THE LISBON LIONS
FIRST BRITISH TEAM TO WIN THE EUROPEAN CUP
Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld, Lennox
Back row: Craig, Gemmell, McNeill, Simpson, Murdoch, Clark
Front row: Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld, Lennox
During the 1966/67 season Celtic won every competition that they entered. They won the Glasgow Cup, the Scottish League Cup, the Scottish F.A. Cup, the Scottish League and were the first non-Latin team to win the European Cup. With that glorious win in Lisbon on May 25 1967 Celtic became the first club ever to win their National Championship, their National Cup and the European Cup. They lost only two league games in the entire season and completed double victories over 11 of the 17 teams involved. They lifted the Scottish cup by beating Aberdeen 2-0 in the final, scored 20 goals and conceded none in all matches. In the League Cup, 35 goals were scored by the lions including an 8-2 victory against St Mirren. The League Flag (the second of the original nine-in-a-row) was captured at Ibrox (a rare programme) in front of 76,000 fans by two goals from Jimmy (Jinky) Johnstone. Wee Jinky scored one goal in each half to secure a draw and the point needed to lift the flag by 3 points from second place Rangers.
While the Lisbon Lions were playing their way to European Cup glory, a barefooted Sandie Shaw sang 'Puppet on a String' to win the Eurovision Song Contest, the most famous of Celtic Fans Sean Connery was starring as James Bond in the cinema hit of the year 'You Only Live Twice', the BBC Radio 1 station was launched with the Move hit 'Flower in the Rain'' and the Beatles were making Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
This European cup victory is the greatest feat ever by a British team in Europe and paved the way for other British victories. No big money buys were involved, every player was Scottish and every one born within a 30 miles radius of Celtic Park. Only one player was signed - Willie Wallace from Hearts to replace the injured Joe McBride. Stevie Chalmers finished top scorer with 23 goals including the very first in the league campaign and the very last in the European Cup final. John Clark and Tommy Gemmell played in all matches and Billy McNeill and Ronnie Simpson missed only one each.
Although the team that won the European Cup in 1967 will always be Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld and Lennox, other players played their part as well. John Fallon was the substitute goalkeeper in the final (not used). John Hughes made 5 appearances in the European Cup that season. Joe McBride made 2 appearances and scored 2 goals. Willie O'Neil played 4 games in Europe (1 more than Willie Wallace) and another 28 in other competitions. Charlie Gallagher made 2 appearances in Europe and 16 in the others.
The European Cup final was played on the 25th of May at the National Stadium, in the Portuguese Capital of Lisbon. On their way to Lisbon Celtic beat FC Zurich of Switzerland in the 1st round, 2-0 in Glasgow and 3-0 in Zurich. In the 2nd round, FC Nantes-Atlantique of France were swept aside easily by a 3-1 victory away followed by the same score in the return leg. Jock Stein would say later that he thought quarter-final opponents Vojvodina Nova Sad of Yugoslavia were the best team that Celtic had met on their way to the final. Vojvodina were overcome by a 2-0 2nd leg win in Glasgow, reversing a 1-0 defeat in the away leg. In the semi-final, opponents Dukla Prague were trounced 3-1 in the first leg in Glasgow and held to a 0-0 draw in Prague. In the final in the Estadio National, Celtic beat the ultra-defencive Italians Inter Milan (F.C. Internazionale Milano) 2-1 after being 1-0 down to a very soft penalty. Tommy Gemmell scored the equaliser with a rocket shot from outside the penalty area and from close in Stevie Chalmers expertly guided a Bobby Murdoch pass into the net past, an inspired but running out of luck, Sarti to score the winner and write the history. Read a match report.
That same year, Ronnie Simpson won the 1st of his 5 Scottish caps at the age of 36 in a 3-2 victory over the then World Champions England (the first time England had been beaten since they won the World Cup) and Jock Stein was voted British Manager of the Year for 2nd consecutive year.
The stats for every match Celtic have played in European competition since they played their fist match in 1962 against Valencia CF.
A list of every match Celtic played during the 1966/1967 season.
