Honouring Pure Beautiful Inventive Football


Some of the multitudes who were there are still around to tell the tale. Others have learned it as part of their growth into The Celtic Family. Still more have discovered it quite simply thanks to the modern wonders of instant communication,YouTube and a love of football. 

And now BT Sports have made it official. The Lisbon Lions are The Greatest Club Football Team of the Last Celtury.

(I know,childish spelling error. I should care)

Those lads,homegrown one and all,with only Bobby Lennox born much more than a corner kick from Celtic Park,and only Auld Faither and Willie Wallace who didn’t come through the ranks,had some tough opposition to overcome. But “We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again” springs to mind. If these lads could overcome the hatred and bile exhibited by those neutral decision makers like Davidson, Wharton,Foote,etc then the great teams of the past,like Honved,Bayern,Ajax,Real knew that they needn’t have bothered turning up. 

Although in fairness it can be said that Barcelona and Real Madrid did indeed make a gallant bid,the former fielding their unbelievable side from around a dozen years ago. And still came off second best. Still,it wouldn’t be every day that they’ve come up against some real legends like The Lisbon Lions.

Simpson,Craig and Gemmell. Murdoch,McNeill and Clark. Johnstone,Wallace. Chalmers,Auld and Lennox.

These words were being rhymed off by me before I could rhyme off my Two Times Table. And I never got them wrong either! They are names which are engraved in the memory of every Celtic fan,and emblazoned across our heart,that one which we wear on our sleeve. Each of them was,and is,revered to this day-along with the five who helped us along the way to the final but didn’t make the cut on the great day. Willie O’Neill,Charlie Gallacher,John Fallon-who actually stripped on the day-John Hughes and Joe McBride missed out for various reasons but their contribution too will always be remembered. 

And then,of course,there is Jock Stein.

There can be little doubt,surely,that Lisbon would never have happened had the great man not been managing this previously ragtag bunch of players,many played beforehand in alien positions. Some of them,in fact,were looking at the exit door before his arrival. Bobby Murdoch planned to move to Australia,Bobby Lennox was slated to move to bloody Falkirk and even Billy McNeill was looking at pastures new. Bertie Auld had settled in at Birmingham over the last few years and had no intentions of rejoining,while the thought of playing for Celtic pre-Jock would probably have been viewed by Willie Wallace and Joe McBride as a step down,even if the latter was Celtic daft. 
Not so after Jock walked through the door. On hearing the news of his arrival,Billy said-“Oh,that’s great news. We’ll see some changes around here now!”

Never were truer words spoken. 
Along with Brother Walfrid and possibly Fergus McCann,there has never been a more important group of men to our beloved football club than those who have rightly been honoured by BT Sports. And…

“We did it by playing football. Pure, beautiful, inventive football”. 

Above article by BMCUWP. Get cracking with the offerings for Article of the Day,folks. This lockdown thing looks like it ain’t ending anytime soon.


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April 22, 2020 5:20 am

More bad news re this virus.

The Devon and Cornwall music festival is cancelled as the couldn’t agree whether The Jam or Cream should go on first.

Puff puff
April 22, 2020 5:47 am
Puff puff
April 22, 2020 5:59 am

Great read Bobby thanks for writing really enjoyed it .

April 22, 2020 6:17 am

Looks like the huns are really,erm,going for broke with their attack on the SPFL.

As REBUS67 pointed out yesterday,it may well be to do with the state of their accounts as submitted for approval by the SFA prior to forwarding to UEFA to rubber stamp for approval for admission to European competition next season. Any refusal to do so will be blamed on the SFA/SPFL punishing them for their current actions. You really cannot trust these basterts at the best of times,but when they are scrambling for their very existence they will use every dirty trick in their unlimited repertoire.

John James Site yesterday showed the true colours of Gardiner of ICT. The man at the centre of the controversy and the mouthpiece of the original cartel of refuseniks,it appears that he has a skeleton or two in his financial past. And almost on a par with King himself,which takes some doing. Quite an incredible article,but more incredible still is that he has been in almost constant employment in the upper echelons of the Scottish game for many years.


