Lisbon Lions

Sport: Football

Lisbons Lions It is a truly remarkable fact to reflect that the Celtic Team, nicknamed the 'Lisbon Lions' that won the European Cup on the 25th May 1967 contained no less than five football heroes hailing from towns which now form part of North Lanarkshire, with all but one of the squad being born within 10 miles of Celtic Park.

Our local legends playing a decisive role in this outstanding victory included Billy McNeill, Tommy Gemmell, Jimmy Johnstone, John Clark and John Hughes. Celtic was the first British club to win the European Cup and still the only Scottish club to have reached the final, winning 2-1 against Inter Milan at the Estadio National near the Portuguese city of Lisbon to clinch the game and the tournament.

Billy McNeill, who was born in Bellshill, was known as 'Cesar' to the Celtic fans who voted him the best ever club captain in 2002. 

He captained the team to this prestigious victory. 

Tommy Gemmell from Motherwell, scored a spectacular equalising goal in the final, against team orders for one full back to stay in defence at all times. 

Jimmy 'Jinky' Johnstone was voted the club's best ever player in the same 2002 poll. He perfected his footballing craft - which wrong-footed many of his world-class opponents - by endlessly practising his dribbling skills. this involved controlling the ball around milk bottles as a lad in the hallway of the family home in Old Edinburgh Road in Viewpark. 
Affectionately nicknamed 

'The Brush' because of playing mainly in the sweeper position John Clark from Chapelhall and John 'Yogi' Hughes from Coatbridge (nicknamed after the popular and colourful cartoon character Yogi Bear) were an integral part of the European victory, although Hughes did not play in the final match due to injury.

All five are deserving additions to the Hall of Fame.