Hampden and Celtic’s unique historical dream as we celebrate Lisbon Lions

Hampden Holds The Key To Celtic’s Unique Historical Dream As We Celebrate The Lions..

At 3:00pm today in the feverish, frantic confines of Hampden Park, Celtic Football Club will brace itself for one of the most unique and momentous occasions in our illustrious and unbroken history.

The old stadium will have a 50/50 colour split, green and blue, a rivalry which is unmatched anywhere else in the world. Sadly, with the lack of foresight or sense of history, the governing body has relegated this once-vaunted Colosseum to a ground of mirth and distain.

136,505 fans (a record) attended the Semi-Final at Hampden – only 4500 were Leeds Fans.This picture shows the Celtic fans queuing onto London Road in the hope of getting a ticket.

Celtic tormented and ultimately destroyed Leeds Utd here in 1970 in the semi-final of the European Cup in front of a vast, 136,000+ crowd, now we have just over a third of that swollen figure.

Celtic will, therefore, attempt to bring history back to the fans when they go head-to-head with theRangers in the Scottish Cup Final, our first since the Ibrox club’s incarnation.

With three wins and a draw for the Bhoys against our greatest rivals this season, it is widely expected that this beautiful old silver Cup, once practically owned by Billy McNeill and Celtic, will once again leave Hampden bedecked in green-and-white ribbons.

The odds are with us, and history too since it is the 57th anniversary of the day The Lisbon Lions brought home a Cup of vastly more significance, The European Cup, a trophy which was brilliantly wrenched from the grasp of Helenio Herrara’s greats, Inter Milan.

Today, The Green Brigade will ensure that the scenes at the ‘Celtic End’ are fitting for such an occasion, and I cannot wait to see the tifo they produce as they go all out to inspire our heroes as the Champions run out onto the park for the last time this season.

Joe Hart will get his too, rightfully, as our emotional net-custodian says his ‘Final’ farewell after a sterling three season stint between the sticks at Parkhead. He will be missed, and we all wish him well.

James Forrest during the match against St. Johnstone at Celtic Park on March 16, 2024.(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Jamesie Forrest – the wee man will be desperate to add to his incredible medal tally, a vault which now holds as many memories as medals. James has been an inspirational figure recently having been discarded by the fans and consigned to the bench, at best, at times.

Now, after some Championship winning performances and goals in the league run-in, Forrest will run out with his peers onto the biggest domestic stage of them all, and our wing-wizard will hold our hopes and dreams within his magical boots as he terrorises the blue backline time and again. He has been our destroyer on so many occasions in the past – let’s pray he does so again on this day of days.

The boys in blue are brazenly claiming titles and trophies which were won by the old club before its liquidation in 2012, and laud themselves as the ‘Most successful Club’, etc.

A frustrated Rangers fan alone in the stand after the final whistle. Final score Ross County 3 theRangers 2. on 14 April 2024. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

Celtic are within touching distance of this fantasy and can overcome these perceived glories with a couple of titles and baubles brought to the Kerryvale trophy room.

It is anything but a given that Celtic will win the Cup, and the Double since it is a Cup Final and anything can happen. Freak goals, a phantom penalty or dust in the eye of VAR specialist, John Beaton, that great friend of Celtic. The Ibrox side will be playing for their futures and the promise of a quiet celebration down George Square among the park benches…let’s hope Big Joe, Callum McGregor, Kyogo and Carter-Vickers deny them all of this.

It is May 25th – the anniversary of The Lions, Joe’s swansong, Jamesie’s resurgence, and the fulfillment of Brendan’s promise that he would see us back here in May. Let’s make our history one of legitimate achievement and a grand old celebration of epic proportions.

Unfortunately, with the midnight kick-off here in Brisbane, it’s a bridge too far for our dear friends, Willie, and Olive Wallace to travel up and attend our Brisbane Celtic Supporters Club.

Their presence will be missed, but we’ll hold them close with hope in our hearts on a night in which we will celebrate them, their fellow Lions, (past and present), and the greatest of times they have given us over the years should the Scottish Cup come ‘Home to rest in Paradise!’

In Celtic,

Eddie Murray


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

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About Author

Eddie Murray – I Grew up with the Lions, coming from a Celtic-daft family. Played against Jinky once! Paradise was my second home and Dalglish was my hero. A long term Brisbane Bhoy for many years and have been blogging here for many years. Written a book on Ange/ Brisbane Roar/ Celtic which awaits publication. Writing on other genres as I speak. Top moments? Interviewing Cesar, Wispy, Cairney, The Maestro, Alan Thompson.

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