David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.10 – Willie Wallace, Lisbon Lion

Willie Wallace was one of Jock Stein’s many great buys. Stein certainly knew what he wanted in a goalscorer. He already had signed Joe McBride from Motherwell and in future years he would sign Harry Hood and Dixie Deans, but Wallace was already a proven goalscorer with Hearts and indeed had a Scottish League Cup medal to his credit with the Edinburgh team. He had already learned his football in the hard schools of Stenhousemuir and Raith Rovers.

There was more to him than merely a good goalscorer. He was stocky, hard working and determined, never afraid to shirk a tackle. He had a talented football brain as well, and was a good team man who fitted in easily to the free flowing Celtic football line. He didn’t score at Lisbon but he scored twice against Dukla in the semi-final, and twice in the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen.

 25.05.1967. Imago/Kicker/Metelmann – Willie Wallace and Jimmy Johnstone (Celtic)

He played regularly in the team scoring goals winning medals galore, but possibly, like so many others, did himself less than justice in the European Cup final of 1970. His days were numbered after that, and in a double transfer he and John Hughes were transferred to Crystal Palace in 1971. He won five Scottish League medals with Celtic, three Scottish Cup medals and two Scottish League Cup medals, and was capped seven times for Scotland.

David Potter

25.05.1967 Photo imago/Kicker/Metelmann. Angelo Domenghini (Inter, re.) Willie Wallace (Celtic)
imago/Kicker/Metelmann – Willie Wallace ( Celtic) gegen Aristide Guarneri (Inter Milan)


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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

1 Comment

  1. Rabbie Burns on

    What a signing he was! Possibly one of the best in our history as he was able to cover for the loss of Joe McBride (who still ended the 66/67 season as our top goalscorer on 38 goals from 28 games, despite mssing literally half the season). Wallace hit the ground running and the rest is beautiful history 💚