The Official Match Programme
The A5 size Lisbon programme for the twelfth European Cup is fairly rare and at this time you can expect to pay £200 plus for a copy in good condition. You will find that most dealers will ask for around £200 to £250 for a copy. Surprisingly, the best way to buy and get a bargain (in this case) is by auction and especially by using an online auction like ebay.co.uk. Sign up to start trading on ebay by clicking here.
original Official Programme
The programme has 52 A5 sized pages and is written in three different languages - English, Italian and Portuguese. It has a team photograph, one of each player and one of Jock Stein. There is also a brilliant picture of Celtic Park looking down to the Celtic end from the Rangers end of the park.
A look at the middle pages tells you that the published team was correct and that the game kicked-off at 5.30 p.m. on the 25th of May 1967 in the Estadio Nacional in Lisboa.
Watch out for a reprinted version of the programme which was distributed as part of a memorabilia pack to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the big cup win (the one that the old Rangers never managed to win and now never will.) The reprinted programme is exactly the same as the original except that the reprint is green on the front cover where the original is blue.
The match ticket is very rarely offered for sale. Value is £200 plus. Watch out for reprints on ebay!!!!!!
Weekly News Specials
This magazine is a Weekly News special and was published to celebrate the magnificent 1966/67 season victories at home and abroad. The mag measures by and contains 40 pages crammed full of fantastic pictures, stories and articles about the season. The first page proclaims 'A Season That Will Never Be Forgotten' and adds another trophy to the already impressive list - the Scottish Reserve League Cup.
Every game is covered and it contains all of those pictures that, in your memory, you associate with the Lisbon victory. Jock Stein looks ahead to the future and in particular to that match with Racing Club for the World Club Championship. The picture of the team at the top of this page is taken from the middle pages. This piece of Lisbon memorobilia is a must for your collection, cost three shillings and sixpence new and today it will set you back £20 or more.
The magazine below is another Weekly News special and was published to celebrate Celtic winning the League Championship and entering the European cup. Value about £8 - £12.
The Inter-Continental Cup
Below are the match programmes for home and away legs of the Inter-Continental Cup - The Unofficial World Club Championship - against Racing Club of Argentina. The cup had been contested since 1960 between the winners of the South American Cup and the winners of the European Cup. Previous winners were Real Madrid, Inter Milan(2), Santos(2) and Penarol. Benfica, A.C. Milan and Independiente had previously competed but failed to win.
The first match was played at Hampden Park on Wednesday the 18th October, 1967. The programme for the game cost 1 shilling, is fairly common and can still be purchased from as little as £3 (although mint condition copies can fetch £10 or more). It is standard 8 page Celtic issue for the time and Celtic did nothing to make it special and mark this great event in Celtic's history (well it should have been).
programmme for the game played at Hampden Park
Because of the established sequence, the first match was played in Glasgow and the second in Buenos Aires on the Rio de la Plata (the wildest river in the world), Argentina, South America. The previous Summer, England had won the World Cup, beating Argentina in a nasty quarter-final. The view of people of Argentina (and the Racing players) was that the matches against Celtic was like a chance of revenge - war was declared.
After a 1-0 (McNeill) Celtic victory in a torrid match in Glasgow and a 2-1 (Gemmell) (Raffo and Cardenas for Racing) defeat in the tie in Buenos Aires on 1st November, a third match was played in Montevideo in Uruguay three days later (0-1 Cardenas for Racing) . A programme was issued for the first match in South America (below) but it is rare and would be very close to £200 (or more) for a good copy. Watch out for the reprints of this programme, if it looks new, it is new. No program was issued for the third and decisive match.
programmme for the game played at Buenos Aires
A Season in the Sun
A book that celebrates 'A Season in the Sun' by John Traynor and Tony Griffin. It was published in 1992 by Lion Books and cost £5.99. The book celebrates the Silver Jubilee of the victory in Lisbon and the rest of that 'Wonder Year'. It starts with the pre-season tour of the USA, covers the entire season and ends by including the stories of other landmark victories in the history of the best football club in the World. Value unknown. There is a Web site dedicated to "A Season in the Sun" where you can read about it chapter by chapter and also place an order.
ISBN 0 9520458 0 X
The Lions' Roar
Another modern piece of Lions memorobilia. This excellent 52 page, full-colour, A4 magazine was sold for the first time at the Scottish Cup Final with Hibernian in the treble winning season of 2000/2001. The price was £5. A great collectors item.