Not to be outdone,our pals on e-Tims suggested that the huns have waved an olive branch in the direction of the BBC. As you know,the two have officially no contact-one barring the other from the premises and the other refusing to go anyway. Seems that the BBC have been told that if they act as flag-bearers for the demands for an enquiry,they will be welcomed back into the fold.


Meanwhile,Phil Mac also suggested that Douglas Park’s businesses are subject to a rather keen eye from his bankers-something we have spoken of on here before-and that some creativity may be needed to maintain a pulse at Ibrox. That includes the old chestnut of building the victimhood myth to keep the hordes onside in the face of a tsunami of bad news.


Now,with the above in mind-and returning to the point made by REBUS67 yesterday-this all reeks to me of similar to the guy who goes into the bookies with his month’s wages and soon finds himself down to his last fiver. And there’s no racing left,because it’s all over for the day.

But there’s a fruit machine beside the door,and it’s a fiver a pop. What’s a fella to do?

April 22, 2020 6:19 am


Glad you enjoyed it,mate. But if I’m honest,I got even more pleasure from writing that. A truly historic occasion,David and Goliath stuff at the time.

April 22, 2020 6:23 am

Charmers! Bloody spell-check,and I can’t even edit it these days!!!

Apologies,Mr Chalmers,sir.

Puff puff
April 22, 2020 6:40 am

Hehehe he what’s a fella to do brilliant ,
All in Bobby that’s what huns do

Puff puff
April 22, 2020 6:40 am

Night timland sleep well .

April 22, 2020 6:57 am

G’night,PUFFPUFF. There’s many a different body clock on these pages-even from those who live in the same time zones!

April 22, 2020 8:16 am

Morning All, good breakfast read Bobby, fixed Stevie for yae, off to work ?

big packy
April 22, 2020 8:34 am

MORNING ALL and JIM, and MCAFF, will get you back for that? BOBBY great article, that is my era im slightly older than you ? that list of hun referees add jim mcluskey,, my team when i was about 12 ,was fallon young and Gemmell, clark mcneil and kennedy, cant remember the forward line, CCB will know, or tontine tim on the other channel? the lions I could name backwards ,wish we could have kept that wee 14 inch black and white tv, that we watched the final on, just for nostalgia ? sorry should have said, BT will know that team?

April 22, 2020 8:43 am

A most enjoyable article. Thank you.
Incidentally we won after a replay, the final was between The Lions and Barca 2008.
Incredibly after over 100,000 votes, it ended 50/50.
In the replay over 80,000 votes and we received 56% of the vote.

Thanks for Johnjames link, I touched on Gardner yesterday and what a snake he is. His business partner is John Brown and he made him manager of Dundee when CEO there. Stinks, but didn’t want to put the link up, I thought that one would have to be viewed by the legal eye.

April 22, 2020 8:50 am

This is from The Financial Times.
It will maybe let our overseas readers see how things are in U.K.
I’m just puting it out for information purposes.

Coronavirus death toll in UK twice as high as official figure
FT estimate has been updated to reflect latest mortality trends

© FT Montage/Jacob King/PA

April 22, 2020 3:00 am by Chris Giles , Economics Editor
The coronavirus pandemic has already caused as many as 41,000 deaths in the UK, according to a Financial Times analysis of the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.

The estimate is more than double the official figure of 17,337 released by ministers on Tuesday, which is updated daily and only counts those who have died in hospitals after testing positive for the virus.

The FT extrapolation, based on figures from the ONS that were also published on Tuesday, includes deaths that occurred outside hospitals updated to reflect recent mortality trends.

The analysis also supports emerging evidence that the peak of deaths in the UK occurred on April 8 with the mortality rate gradually trending lower since, despite the 823 hospital deaths announced on Tuesday, which were sharply up on the 449 in the previous 24 hours.

