FORMER Celtic keeper John Fallon celebrates his 83rd birthday today.

Hopefully, the Hoops legend will be showered with gifts, but none will be as precious as the one he received in April 2019.

Fallon, who had been the faithful understudy to Ronnie Simpson all the way through the historic European Cup campaign in season 1966/67, was reunited with his Lisbon medal after a wait of FIFTY-TWO years.

Chairman Peter Lawwell, who was then the club’s chief executive, was the man who tracked down the lost memento.

SWINGING ON A BAR…John Fallon celebrates Celtic’s 3-2 Scottish Cup Final victory over Dunfermline at Hampden in April 1965.

Fallon, who signed for the Hoops from Junior side Fauldhouse United in December 1959, was the back-up shotstopper on the glory run against Zurich (5-0 agg), Nantes (6-2), Vojvodina (2-1) and Dukla Prague (3-1).

He was on the bench again in the Portuguese capital when the Hoops became the first British team to conquer Europe when goals from Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers brought the trophy to Parkhead on May 25 1967.

Afterwards at the presentation dinner, Fallon’s medal went missing, but has since been donated back to the club and returned to its rightful owner – after a delay of over five decades.

LISBON, HERE WE COME…John Fallon celebrates as Jock Stein shares the joy with backroom team Bob Rooney, Sean Fallon and Neilly Mochan after the goalless draw against Dukla Prague in April 1967 that earned Celtic a 3-1 aggregate win – and a place in the European Cup Final.

A delighted Fallon, speaking at the time, said: “It feels great to be reunited with my medal. I’ve got to thank Peter Lawwell and everyone at Celtic for going to all this effort and finding the medal that was lost.

“I did get a replica one at one point, but it didn’t seem the same.

“It was such a surprise, I got a phone call about a month ago from John Clark telling me that Peter wished to see me. He told me the story of how the medal had been found, so I was very proud to receive it and it adds to the collection.”

Happy birthday, John, from all at CQN and Celtic supporters throughout the world.

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