On Saturday it was a real pleasure to watch Celtic beat Real Madrid 2-0, in a European Cup tie from 1980, on a big screen in St Matthews’ school in Saltcoats. It was all for a good cause as well. The Bobby Lennox statue committee have done a terrific job fund raising for a statue of the popular Lisbon Lion to be erected in his native town of Saltcoats.
I was 14 when Celtic beat Real that night in 1980 and the memories came flooding back. I was with my Dad in the old Celtic end, packed in with a 67,000 crowd and can still recall it vividly. The atmosphere was just as I remembered; passionate and raw. The songs emanating from the Jungle were from the old repertoire; Roamin in the Gloamin, Hail Glorious St Patrick, The Wild Rover, Dublin in the Green and the obligatory rendition of You’re a bastard referee.
What I didn’t recall was the small band of Real fans in the upper stand. The Madrid side were classy. Laurie Cunningham, Juanito, Uli Stielike and Vincente Del Bosque all paraded their skills. It was a delight to see Danny McGrain in action. Playing at left back, Danny never lost a tackle or wasted a pass all night and in the second half helped drive his time forward to victory. World class.
George McCluskey and the late John Doyle scored the goals as Celtic ran out victorious and the fans roared their appreciation. The STV commentary was amusing, listening to Arthur Montford refer to Stielike as Steel-licka then change half way through to Steel-leeky. Ian St John was the co-commentator and it was patently obvious he never knew some of the Celtic players as he referred to the ‘Celtic boy at right back‘ (Sneddon) and the ‘number 8‘ (McCluskey).
It was good to meet up with Pat Woods, Matt McGlone, Joanna Doyle, the Scottish football legend that is Jim McCalliog and the great man himself, Bobby Lennox.
Good luck to the Bobby Lennox committee and hopefully the statue will be commissioned very soon. Give them a follow and keep up to date on twitter @bobbylennox67