The ONS data showed that deaths registered in the week ending April 10 were 75 per cent above normal in England and Wales, the highest level for more than 20 years.

There were 18,516 deaths registered during that period compared with the most recent five year average of 10,520 for the same week of the year. There were similar patterns in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Nick Stripe, head of life events at the Office for National Statistics, said the figure was “unprecedented”, especially as the weather had been sunny and warm in the run-up to the Easter weekend.

April 22, 2020 8:51 am

Good morning.
What was that all about with the catalogue?
Were you the model???

April 22, 2020 8:59 am


Cheers,old son. Enjoy your day. Work is a bind at the moment and has been for a while as our department has been surviving on fumes for a good few years now. But at least it gets me out of the house!

Can’t understand why I can’t get into admin on iOS,only on Android. Which,btw,doesn’t allow me to edit! So I type up the article on my iPad,mail it to my iPhone and copy. As my work e-mail doesn’t accept mail from my personal address,I then have to paste it into a message to my work phone,then copy that into admin as a new post.

All that palaver takes me nearly as long as it does to type the bliddy thing out!!!

April 22, 2020 9:01 am


Naw,he was the photographer!

Wait,that might have been FAN-A-TIC while he was doing his apprenticeship. Certainly,it gave him some ideas for Pop Princess Kylie’s first Vogue photoshoot.


April 22, 2020 9:09 am


Don’t worry too much about putting links to other football-related sites,mate. Some sites even put links to such as FF etc! It all gives us a little light relief in difficult times,but in the case of the JJ stuff,there was little bearitg about the bush or simply hinting. This was specific,and a couple of minutes JFGI would have proven the veracity.

And yet Gardiner has still managed to make a career via various clubs,and at the top end of them. Do none of them do a bit of homework before giving people a highly paid job and a large amount of responsibility over their affairs?

Makes you wonder how he keeps getting these roles-though speculation may be too near the knuckle.

April 22, 2020 9:12 am

Morning all
Great article Bobby, I feel so lucky to have seen the Lions first hand. Never to be forgotten, the very heart of Celtic, a fitting tribute to our heroes. For those who have not yet been to Lisbon, just do it, you know you want to: imagine standing where Big Billy was when he raised the European Cup – an experience of a lifetime.

big packy
April 22, 2020 9:17 am

HI JNP, yes, bet your jealous???

April 22, 2020 9:24 am


Work colleague and I discussed the figures on average deaths last night,strangely enough. He’s a bit concerned about his wife,and himself has had three weeks off due to CPOD during this. It’s probably as good a comparative number as any.

Might have been different if our leaders hadn’t cut storage for pandemics by 40% or funding for the NHS by 30% against requirements over the last decade. Or decided that the long-held practice of maintaining a contingency fund was really only dead money-how ironic

Answered an e-mail or ten-that’ll be interesting in the eventual Public Inquiry. Or even,just as an outlier,concerned themselves with running the country and protecting its citizens instead of sticking two fingers up to Europe and trying to destroy the BBC.

Meantime,of course,the very people who fucked this up by their wrong-headed thinking and lack of action are already planning how to deal with the political contamination.

They should be trying to get the country out of the mess that they have largely caused,instead of making up their usual lies simply to cover their backs.

big packy
April 22, 2020 9:31 am

TWISTY, if your lurking, hope the cough is getting better, get well soon?

April 22, 2020 9:33 am


Like you,I saw The Lions play a number of times. You were that bit more fortunate,having a couple of years on me which gave you a greater appreciation of them at the time.

I came to appreciate them,obviously,as I got old enough to understand the game a bit. Thank God I was a fast learner back then-and I had some good teachers in my Dad,his pals and the rest of the crew from Ardrossan Garryowen CSC!

Last time,of course,seeing them all was against Clyde. The new stand was being built,and the old order was taking a last hurrah. Ronnie stripped,but didn’t play. His place was taken by John Fallon,fitting as John stripped for Lisbon.

