St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats – winners of the Lisbon Lions Trophy, 2024

The conclusion of the 2024 Lisbon Lions Trophy Tournament at Lennoxtown, watched on by Lisbon Lion John Clark, saw St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats lift the cup with 18 schools taking part and around 300 pupils playing this year…

A header three minutes from time by Jamie Morrison was enough to secure the trophy against an excellent Hyndland Secondary and take the coveted Lisbon Lions Trophy down to Saltcoats for the first time ever. You can see the goal in the Celtic TV video below.

John Clark, the week before the 1967 European Cup Final in Lisbon…

John Clark spoke to Celtic TV about the importance of grassroots football and in particular the important role teachers have played in developing players like the Lisbon Lions and many others in Scotland over the years.

“Football has got to start at the root level. In our time we were fortunate that the Head Masters or one of the teachers would give up his time after school hours. And you have got to say that they’ve done well for us,” the Lisbon Lion said.

“You really admire the people that try to organise it, to keep the thing going and it’s good for the school kids to come and play in a wee tournament like this. And naturally you feel proud that the Lisbon Lions name is still going about in an important way for football. So good luck to all these kids that are playing, this is what it is about, at the root level and get going from there.

And the winners of the trophy for 2024 is the team from St Matthew’s Academy in Saltcoats, the town that gave Celtic Lisbon Lion Bobby Lennox, who incidentally on this day in 1967 scored the winner for Celtic against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. You can read about that very special game on The Celtic Star this morning HERE

Bobby Lennox in Saltcoats in 2017

Paul Downie, the Lisbon Lions Convenor from GFSA (Glasgow Football Schools Association) had this to say to Celtic TV about the annual schools tournament at Lennoxtown in honour of The Lisbon Lions.

“We set it up to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Lisbon Lions victory in the European Cup. To see it go into its seventh year is fantastic and every year we get a new group of young people from Glasgow and the West coming together and the excitement hasn’t faded. I don’t think that legacy is ever going to go away.

“And to see their own schools’ values come onto the pitch and seeing them all develop is fantastic.”

Billy McNeill holding the European Cup that Celtic won in 1967 football Lisbon Lions

Well done to the boys from St Matthew’s Academy on winning the 2024 Lisbon Lions Cup!

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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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