ALEX GORDON, who authored ‘The Lisbon Lions: The 40th Anniversary’ which was published in 2007, recalled an interview with Stevie Chalmers.
The man who scored the winning goal in the European Cup Final against Inter Milan in Lisbon on May 25 1967 sadly passed away this morning at the age of 83.
Chalmers’ death comes only one week after club legend Billy McNeill died at 79. Both succumbed after long and courageous battles with dementia.
Gordon, who has had thirteen Celtic books published, said: “I interviewed Stevie a few hundred times and I devoted a chapter to each Celtic player in my 40th anniversary of the Lisbon Lions which was published twelve years ago,
“I sat down with the eight existing players at that time to attempt to get fresh material on the club’s greatest day.
“Alas three of them, my big mate Tommy Gemmell as well as Billy and Stevie, have passed in the intervening years.
“I was chatting to Stevie about the Celtic team that had conquered Europe and claimed everything on the domestic front in season 1966/67.
“As veteran BBC sports presenter David Coleman observed at the time: ‘Celtic would probably have won the Grand National and the Oxford/Cambridge boat race, too, if they had entered’. No-one would have argued with that assessment.
“I asked Stevie about the secret of this side’s phenomenal success.
“He pondered for a moment and replied: ‘Ach, I suppose we weren’t a bad wee team’.
“That remains the biggest understatement I have ever heard in my life.
“I also took the opportunity to tell Stevie he presented me, at the age of 14, with my first-ever medal in schools football when St Margaret Mary’s won a league that had been the personal property on St Mungo’s Academy for about half-a-century.
“He seemed appropriately impressed.
“Rest In Peace, Stevie, thank you for all the wonderful memories and for being a first-class human being.
“My thoughts are with the McNeill and Chalmers families at such a sorrowful time.”