Wonderful memories,and yet it was fifty years ago and I struggle to remember fifty hours ago. Go figure.

April 22, 2020 9:43 am
April 22, 2020 9:44 am

BMCUW. 9.24.
Couldn’t agree more.
I see they’ve made a mandarin say, what he told a select committee was a misunderstanding, because they would be bang to rights if it wasnt.

April 22, 2020 9:52 am

Jim. 9.43.
Thanks for that, a decent thread.

April 22, 2020 9:59 am


Oh,wow. Oh,dear. What a shame,never mind.

As you know,ATHINGOFBEAUTY in particular is always convinced that them basterts will get out of it eventually. I love my sister dearly,but I’d like her to be wrong for once.

April 22, 2020 10:17 am

Bang goes an industry and a way of life. State-side,at least. Meanwhile,a certain corporate parasite goes from strength to strength.


April 22, 2020 10:34 am

Was at the Clyde game too, extremely sad occasion, but at the same time a celebration of the joy the Lions had brought. Happy days indeed.

April 22, 2020 10:37 am

The only reason there is still a team playing out of Ibrox is the masons.
One thing that gives me a slight hope is Gavin Masterton. Besties with Murray went bankrupt. And fellow bank boss Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood.

April 22, 2020 11:06 am

From Celtic FC official site.

(RIP Billy, YNWA)

IT was one year ago today, on April 22, 2019, that Billy McNeill, Celtic’s greatest ever captain and one of the finest men to have played and managed the Hoops, passed away at the age of 79. And on this sad anniversary, the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club and, indeed, the whole Celtic Family, are with Billy’s wife, Liz, their children, Susan, Paula, Libby, Carol and Martyn and all of Billy’s family.

Billy McNeill was a Celtic player, manager and ambassador. First and foremost, however, he was always a Celtic supporter and his love for the club was evident throughout his life.

He was a one-club man as a player and, for Billy, that club had to be Celtic. He spent 18 years at the club, joining in 1957 and bowing out in 1975. He made his first-team debut on August 23, 1958 in a 2-0 home win over Clyde in the League Cup, while his final appearance came on May 3, 1975 when he captained Celtic to a 3-1 victory over Airdrie in the Scottish Cup final.

In the intervening years, he made an incredible 790 competitive appearances for his beloved green and white Hoops, more than any other player in Celtic’s long and illustrious history. Even more impressive is the fact that not one of those appearances was as a substitute. When Billy McNeill was fit, he played. It was as simple as that.

He also scored 34 goals, including some vital ones such as the winning goal in the 1965 Scottish Cup final and the winner against Vojvodina in 1967 that put Celtic into the semi-final of the European Cup.

The man known simply as ‘Cesar’ captained the team during the golden era of the late 1960s and early ‘70s under the stewardship of Jock Stein, winning nine league titles in a row, seven Scottish Cups and six League Cups. He also cemented his place as a Celtic legend on May 25, 1967 when he held aloft the European Cup in Lisbon’s Estadio Nacional after leading the team to a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan. He also reached another European Cup final in 1970, as well as two semi-finals in 1972 and ’74.

April 22, 2020 11:55 am

Thanks for posting and good to see you on the blog.
You’re missed when you take a break.
My best mate was named Billy and when people teased him about being a ” Billy ”
His comeback was always; What was the first name of the Celtic captain who lifted the big cup? ?

April 22, 2020 12:01 pm

What would we do without lawyers as aspiring politicians?

The Show Me State becomes the Show Me The Money State

April 22, 2020 12:10 pm

JNP, There was a lot of good Jimmys too!

And of course you, Packy and me 🙂 In a supporting role.

April 22, 2020 12:16 pm

JNP, just remembered your first name might not be Jimmy. Your moniker is to do with the McStays?

April 22, 2020 12:27 pm

You’re correct, it’s not.
However I could be Tommy Gemmell or Tommy Burns, as back up.

