Fair Play – The Celtic support at three European Finals, Lisbon, Milan and Seville

ON Saturday we carried an outstanding article from Mike Maher, which has been translated into Dutch and appeared in a Feyenoord book that has recently been released to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of their extra-time European Cup Final win over Celtic in May 1970.

Mike tells the Milan story from the Celtic support’s point of view and captures the atmosphere and the friendliness that both sets of supporters enjoyed before, during and after the Final. There was not even a hint of trouble.

If you missed this wonderful article it is well worth catching up below…

It’s fair to say that Mike’s story gives an insightful account of Celtic’s second European Cup Final appearance. The result in Milan might not have gone our way but the thousands of Celtic supporters behaved brilliantly and offered their congratulations to the travelling Dutch supporters.

So much has been written about the Celtic support in Lisbon three years earlier. Our own little quite recent update tells the story of the Celtic supporter who was shown on television wearing a home made Jock Stein t-shirt. On Celtic’s 50th anniversary of becoming Champions of Europe three years ago, someone asked did we know who this supporter was and what was his story.

Accepting the challenge I tried to find out something about the Bhoy in the Jock Stein t-shirt. We had nothing to go on other than the photographs and the video footage but rather remarkably it only took a few days to track him down.

Who was he and where did you find him? Where the questions asked. The answers were Jimmy and these days he’s an English teacher at a University in Vietnam! Oh and he took that very same t-shirt to Milan three years later and ended up swapping it for a Feyenoord shirt – so some Dutchman ended up with that famous home-made Jock Stein t-shirt.

When I tracked Jimmy down and he told us his story of both the Lisbon and Milan European Cup Finals. Again this is well worth a read if you missed it previously.

Fast forward to May 2003 when at least 80,000 Celtic Supporters travelled from all over the World for the UEFA Cup Final against Porto in Seville. We lost that one too, again in extra-time but once again the Celtic support were an absolute credit to the club, and deservedly were awarded the prestigious FIFA Fair Play Award for 2003. Seville remembers the week they were invaded by the friendly green and white army and there was no trouble, no arrested and no problems whatsoever in the baking heat of Seville.

So three European finals for Celtic, one glorious triumph and two extra-time heartaches. But on all three occasions the Celtic support were a credit to themselves and to the club, even winning a prestigious Fair Play award from FIFA.

A contrasting Part 2 to follow shortly. Don’t miss it!

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who 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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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