IT WAS not just any other Scottish top-flight title win. It was the mother of all title wins.

It was the one that reduced grown men and women to tears.

That 1997-98 championship win simultaneously shattered a piece of Scottish football history in the making and preserved a beautiful chapter in the process.

The most successful chapter in the illustrious history of Celtic Football Club under legendary manager Jock Stein no less. It was Wim Jansen who managed to do that.

There is a gaping hole in the Celtic family's heart today. Dementia, not for the first time, has claimed the life of another club great in Jansen.

The Dutchman, who was 75, had caused the club so much agony in the European Cup final in 1970 but more than made up for it with the ecstasy of the 1997-98 flag triumph.

Jansen deserves his place in the pantheon of Celtic legends and greats for that.

I was a fledgling journalist for the Paisley Gazette Series at the time. My weekly football fix was to cover the fortunes of St Mirren home and away, which I duly did for the local paper and usually the Daily Record as well.

But my heart and mind were always at Celtic Park, especially during this season. How could they be anywhere else?

Jansen came in and gave Celtic supporters hope. He gave Celtic Craig Burley. He gave Celtic Paul Lambert. Above all else, he gave Celtic Henrik Larsson. 

The Magnificent Seven. 242 goals in 315 games for Celtic, for just £650,000? A steal. Arguably the best piece of business the club has ever conducted.

Jansen had an eye for a player all right. He knew what he was doing the moment he brought the super Swede to Celtic Park.

Both Jansen and Larsson are responsible for bringing such unbridled joy to the supporters. The duo instantly got what it meant to manage and play for the club.

This is why they became an integral part of the Celtic family. 

It is doubtful that any figure, past or present, has made such a difference to a football club in the space of a year.

I recently interviewed Paul Lambert for The Celtic Way's Big Interview series and he paid this glowing tribute to his old managerial mentor.

Lambert said: "Wim was excellent during that season. There are not too many reminders of Wim at Celtic Park which is a bit sad really. It was the hardest ever title for Celtic to win.

"He protected the history of that great Celtic side under Jock Stein as that will never be bettered. That is why I think it is disappointing that there should be more made of him and to celebrate that achievement, especially around Celtic Park not for anybody else other than Wim."

READ MORE: The Celtic screamer that changed history, not owing Zidane's shirt and why he nearly left Paradise - Paul Lambert Interview

Lambert is right. It is over to Celtic on that score.

My father's managerial hero was Jock Stein and he was beside himself that Walter Smith's Rangers would eclipse their achievements by winning 10-in-row.

I genuinely thought that my dad would not be here today to tell the tale because of the frenzy that he worked himself into during that 1997-98 season.

If Jansen's side were putting the Celtic supporters through the wringer it was emotional torture living with my father at that time.

Allow me to share with you this...

The day that Celtic clinched the title and stopped 10-in-a-row by beating St Johnstone 2-0 at Celtic Park, I was at Love Street watching St Mirren bring the curtain down on another run-of-the-mill campaign against Dundee.

The hosts won 1-0. I was a million miles away in my head... well, a few, at Celtic Park.

My father (Danny) and brother (Daniel) had both tried to get tickets for the big match. Unbeknown to me it turned out they could only get their hands on one.

My dad had parked his car in the Parkhead Forge and somehow they got their hands on one brief, which were like gold dust.

Instead of handing it to my father, my brother decides to have a coin toss to see who goes to the game.

My father, who at this point was on the verge of cardiac arrest, lost the toss. He sat in the McDonald's car park listening to the game whilst my brother took his seat inside Paradise.

My brother left my old man sitting in the car! I still give him pelters to this day.

Larsson gave Celtic an early lead - who else? Then Harald Brattbakk had his moment in the sun.

READ MORE: Becoming a Celtic legend, partnering Larsson and giving Richard Gough two black eyes - Harald Brattbakk

I sat on my hands motionless when I heard Brattbakk had scored the second. The gig was up. It truly was "cheerio to 10-in-a-row".

I duly performed my journalistic duties afterwards. I didn't drive at that particular time and I left Love Street and ventured into the car park nearest the ground.

Sure enough, there was my dad and my brother leaning against the car. I walked towards the two of them and we embraced. We didn't care who saw us.

I had last seen Celtic winning the league title when I was doing my 'O' grades at high school back in 1988. Here I was now, a 25-year-old man embarking on my career as a football journalist in my first ever real job. 

We performed an impromptu Celtic huddle. All three of us were jumping, dancing, leaping, hugging, kissing, crying, singing with joy. It was pure delirium.

It is the most emotional I have ever seen my father when it came to matters involving his beloved Celtic. There were tears of utter joy and relief etched all over his face.

Jock Stein's nine-in-a-row legacy had been preserved. Enough said.

I then gave my father and my brother a look. The three of us raised a mock glass in salute and in unison uttered the words: "To Wim Jansen".

Celtic Way:

Jansen was more than a Celtic manager. Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff paid him the ultimate compliment when he said: “Wim Jansen is one of only four men in the world worth listening to when they talk about football.”

It makes you wonder who the other three are.

For granting us the gift of Henrik Larsson alone the Celtic family salute you always, Wim.

For stopping the 10 - that's a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

Jansen was a consummate professional and thoroughly decent human being. He became one of us, a true representation of what it meant and felt to be Celtic.

Maybe that's why my father loved both Stein and Jansen so much.

In that impromptu Celtic huddle in Paisley, the penny finally dropped for me. This is how it feels to be Celtic.

Jansen gave that to my dad, my brother and me. I'll never forget that moment... ever.

So thank you, Wim.

Requiescat in pace. Or as they say in Holland: "Rust in Vrede."

Tonight I'll call my dad and my brother and we'll raise a real glass...

"To Wim Jansen."