JIM CRAIG reminded us this morning on The Celtic Star that today is a momentous date in Celtic history on three separate counts.
Firstly, the 1st of May saw both the debut and the final appearance of one of our most venerated players – the inimitable Bertie Auld. Bertie first ran out in the Hoops on ‘May Day’ 1957 and played his final Celtic game on that date fourteen years later, before moving to Hibs just a few short days down the line.
Auld’s emotional swansong also marked the final appearance on the field of the ‘Lisbon Lions’, prior to a 6-1 stroll against Clyde. Ronnie Simpson, sidelined at the time by the shoulder injury that put paid to his career, ran out that day with his immortal colleagues for a brief cameo appearance, before being replaced by Evan Williams for the match itself.
To commemorate that auspicious occasion, we present our verse tribute to the Lions, slightly revised to reflect the current survival reality of that special group. The poem acknowledges the passing of Jock Stein, as well as the demise of those no longer with us who took the field in Lisbon on 25th May 1967; but today, too, we fondly remember other dearly-departed figures who contributed hugely to that unparalleled season, such as Sean Fallon, Bob Rooney, Neilly Mochan, John Cushley, Joe McBride and Willie O’Neil.
And a hat-tip, too, to ongoing super-Celts John Fallon, John ‘Yogi’ Hughes and Charlie Gallagher, stalwarts all of what is arguably our most distinguished squad ever, of many.
Apologies for any possible inadvertent oversights.
“Our Lisbon Lions”
Our ‘Lisbon Lions’ – resplendent … preened,
emerged, emboldened for the fray,
decked out in most distinctive garb –
alternate hoops of white and green.
The mission clear … confront the foe,
put anti-football to the sword
by total, joyous running free –
lay sterile Catenaccio low.
Our ‘Lisbon Lions’, so bold, so brash,
absorbed a cruel early blow,
unleashed a football tsunami –
Herrera’s primadonnas smashed.
Most with us still, less Jock and four:
Tam … ‘Jinky’ … Murdoch … ‘Faither’, too.
Our ‘Lisbon Lions’ we hail today –
immortalised in Celtic lore.
Rhavanelli (1st May 2018)
Copyright © 25thMay1967