiers), Mackie
Bonner, McGrain (Grant), Whyte, Aitken, McGugan, MacLeod, McClair, P McStay, Johnston, Burns, Archdeacon
Goals: McClair (6, 54), Johnston (32, 33), P McStay (38)
Celtic were on a seven match winning run going into the match but had to win by three goals and hope that Dundee beat Hearts by a goal at Dens Park. A draw would have given Hearts the title.
Davie Hay’s side opened the scoring in the sixth minute through Brian McClair with that news instantly relayed to Dens Park where a few Hearts players were suffering from a mystery virus.
Late in the first half Celtic hit top form, scoring in the 32, 33 and 38th minutes but it remained meaningless with Hearts holding on to a point with their match goal-less.
McClair put Celtic 5-0 in front in the 54th minute but there was an eerie atmosphere at Love Street, Celtic had did their bit but with no goals at Dens Park the title was bound for Tynecastle.
With four minutes to go substitute Albert Kidd scored for Dundee, before the final whistle he added a second.
Rather than discuss how well Celtic played and the incredible late drama BBC Scotland decided to give credibility to a bizarre conspiracy, a conspiracy that would have been pointless had Kenny Black or any of his team-mates scored in the first 89 minutes at Dundee.
Reviewing the match, 34 years ago today, BBC Scotland report:
Conspiracy theories & career lows
Scottish football being Scottish football, conspiracy theories abound to this day about the events of that day. According to some, St Mirren players with Celtic leanings perhaps didn’t try as hard they ought to…
Kenny Black: “I’m friendly with Jim Stewart, the St Mirren goalkeeper that day. I know he was disappointed by the performances of some of his team-mates. But Celtic were a quality side and if you see some of the goals they scored, it wouldn’t have mattered who they were playing.”
Murdo Macleod: “If that’s the case, I wish someone had told me that before the game, I wouldn’t have had to try so hard.
“One of the backroom staff had taken [a bottle of champagne] along in his car just in case. In situations like that you don’t want to be filling the team bus with bottles of the stuff, so our celebrations after the match were more about pats on the back. But we celebrated with a few shandies later.”
The following week Hearts lost the Scottish Cup Final 3-0 to Aberdeen
Hearts team at Dens Park: Henry Smith, Walter Kidd, Sandy Jardine, Roddy McDonald, Brian Whittaker, Neil Berry, Gary Mackay, Ian Jardine, John Colquhoun, Sandy Clark, John Robertson
SUBS: Kenny Black, Billy Mackay
Dundee: Bobby Geddes, Rab Shannon, Jim Smith, Bobby Glennie, Tosh McKinlay, Jim Duffy, John Brown, Robert Connor, Vince Mennie, Colin Hendry, Graham Harvey
SUBS: Albert Kidd, John McCormack