At the end of the first part of our series, we left Big Jock wondering why he would want to run Celtic's pools company.
Surely after all the dedicated service he had given to the club, he deserved better.
And a vacancy had now arisen south of the border at Elland Road.
For Jimmy Armfield, the man chosen to stabilise Leeds United following Brian Clough's catastrophic 44 days in charge, had now been sacked.
The Blackpool legend had done a solid job. Using what was essentially Don Revie's team, he oversaw their run to the 1975 European Cup final.
Then, after replacing some of the ageing stars of the Revie era, he achieved consistent league finishes and a couple of other decent cup runs.
However, the Leeds board wanted tangible success and Armfield was not able to deliver it.
So, who to turn to now? Initially, chairman Manny Cussins had sounded out Lawrie McMenemy (a friend of Stein), but he had opted to stay at newly-promoted Southampton.
Cussins then asked the board for their thoughts on Johnny Giles, the man whom Revie had wanted to replace him in the first place. Yet the board vetoed that idea.
Next on the list was Jock Stein.
Only three days after his testimonial, Stein met Cussins in Newcastle and was offered £30,000 a year to take the job.
Upon hearing this, Desmond White, Cussins' counterpart at Celtic, said: "If Leeds United made an offer of a large sum of money to Mr Stein, we could hardly as a club stand in his way if he wanted to accept the challenge."
For Big Jock though, it was not solely about the money.
If it had have been, he might have accepted a Kuwaiti proposal made weeks earlier to be a consultant on double that salary.
Instead, he had other matters to contemplate.
For one thing, moving to Leeds would mean saying goodbye to Celtic, the club which Stein adored and claimed had 'brought me back from the dead'.
But if he did leave Parkhead, he could test himself in one of the world's strongest leagues. And at 55, he still felt he had plenty to offer the game.
Another issue was the added pressure he would have at Elland Road. During his five years as chairman, Cussins had seen no new additions to the trophy cabinet. Jock would need to correct this and probably quickly.
Yet to achieve this aim, he would be given substantial funds, the likes of which he had never previously experienced.
A third consideration were the views of his wife Jean. For he had previously rejected overtures from Manchester United to become their boss because she did not want to move to England.
It was a tricky decision. Eventually though, Stein agreed to join.
Cussins, who by now had convinced the other six directors on the Elland Road board of the big man's merits, was thrilled.
He said: "[Jock] is a man of tremendous vitality and ambition. He is a respected figure internationally. He is a tremendous motivator of players and I think he is the finest man in the business. We need him."
For Stein, the lure of management had proved too much. He explained: "I am actively back in football again and nothing can beat that. The challenge is there and I am thoroughly looking forward to the future."
After watching his new team draw their opening game of 1978-79 at Arsenal from the stands, Jock's first game in charge was against Manchester United - a fixture with a typically volatile atmosphere, now exacerbated by the return to Elland Road of Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen, who had both defected that summer.
What followed was a pulsating affair. Much to the crowd's chagrin, McQueen headed United ahead early on, only for Paul Hart to equalise in similar fashion.
Sammy McIlroy restored the lead, with Jordan providing the assist. Again, the home side fought back as Frank Gray converted from the penalty spot just after the interval.
But with eight minutes to go, Lou Macari's coolly taken goal secured a 3-2 away win.
Nevertheless, chairman Cussins was content. "The boys tried hard and they will win more than they lose. I am much happier than I was last season," he said.
Leeds did triumph in their next two, with successive 3-0 victories over Wolves and Chelsea.
Yet, this was not the catalyst for bigger and better things.
Following two goalless draws with West Brom in the League Cup, the Whites were beaten by Manchester City and Spurs in the league before they played out another stalemate - this time, with Coventry.
And already, the manager was starting to become disillusioned.
Since Jock had yet to settle in the city and was living in a hotel.
His wife Jean had also not moved with him. As before, she was reluctant to leave her friends and family behind.
Cussins realised the importance of this. For if he could lure Mrs Stein to Yorkshire, he reasoned, the better the chance her husband would remain Leeds boss.
So he offered the couple the use of a luxury house in the area for six months.
