David Potters Reflections :Glasgow 1967: The Lisbon Lions Review

24
May
2017

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles

 

Glasgow 1967: The Lisbon Lions Review

What a marvellous hour this was, commemorating the best day in the life of so many people! Craig, Auld, Clark, Lennox and Wallace all featured as did the widows of Bobby Murdoch and Jimmy Johnstone and the granddaughter of Stevie Chalmers. Supporters included John Cairney. If you did not see it, please do so now on Catch-up TV. It is brilliant, emotional and certainly brought it all back to me.

One could find fault with a few things. The film rather gave the impression that big Jock was a lovable, cuddly, father figure, whereas there are others who think differently. One wonders too if Jock really did shed tears when he didn’t get the Manager’s job in 1960 before he left for Dunfermline. He was certainly upset at the time, and the whole episode does not make one think well of Bob Kelly. Blatant religious discrimination in 1960, yet a knighthood in 1969, thanks to the man whose religion he objected to!

There seems to have been at least one factual error when the programme claimed that Celtic won a League and Cup double in Jock’s first full year. Not so! Scottish Cup in 1965, but not 1966 when the League was won. There was the League Cup, however, and maybe that is what they were thinking of. Also at one point, they seemed to give the Lisbon Lions team in the wrong order, basing it on what was written on someone’s jersey!

But these are small points. The Celtic View advertised cigarettes, and was even more politically incorrect by organising a Miss Celtic competition! Bad enough, one might think, but someone objected to Miss Celtic’s dress on the grounds that “we Catholics” have a duty to teach everyone else about morality! Clearly written by a man with a problem. And here was me thinking that it was only Presbyterians who had a problem about sexuality! 50 years down the line, incidentally, the same Miss Celtic is still an attractive lady, and she was, in my view, suitably clad both in 1967 and 2017.

Everyone who was alive at the time has his/her own memories of the the occasion. The programme captures very well the atmosphere in Glasgow that night, and the shot that brings a tear to my eye is the one of the urchins with the flag once they heard the score. They were ill-clad and not particularly clean, but they were the Risen People! Some of the supporters who went to Lisbon, apparently, did not have their tickets checked at any turnstile! It was like walking into a public park.The clerics were there in force as well, shamefully neglecting their flocks.

It was nice to see the players looking well. Chalmers was at one point given three weeks to live, Clark’s father was tragically killed on the railway and Lennox was painfully shy as a boy, but once he met Jimmy, another side developed – that of the singing duo. Was that true that if a player wanted a snifter of whisky before a game, he could get one? All to settle their nerves? Did big Jock know about that? Ronnie Simpson apparently was known to indulge.

Well worth watching again. There should be more programmes like this one.

DP

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