My epic jour­ney to see the Lis­bon Lions win

Tony tells of hitch-hike and Euro joy

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

A Ru­glo­nian with a lion heart this week spoke of one of the best mo­ments of his life af­ter he hitch-hiked across Europe to see his beloved Celtic win the Euro­pean Cup.

Tony Jack­son was just 19 when he and cousin David Jack­son walked, bussed and begged for lifts across four coun­tries to see the Lis­bon Lions de­feat In­ter Mi­lan 2-1 in the 1967 fi­nal.

Tony, a life-long fan of the Park­head side, re­mem­bered those event­ful days this week as he show­cased the many post­cards he sent to fam­ily from var­i­ous places he passed along the way.

At a spe­cial event in Ruther­glen’s Chap­man’s bar, the post­card dis­play showed the cousins’ jour­ney through Lon­don, Paris, the Pyre­nees, Bur­gos in the Basque re­gion, Madrid, and Ball­do­liond on the Span­ish/ Por­tuguese bor­der.

Tony said: “It started on Ruther­glen Main Street where we took the bus to the A74 and started hitch-hik­ing.

“We ar­rived in Calais at 6am on the Mon­day morn­ing – we had left on Saturday, May 16 – and hitch-hiked to Paris. We slept in the back of an open truck and the weather was great. We went from Paris to Bourges be­fore cross­ing the Pyre­nees into Spain.

“In north­ern Spain the trans­port was dif­fi­cult, there weren’t that many cars on the road. We would see women beat­ing their wash­ing and hang­ing it out to dry on rocks.”

The pair walked 25 miles through the night to reach Madrid be­fore fi­nally ar­riv­ing in Lis­bon with one day to spare. Tony said: “The at­mos­phere in Lis­bon was tremen­dous.

“We met a few peo­ple from Ruther­glen - and Matt Mur­doch, the brother of Bobby, who played with the Lis­bon Lions. We met him and his friends Joe Duffy and Wil­lie Dun­lop.

“I re­mem­ber In­ter Mi­lan scor­ing early in the game. In the sec­ond half the Celtic fans got be­hind the Celtic goal. They equalised and, with five min­utes to go, it was one each and in those days there was no ex­tra time or sud­den death.

“I said to David we have no money to stay a few days for the re­play.

“It was one of the great­est mo­ments of my life when Steve Chalmers scored the win­ner.

“It still gives me goose bumps and the hair stands up on the back of my neck when I see it. It brings back so many happy mem­o­ries.”

An ap­pren­tice plumber when he set out for Lis­bon, Tony says his jour­ney to Por­tu­gal has given him so many mem­o­ries to pass down to his chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.

“There were none of the prob­lems that there are in the world at that time,” Tony said. “There were no mo­bile phones or in­ter­net then, it was a world away from what it is to­day. I sent post­cards to my mum and dad. I have five sis­ters and they got one each too.”

Those post­cards fea­tured at a cel­e­bra­tion of the Lis­bon Lions an­niver­sary, held re­cently at Chap­man’s bar. For a full re­port on the event see page 29.

It was one of the great­est mo­ments of my life when Chalmers scored the win­ner Tony Jack­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.