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Above: The Final

From the moment the final whistle blew, they were immortalised as the Lisbon
Lions

The Game

The following is based on two articles written for the Guardian Newspaper by Albert (Bert) Barham and Hugh McIlvanney in 1967. Bert was the guardian's football correspondent in London, McIlvanney was famous for his close relationship with fans and players.

"We feel we have a duty to play the game our way, and our way is to attack. Win or lose, we want to make the game worth remembering. Just to be involved in an occasion like this is a tremendous honour and we think it puts an obligation on us. We can be as hard and professional as anybody, but I mean it when I say that we don't just want to win this cup. We want to win it playing good football, to make neutrals glad we've done it, glad to remember how we did it."Celtic Manager Jock Stein

Celtic flags fly triumphantly in the evening shadows here today. At last, like the World Cup, the European Cup comes home to Britain. Celtic are the new champions and worthy ones at that, having beaten Inter Milan 2–1 in the final after a remarkable match; by sheer determination when all seemed stacked against them, when frustration and defeat stared them straight in the eye.

When Gemmell had been rescued from the delirious crowd and was walking back to the dressing rooms naked to the waist except for an Inter shirt knotted round his neck like a scarf - he suddenly stopped in his tracks and shouted to Ronnie Simpson, who was walking ahead:

"Hey, Ronnie Simpson, what are we? What are we, son?" He stood there sweating, showing his white teeth between parched lips flecked with saliva. Then he answered his own question with a belligerent roar. "We're the greatest. That's what we are. The greatest." Simpson came running back and they embraced for a full minute.

At the airport, the impression is of a Dunkirk with happiness. The discomforts of mass evacuation are tolerable when your team have just won the greatest victory yet achieved by a British football club, and completed a clean sweep of the trophies available to them that has never been equalled anywhere in the world.

In Lisbon they emerged with a sudden flood of Glasgow accents from taxis or cafés, or let their voices carry with an irresistible aggregate of decibels across hotel lounges. Always, even among the refugees who turn up at the British Embassy bereft of everything but the rumpled clothes they stand in, the talk is of that magical hour-and-a-half under the hot sun on Thursday in the breathtaking, tree-fringed amphitheatre of the national stadium.

It was left to Bill Shankly, the Scottish manager of Liverpool (and the only English club manager present), to supply the summing-up quote to Celtic manager Jock Stein. "Jock," Shankly said with the solemnity of a man who knows football is a religion, "you're immortal."

The impact of the Celtic invasion on the local Catholic churches was a rewarding theme. "They're getting some gates since we came. The nine o'clock and ten o'clock masses were all-ticket."

Celtic waited so long. Incident piled upon incident, thrill upon thrill. Auld hit the crossbar; a low left foot shot from Johnstone was smothered by Sarti, who in the next minute tipped a header from Johnstone over the crossbar.

Nine men were pulled back to stem Celtic. Inter were well content and determined to hold what they had. It demanded defence of the highest order against an attack as consistent and resolute as Celtic's. Sarti just managed to smother one free-kick which Gemmell deflected off this wall of defence. Later, lobbing rather speculatively, Gemmell's shot hit the bar as the evening sun glinted in Sarti's eyes. And all the while Inter had not threatened again. And when they needed to come from their defensive box they could not.

Gemmell claimed the goal which brought Celtic level after an hour, and what a beautifully taken goal it was, coming from the clever understanding of Murdoch and Craig. This time the groping fingers of Sarti could not touch Gemmell's fierce, first-time shot. With the goal came renewed hope for in spite of Inter's stubborn defence, Celtic were back with a real chance. It did not come until five minutes from time and then Chalmers was promptly submerged by his jubilant colleagues after he had scored the most crucial goal of his career. And so on to the rejoicing.

CELTICSimpson: Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark: Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld, Lennox.

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