“This is the day, and this is the place,” Jock Stein, 25th May 1967

“If ever you’re going to win the European Cup, then this is the day, and this is the place. But, we don’t just want to win this cup, we want to do it playing good football – to make neutrals glad we’ve won it, glad to remember how we did it,” Jock Stein before the European Cup Final on 25 May 1967 between Celtic and Inter Milan in Lisbon…

25th May 1967: The Celtic team line up before their European Cup Final match against Inter Milan in Lisbon. They went on to win 2-1. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

A contribution to The Celtic Star from one of our older readers who today shares some remarkable Celtic memorablia with us, ahead of tomorrow’s 57th Anniversary of Celtic becoming Champions of Europe. We’d normally run this tomorrow on the actual anniversary but it might get lost in the excitement around of the game at Hampden, a first ever Glasgow Derby in a Scottish Cup Final.

Text and memorablia images below are from our Celtic Star reader who wishes to remain anonymous. Hope you enjoy….

When Inter Milan flew into Lisbon in May 1967, they must have felt supremely confident. Their manager Helenio Herrera and his players had beaten some of the best teams in Europe over the previous two years.

In Season 1963 – 64 they had beaten Real Madrid in the final of the European Cup. In Season 1964 – 65 beaten a strong Benfica side to lift the European Cup. Add in two Intercontinental Cups and two Italian League Titles into the mix.

Inter had a much respected manager in Herrera and some great players, such as Sandro Mazzola a talented midfielder, Giacinto Faccheti, a goalscoring left back. Later Inter would try to diminish Celtic’s achievements by moaning about losing Luis Suarez Miramontes for the final. ‘El Arquiteto was one of the greatest players ever to wear the Nerazzuri jersey.’

Herrera had built his team around a defensive system which was a sad indictment of Italian football which could be a bit like watching paint dry, but seemed to work for them as their success proves.

European Cup Final Celtic v Inter Milan Tommy Gemmell in action for Celtic. 27th May 1967.

But they met their nemesis on the 25th May 1967 in the Estadio Nacional Stadium in Glasgow Celtic. The Celtic manager Jock Stein knew football outside in. He had moulded his players into a team that played fast attractive attacking football and today, that day belonged to him and to his players, they owned that game. Playing with pace and panache they completely overwhelmed Milan’s catenaccio defensive brand of football. Catenaccio incidentally means ‘door-bolt’ so you will get the drift.

Inter scored first from the penalty spot and then reverted to their tried and tested defensive formation, bolting the back door and inviting Celtic onto their defensive wall, a big mistake.

25/5/1967. Lisbon. Celtic v Inter Milan. European Cup Final. Billy McNeill with the trophy. Credit: Offside / L’Equipe.

Celtic continually moved forward and ground their opponents down, attack followed attack until in the second half “The Big Shot” fired a blistering cannonball into Sarti’s goal as only Tommy Gemmell could.

Five minutes before the final whistle a well beaten Milan conceded another goal courtesy of good build up play ending in Stevie Chalmers flick on, Sarti, the man who had to make consistent saves conceded once again, 2-1 to the new Champions of Europe. The scoreline never got near to the reality, Celtic’s dominance was complete and neutrals celebrated the re-emergence of attacking attractive football.

25.05.1967 Copyright: imago/Kicker/Metelmann

Ronnie Simpson – Jim Craig – Tommy Gemmell – John Clark – Billy McNeill (captain) Bertie Auld – Bobby Murdoch – Jimmy Johnstone – Willie Wallace – Stevie Chalmers – Bobby Lennox – John Fallon.

Jock Stein – Sean Fallon – Bob Rooney – Neil Mochan.

Other players also played their part in the run towards Lisbon and their names added to that most glorious day – year in our illustrious history.

We will never forget them.

The Stevie Chalmers Collection 

This Celtic jersey shown below came from “The Stevie Chalmers Collection”, though it’s not attributed to any particular Celtic match. Nonetheless, it is a jersey from the Celtic legend who scored the winning goal at Lisbon. This was the first Celtic match worn jersey that I bought at auction, there are quite a few others but, the timing is not quite right to show them this particular year.
I have however a jersey up at my picture framer just now that will not be available until nearer the 25th off May. It’s a Stevie Chalmers match worn jersey, the last match that the Lisbon Lions played, beating Clyde FC 6-1.

John Stein

Jock Stein’s autograph along with Jimmy Gribben and the Celtic players of the 1950s.

Big Jock signed his autograph as a Celtic player ‘John Stein,’ I wanted to highlight his career as a Celtic player, then manager, that autograph as a manager will follow along later with his Scottish League Championship medal, his last League title, the tenth…

Jock Stein

For years I had followed his career from Celtic player and then after his injury as Celtic reserve coach and then onto managing Dunfermline FC. When he left the ‘Pars’ for Hibernian I was gutted.
I cannot express my joy enough at him coming to Celtic Park, the excitement was palpable, like at Dunfermline the atmosphere changed at Celtic and it was instantaneous and thrilling, it lifted every Celtic supporter, you just knew that things would get so much better, clearly it did.

