Class of 1967, the Celtic stars just before leaving for Lisbon

Billy McNeill on Lisbon 1967 as told to

Arrival – “We always had the attitude of you and us– we can beat you when we’re on top of our game. The very fact that the Italian club met us in the final was magnificent and as they came out of the tunnel they started singing, so we started singing louder than them and I think that is what helped us. We went out there and we just went into the game and took it with us.”

Support – “We looked at them and the people that had travelled out of Scotland were absolutely magnificent. It was Celtic supporter after Celtic supporter down to Lisbon, probably having never been anywhere out of Glasgow, but they wanted to be part of it and they certainly put on a story. It was marvellous.”

imago/Kicker/ Billy McNeill (re., Celtic) 1966/1967, European cup Final, Celtic  2:1 Inter Milan

Pushing forward – “The fact they scored an early goal, that made it obvious for us. The only thing we could do was to take the game to them and that worked for us. And that was our style. They weren’t into our style and it worked for us.”

Going ahead – “That was magnificent– I’ve got to be honest with you, I can’t even describe how I felt at that particular moment, but we knew then. I started saying to the other players, ‘We’ve got to finish this game! Don’t let them into this game!’ They were gone, they were gone at that time.”

Final whistle – “The fans were doing a job, which encouraged us to do a job, but it was great. We set up having got our goals in the game and we never thought we were going to lose and it worked. That’s what hit us. We had done something that had never been done before and it was terrific.”

Homecoming – “It was magnificent. On our plane we never knew what was going to happen. We dropped into Glasgow airport and when we came along London Road to go into Celtic Park there were thousands of people, thousands of people wanting to see what was happening, and that was what struck us. That’s really what made us realise exactly what we had done and it was wonderful.”

Billy McNeill Glasgow CELTIC FC, 17 May 1967. Imago Photo TopFoto (The Celtic Star)

See Bertie Auld, on Wednesday 17 May, 1967  on the next page…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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