Evening Times - - RACING -


BRIAN (Carn­tyne) re­calls: My fa­ther of­ten rem­i­nisced about taking me at a young age to watch the Lis­bon Lions’ last game to­gether. Ob­vi­ously when any­body ever asked me about it my me­mories are very vague. Do you have de­tails of the game?

A: Your claim to have at­tended that match is sure to be the envy of fel­low sup­port­ers of a sim­i­lar age, so let’s get you some de­tails.

Celtic tied up the League Cham­pi­onship for sea­son 1970/71 with a game to spare and Jock Stein de­cided a fit­ting cel­e­bra­tion and a trib­ute to the Lis­bon team would be to field them in the fi­nal game against Clyde know­ing Ber­tie Auld was be­ing freed and oth­ers were long out the first team pic­ture. He also em­pha­sised this would be no ex­hi­bi­tion match and a win was re­quired to en­sure the Cham­pi­onship was won on points and not goal dif­fer­ence.

The game was played on May 1 1971 be­fore a re­duced crowd, given as 35,000, due to re­con­struc­tion work at Celtic Park. Ron­nie Simp­son joined his team-mates when they en­tered the field, but hav­ing al­ready re­tired he then with­drew to al­low Evan Wil­liams to take his place in goal. Reports sug­gest the Lions turned on the stylish at­tack­ing foot­ball which had been their trade­mark, al­beit at a slower pace, and over­ran a Clyde team who were do­ing them no favours by 6-1. One re­porter went as far as to say this was the best per­for­mance he had wit­nessed by a Celtic team all sea­son.

Up next for Celtic was a Scot­tish Cup Fi­nal against Rangers, but Stein did not let the re­sult overly in­flu­ence him with only Craig, McNeill, John­stone, Len­nox, and Wal­lace mak­ing the start­ing XI.



Celtic leg­end Jock Stein

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