01.09.1967. Photo imago/Kicker/Metelmann Tommy Gemmell (li.) wird von Trainer Jock Stein (beide Celtic) beobachtet; Celtic Glasgow,

The late David Potter’s book, “The Celtic Rising” is a must for every Celtic supporter. 1965: The Year Jock Stein changed Everything, says it so much better, I wouldn’t say anything else except how much Celtic FC owes to Jock Stein, how he was treated when he left was a disgrace, we owe him and those special players so much.
I was very, very happy to obtain his autograph and some of the players on a Lisboa programme, legendary players and manager.

Ronnie Simpson 

01.09.1967. Photo  imago/Kicker/Metelmann – Ronnie Simpson (Celtic)
When I bought Ronnie’s first medal at auction, his League Cup medal, the lot also included Ronnie’s book, inside there is a picture of Ronnie with his dad, the ex Rangers captain and shows Ronnie proud as punch sharing his great joy at winning his first Celtic medal, the first of many to come.
I was told that the medal came from Ronnie’s great friend, the lot also included a framed black and white picture of the ‘Lions, along the side and top, the small copies of the programmes and the teams including Inter that they played to win the European Cup, it seemed to me that, that was a really nice gesture.
Mrs Michael family in the past owned a pub in the Gorbals and very occasionally Ronnie would pop in for a lemonade, for some reason that meant something to me, they also shared the same name, Simpson.

30th May 1967: Celtic’s goalkeeper, Ronnie Simpson, jumps to catch a high ball from Inter Milan during the European Cup final in Lisbon. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

If Inter’s flag showed its football honours, the ‘five bar’ brooch showed Celtic FC honours on that unforgettable season. When very occasionally other Celtic supporters see my medal collection it is the five bar brooch that means so much to them, it’s the ‘brooch’ that they pick out and talk about.
Internazionale – ‘La Grande Inter’

01.08.1962 Photo imago/Buzzi Trainer Helenio Herrera (Inter), Coach Serie A 1962/1963.

They went to Lisbon with high expectations, but were a well beaten side. When you looked at their recent past achievements under Helenio Herrera you just get a feel for how good they were.
Ten Scuddeto’ (Italian League Champions, the little shields) the last three won in season 1962-63, 1964 – 65 and 1965 – 66. Gave them for the first time in their history the entitlement to wear the “Gold Bullion Star” above the ‘little shield. Ten Italian League Titles equals one gold star. They would not win another League Title until 1970.
As the honour flag shows, along with Two European Cups – Two Intercontinental Cups.  It’s no wonder that they were full of confidence prior to the game in Lisbon. This picture below shows the team in Italy before Lisbon.

My Medal Collection 

My medal collection contains (middle row) left to right…

1. Jim Craigs Glasgow Cup medal – 1966 – 67.
2. Ronnie Simpson – Scottish League Cup winning medal (his first medal as illustrated in his book) 1966 – 67.
3. Jock Stein – His name inscribed on the reverse, his Tenth Scottish League Championship winning medal. 1976 – 77.
4. The five-bar brooch highlights the best season in Glasgow Celtic’s long, glorious and unbroken history.
5. Glasgow Cup – Celtic FC – 1967 – 68.

Bottom row left to right….

Scottish League Championship winners medal. Although this belonged to a Celtic player his name wasn’t inscribed on the back – Season 1967 – 68. The second of ‘Nine In A Row’
The other medals do not relate to the Lisbon Lions, nonetheless they belonged to great Celtic players of the past like Alec Thomson, teammate of Johny Thomson, Jimmy McMenemy. Like David Potter we both shared our admiration of this legendary Celtic player (more about him in July).
Also a medal belonging to Johnny Crum.  Scottish 2nd XI Football Association 1934 -35.

There are three medals that relate to the 1930s.

One: Alec Thomson.
Two: Jimmy McMenemy (his 1935 Legue medal won as assistant to Willie Maley.
Three: The Jonny Crum medal that I spoke about previously.

I also have a gold medal that was won by John Thomson, dated 1927. The match between Scots verses Anglo Scots at St James Park on 27 April 1927.

Photo: imago/Colorsport John Thomson – Celtic.

Also, I have a pair off silver gilt cuff links that once belonged to John Thomson, given to a Mr. Fletcher along with a letter of provenance from John’s Great Niece. It also contained a record of “The Laddie From Cardenden”, this rare record was recorded by Douglas Robb in memory of John Thomson in 1931, I got the lyrics from somewhere else.

Both the medal, the cuff links and the record are up at my framer.

The John Thomson memorabilia and the Jimmy McMenemy medal I was going to send to The Celtic Star in David Potter’s memory at the end of July.


David’s bestseller The Celtic Rising ~ 1965: The Year Jock Stein Changed Everything is completely sold out in print on but is available on Amazon kindle, with all the photographs of the hardback edition, for HALF PRICE at just £3.49

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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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