And at one point, it looked like the ploy might work as Jean went down to survey this and other potential new homes.
However, events elsewhere would soon scupper the prospect.
On September 26th, Ally MacLeod ended his spell as Scotland manager after only 15 months in the post.
MacLeod's reign had started well enough, with victory in the 1977 British Home Championship. But the following summer's World Cup had been an unmitigated disaster.
After whipping the nation up into a delusional frenzy with the promise of a medal, he instead saw his side embarrassingly lose to Peru and draw with Iran. A 3-2 triumph over Holland at the end of the campaign was merely a consolation.
Jock's name was immediately linked to the post. Indeed, he had already been Scotland boss in 1965, albeit on an interim basis.
Many thought he was the ideal candidate. But given he had only been at Elland Road for five weeks, it seemed the timing was awry. Not so however.
Shortly after MacLeod's resignation, Stein failed to dampen the speculation. He commented: "There is nothing I can say about the situation. If Scotland want me, they will need to approach the club first."
In fact, he privately added to the speculation himself.
For Big Jock told journalist Archie Macpherson to break the news that he believed Stein would be interested. The instructions to Macpherson were clear: "You can't say you have been talking to me!" Archie did as he was asked.
Amusingly, when quizzed about the story in a subsequent radio interview, Stein responded: "That is Archie Macpherson flying a kite. You take these comments with a pinch of salt." Machiavellian maybe, but certainly clever.
Manny Cussins meanwhile was oblivious to all the backstage shenanigans. "I am certain Jock Stein is happy at Leeds and will not leave to take the Scottish job, even if it was offered to him," he said.
Amid all the rumour, Leeds secured a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Birmingham.
But on the morning of October 2nd, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) held a meeting and decided unanimously to make their move for Stein.
That evening, as the Whites were finally seeing off West Brom in the League Cup at the third time of asking, they asked Cussins for permission to speak to his manager.
However, Cussins refused, desperate to keep hold of Big Jock. "I shall do everything in my power to keep him," he retorted.
No-one in the dressing room wanted the big man to go either.
Captain Trevor Cherry remarked: "It will be a disaster if he leaves Leeds. His methods have impressed the players tremendously."
Paul Hart concurred, adding: "It will throw the club into trauma again. He has said nothing to us about what is happening, but we are hoping he will be staying."
They were to be disappointed. After hours of discussion with Stein, Cussins relented and permission was finally granted.
His hand had been considerably weakened by the fact that Jock had never actually signed a contract with Leeds.
Nevertheless, he tried offering Stein more money, but to no avail. Again, that was not the issue - he wanted to be with his wife where they both belonged.
In public, Jock was still playing with a straight bat. He said: "I don't know whether I am staying or going, but out of courtesy, I have to listen to any offer from the SFA."
But his mind was made up. On October 4th, he agreed to become Scotland boss at a meeting with SFA officials.
One of those present, Ernie Walker, then phoned Cussins to say Stein was driving back to Elland Road. When Cussins asked what decision had been made, Walker replied that Jock would tell him.
There was no need. Deep down, Cussins already knew. He was heartbroken. "Nothing in my lifetime has worried me more than this, not even the Brian Clough affair," he said.
|Time to say goodbye: Cussins (left) and Stein|
Of course, the SFA were delighted. President Willie Harkness proudly proclaimed: "Only the best is good enough for Scotland and, as far as I am concerned, Jock Stein is the best."
As for Jock Stein, this should have been one of the happiest days of his career. After twice turning it down, he was now in permanent charge of his own national team.
But some of that joy had been expunged by the guilt of walking out on Leeds.
He said: "There is no better club. The directors have been great and the players have shown great loyalty to me.
"This is one of the worst moments of my life. It it terrible for Mr Cussins and the supporters. I feel I have let people down."
Big Jock had been Leeds United manager for just ten matches - winning four, drawing three and losing three. In terms of time, he had lasted exactly as long as Brian Clough - 44 days.
Yet while Clough had left in acrimonious circumstances after his abrasiveness had alienated the first team, Stein's departure was greeted with sadness as his calm, unassuming authority had impressed everyone.
The second Damned United, you might say. But it had been altogether different to the first.