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40 Years Ago in Lisbon ©

Daniel McDonagh
Ontario, Canada
2007

It is the day of days,
that our fathers remember fondly,
When a team from Glasgow
challenged Inter Milan of Italy,
And for the fans who witnessed
that miraculous, historic night,
Saw history being made
by the Bhoys in green and white.

Jock Stein’s Celtic men
left Glasgow’s old east end
And travelled to the Azores,
to the city of Lisbon,
Were the Portuguese locals
took to the young Scots,
As their local team also sported
the blessed, green and white hoops.

On the feast of Corpus Christi,
the Celtic fans travelled by car, sea and air,
With their rent money
spent on the travelling fare,
And when they were greeted
by the warmth of the Lisbon sun,
They knew that the European Cup
was there to be won.

On the day of the match,
nerves were frantic and buzzing,
As Jock Stein’s men listened
to his fatherly instructions.
Then when Billy McNeill
led the players out for the game,
Songs of the Glasgow Celtic
echoed out from the Estoril End

Nerves were increased as Inter Milan
came out and went on the attack,
As they were awarded a very tame penalty
in the 7th minute of the first half.
But the Celts, they played with pride;
their heads never went down,
As they fought to win and secure,
Europe’s footballing crown.

When Tschescher blew his whistle
to end the first half,
Milan thought they could add to the goal
scored by Sandro Mazzola.
Thinking the second half would provide them
with no pressure or no danger,
The Nerazzurri had not yet been introduced to
Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers.

At the resume of the second half,
Inter Milan played deep and retreated
To their own 18 yard box
where Sarti could be defended.
Then raced Celtic’s Jim Craig,
overlapping down the right wing,
Who rolled the ball to Tommy Gemmell,
how Lisbon heard all the angels in heaven sing.

The roar of the travelling Celtic supporters
soared through the Lisbon air
As God and the Saints had answered
their novenas and their prayers.
With five minutes remaining,
and with the guidance of Brother Walfrid’s spirit,
Stevie Chalmers scored the winner
that brought victory for the Celtic.

The fans sang of victory,
while others wept and cried,
As Billy McNeill held the European cup,
high up to the sky
For those who remained in Glasgow,
they wore their green, white and gold
As children ran through the streets,
singing Celtic's name out loud

It is the day, May 25th,
that our fathers will never forget
As they reminisce when the European cup
was paraded around Parkhead
We were raised on the Jock Stein's Celtic,
where the story of Lisbon will never grow old,
When Celtic were crowned European Cup champions,
Forty years ago.



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