The Lisbon Lions’ Last Game

The Lisbon Lions made their final appearance on the park on this day in 1971 with a resounding 6-1 win over Clyde at Celtic Park.

1971 – CELTIC 6 CLYDE 1

Celtic have had some incredible teams over the years, but in the running for the Coronavirus-induced competition is one that need no introduction. The Lisbon Lions. Simpson, Craig, Clark, McNeill, Gemmell, Auld, Murdoch, Wallace, Lennox, Chalmers and Johnstone. Celtic’s Greatest Ever Team.

The Lions were crowned with a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan at the Estadio de Nacional in Lisbon. Inter led through a penalty from Mazzola after Jim Craig fouled Cappellini in the box.

Stein’s side, who had completed a domestic treble already, pushed as the second half progressed and had a number of chances. Tommy Gemmell scored with a thunderous effort from 25 yards out to level the game up after the hour mark. Celtic got the winner with five minutes to go when Bobby Murdoch’s effort was put into the net by Stevie Chalmers. The Champions of Europe were crowned in what was the greatest day in Celtic’s history.

Four years later and that XI would play their final match together. The enclosure at Celtic Park was being redeveloped and replaced by a new main stand, the winds of change were in full swing at the club.

The injured Ronnie Simpson led the team out and was replaced by Evan Williams before kick-off in a game that Jock Stein had sold to the public as the Lisbon Lions’ last game. It was a marketing masterstroke from the manager as the game was a dead rubber, with the league title already secured.

Celtic battered their Glasgow counterparts with first half goals from Lennox (11, 19) and Wallace (13). It was a display of the finest attacking football, football that won that on that famous day in Portugal. The second half started with two goals – one at either end. Wallace scored his second of the match but McColligan scored for Clyde.

Lennox scored his third after an hour played as Celtic dominated and enjoyed their 5-1 lead but there would be one more goal to come. Stevie Chalmers, who found the net in Lisbon, scored for Celtic with 12 minutes remaining. It was massively poignant that the man that delivered in that side’s biggest triumph would score their final goal.

After the game, the players held Bertie Auld on their shoulders, who in his fourteenth year at the club, was given a free transfer. Auld was joined by Chalmers and Clark in playing their final games for Celtic as the Quality Street gang pushed into Jock Stein’s reckoning.


The Celtic Star’s very own Matt Corr – who you may also know as a Tour Guide at Celtic Park – publishes his first Celtic book, titled INVINCIBLE – early next month. This beautiful hardback book will be the definitive story of Celtic’s magical2016-17 season – it truly is wonderful, a real joy to read, and brilliantly written by Matt.

If you have been reading Matt’s regular contributions on The Celtic Star or indeed in the Matchday Programme or in the Celtic View you will know just how talented a Celtic writer he is. The book is published by The Celtic Star and you can pre-order below.

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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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