Awe Naw
April 22, 2020 12:36 pm

I think the link above may be fake

Awe Naw
April 22, 2020 12:38 pm

No it’s genuine

Bada Bing
April 22, 2020 1:48 pm

Awe Naw- that article was quoted on breakfast telly…

April 22, 2020 1:51 pm

Now that Buckfast is Sold Out, could this be the answer? ?

Was a Dickins Cider Video from Oz


April 22, 2020 1:54 pm

Ach, I tried.

Back to Work CSC

April 22, 2020 1:56 pm

Good avo, see videocelts, “tweet of decade” within article there is a painting of Bobby Gillespie (primalscream) in a chair wearing the hoops. painting by Glasgow artist Chrismark Gascon. Get yer rocks on honey, it’s a belter.

April 22, 2020 2:08 pm

Seems the information highway is being travelled at breakneck speed in an erratic way.
NYTimes claiming cases in west coast far higher than being reported and FTimes saying death toll higher in UK than we’re being told.
Very strange and perplexing times.
What is the end game?

April 22, 2020 2:17 pm

One job that should be safe in the aftermath is that of the dietician.
In my area there is definitely an uptake in jogging and cycling.
Jogging seems to be mostly teen athletes choosing to stay in shape.
The cycling is mostly families.Kids now recognizing parents due to color of their bikes.
Wondered if this is also the more health conscious types worrying about weight gain due to excess eating ?
My friends in the city are all complaining about weight gain due to bingeing on Netflix and snack food.
There may be a business opportunity for those making stretchy clothing to deal with the effects of future lockdowns?

April 22, 2020 2:18 pm

Fan, good question. Wonder if we’ll ever be told? don’t think so. It’s very strange that it seems to have arrived in every country nearly at once. Coincidence? Stroke of chin.

Auldheid, meant to mention earlier I liked the allegory of the cave. Maybe we will all see the light in our lives. Keep on keeping on.

April 22, 2020 2:27 pm

Calton Tongues, your post encouraged me to look up Buckfast on Wiki. I didn’t know there is a National Buckfast Day. The 2nd Saturday in May.
I would imagine it’s a big day in some places.

The Gombeen Man
April 22, 2020 2:37 pm

Excellent read BMCUWP’S. My bhoy sent me a photo of the Billy McNeill statue earlier. What a scene. What memories.

Great read yesterday too Mahe.

I think this is heading into our 7th weekend of the lock-in. There’s a lot of contradictory, misleading info out there.

Our Minister for Health let slip the other day that the pubs are unlikely to open until after a vaccine has been found.

The WHO now say that there’s no proof that an individual who recovers from Covid-19 is immune. If that’s the case the Herd Immunity theory is in doubt.

Highly levels of immunity are required before that’s a runner. We’re a long way off that.

High numbers of fatalities here in Nursing Homes haven’t exhibited the respiratory symptoms of the disease. Many have developed gastrological symptoms.

This condition affects the immune system and the thinking is that it’s confusing the cause of death.

Anyway, there looks like a phased gradual reopening of certain facilities across the summer.

It’s my opinion that there is likey to be a tightening of any relaxation as we move into the autumn and the traditional ‘flu season.’

Unless something remarkable happens I don’t see any way around that. Second waves can be more dangerous than the first.

UEFA are up to their necks in contracts and financial obligations. The commercial football world is undergoing the most radical reconstruction we’ve ever known.

There’s a lot of denial out there and it’s important not to get caught up in the contagion of uncorroborated, agenda driven misinformation that’s being peddled.

Dermot Desmond is the man I’d want in my corner in these circumstances. He’s not a bad poker player and I would wager that he has his finger on the pulse courtesy of a Mayo man who is very close to what’s actually happening.


April 22, 2020 2:38 pm


Buckfast is bowfin.


April 22, 2020 2:42 pm


Meant to add, there used to be a guy in the Sarrie Heid years ago who only drank Buckfast. He had hairy teeth!


April 22, 2020 2:46 pm


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