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ESTADIO NACIONAL PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LIONS OF LISBON

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CELTIC today announced that a special permanent tribute to the club’s famous win in the 1967 European Cup has been established at the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon, scene of the club’s greatest ever triumph.

A commemorative plaque, marking this achievement was unveiled at the stadium today, following fantastic work from Celtic supporter David Mitchell. While the stadium is synonymous with Celtic, after visiting some time ago, David had noticed that there was no physical record of Celtic’s magnificent triumph.

He had seen that on the wall of the dressing-room block were two plaques, one relating to the England national team using the ground as their training camp during Euro 2004 and the other to the 1949 match between Benfica and Torino when, sadly, the entire Torino team and staff died when their aircraft tragically crashed when returning home to Italy.

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In the past few months, David has worked with Celtic and the local authorities to ensure that Celtic’s famous win will be recorded in stone, as another important landmark event held at the stadium – indeed, the only European Cup final ever to be held there.

The plaque was unveiled at a ceremony today in Lisbon, attended by David himself, Lisbon Lion John Clark, Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, João Paulo Rebelo and the Vice-President of the Portuguese Institute for Youth and Sport, Vitor Pataco.

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It is fitting that the plaque is unveiled in this special 50th anniversary year.

Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “I would like to applaud David for his real commitment to this great idea and thank him for all the work he has put into making it a reality. I know he is hugely passionate about the club and in particular our victory in Lisbon, and he deserves huge credit for all his efforts.

“I would also like to sincerely thank the stadium management in Lisbon for all their assistance in this project. This is a very special year for the club and the Lions. I am sure they in particular will be delighted that their famous win has been recognised in this way.”

David added: “I am delighted that we have been able to achieve this in such a special year for the club. It struck me that while so many thousands of supporters visit the stadium regularly, we should really find a way to achieve a permanent record of that great day in 1967, to honour both Celtic and of course our greatest ever team, the Lisbon Lions, and all they did for us.

“It has been great to work with Celtic on this project and we hope that this will be something our supporters can enjoy for years to come. The people responsible for the stadium in Lisbon have also been fantastic in helping us achieve this and I would like to thank them all sincerely for their assistance.”

Lisbon Lion John Clark, who attended today’s unveiling at the Estadio Nacional, said: “I would like to thank David, the club and everyone else involved. This has been a great idea and something I am sure our fans will love.

“The city of Lisbon and the Estadio Nacional will always hold such important places in our hearts. We have visited the stadium many times and now when we or our supporters return again it will be fantastic to see the plaque in place as a record of that wonderful day. Like myself, I know all my other team-mates will be delighted and humbled by this gesture.”

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