‘I will take winning the League over losing a game to Rangers,’ Lisbon Lion’s Perfect Put Down

WILLIE WALLACE has let us know that he is now safely back home in Australia after the saddest of journeys back home to attend the funeral of his two great friends and fellow Lisbon Lions Billy McNeill and Stevie Chalmers.

Willie had already left Australia and was on the flight to Scotland when the news of Stevie’s passing was released so that awful news awaited him on arrival.

“Back in Australia after the funerals very sad time,” Willie noted.

“Missed the Old Firm match but I will take winning the League over losing a game to Rangers.

“Winning next week in the Cup will finish another great year for Celtic Football Club, all the best to the team for the Final. Hail Hail!”

Tactfully Willie did not lower himself to mention the disgraceful chanting by the Ibrox hordes about the Lisbon Lions not seeing Ten in a Row, preferring to look at the league table and the trophy cabinet. That’s what winners do.

Today of course we also remember another Lisbon Lion, Bobby Murdoch who passed away on the day in 2001. Tommy Gemmell told me a story that illustrates just how highly Bobby was rated by his teammates in that, the greatest of all Celtic sides.

The Lions, according to Tommy, were each given pen and paper and were asked to write down the player in the team that they regarded as the best player. Nearly everyone wrote Bobby Murdoch.

And of course we also lost one of Celtic’s favourite sons, Tommy Burns on this day in 2008. Like Bobby, Tommy was one of the best midfielders that Celtic have ever had – he was a joy to watch and his love and passion for Celtic lasted a lifetime.

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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