55 years ago, on Wednesday, Billy McNeil led his side out of the tunnel in Portugal with Internazionale lying in wait. After the Italians had taken the lead first, Celtic responded. Tommy Gemmell pulled the Hoops level before Stevie Chalmers netted the winning goal.
It was an extraordinary achievement that won’t be seen again. Thanks to these Celtic legends, the European Cup was on British soil for the first-ever time.
Celtic hosted a lunch for the Lisbon Lions, with Bobby Lennox, Jim Craig and John Clark all in attendance. Willie Wallace was tuned in virtually. Family representatives of Jock Stein, Sean Fallon and other backroom staff members also attended the lunch.
The manager gave his message to the Lisbon Lions, with a video message playing on the screens for those in attendance.
“To be manager of a club with such a special history is a real honour and the Lions are fundamental to this history – their achievement was the greatest of all.
“It is has been a real privilege to meet members of the team since I have been at the club – great men who gave so much to the club.
“Rightly, their wonderful success should be celebrated today.”
Up stepped Callum McGregor, who had arrived back from his Holiday a day before the event. He said;
“It is always a privilege to be in the company of this great team and their families and it really is an honour to be with them to mark this anniversary.
“The Lions will always be our example, for what they did on the pitch but also for the character and the humility they have always shown as people.
“To become the first British team to lift the greatest prize of all in club football is quite phenomenal.”
“The Lions’ achievement is unbeatable and on behalf of the current team we thank them for all they have given Celtic.”
Celtic Chairman Ian Bankier also shared his words on the tremendous achievement.
“We are delighted today to honour the Lions and their families and mark this special anniversary. Although time passes, the achievement of the Lions and the great Jock Stein will endure forever as the greatest ever, by any Scottish team.
“They will always be our real heroes and we will always cherish the Lions for what they gave us as supporters.
“They made history and became football legends themselves, achieving extraordinary success both here in Scotland and of course on the European stage. They ensured that the name of Celtic will always be synonymous with an exciting brand of attacking, successful football.
“Today, on the 55th Anniversary of Lisbon, we thank them and their families sincerely.”[Celtic FC]