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STEVIE CHALMERS: FINAL TRIBUTE FROM JIM CRAIG

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JIM CRAIG led the tributes at the funeral of his Lisbon Lions team-mate Stevie Chalmers at St Mary’s Church in Calton yesterday.

The man who scored the most important goal in the history of the club in the European Cup triumph in the Portuguese capital on May 25 1967 passed away last week at the age of 83 after a long battle with dementia.

Sadly, Chalmers died just seven days after club legend Billy McNeill at the age of 79.

Craig, as reported in the Daily Mail, said: “It has been a difficult week to lose another team-mate. Stevie was a very popular guy with everybody, fans and players alike, and at this time our thoughts are with his wife Sadie and the family.

“We hope the public in general will remember him greatly as they will with that goal in Lisbon.

“First and foremost, he was a nice guy, great fun to be with and we all enjoyed his company. He worked hard for Celtic, both as a player and later in his job there, as well.”

Other European Cup heroes Bertie Auld, Bobby Lennox and John Clark joined chief executive Peter Lawwell and chairman Ian Bankier in attendance.

Neil Lennon and the Hoops first team squad were also at the Mass which was also attended by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The funeral cortege passed Celtic Park, on the roof of which was erected two special tribute signs, one reading ‘Stevie’ and the other ‘No 9’.

There were plenty of green and white tributes in the form of flowers and club memorabilia outside the ground.

The cortege proceeded away from Celtic Park and to St. Mary’s Church in Glasgow, where the coffin was carried inside for the funeral itself to take place.

Several thousand fans applauded when the funeral cortege passed through the stadium grounds before going to a private cremation.

Some more of the club’s icons such as past managers Martin O’Neill and Davie Hay, ex-captains Danny McGrain, Roy Aitken and Tom Boyd and former team-mates John Hughes, John Fallon, Evan Williams and Alan Rough.

Former Rangers keeper Peter McCloy also paid his last respects and said: “He was a great player, one of those like a Duracell battery – he kept on running all day.

“He was also a great team man. More importantly, he was a lovely man, we played a lot of golf together and he beat me at that, too.”

Chalmers scored 231 goals in 406 appearances for the club between 1959/71, ranking him the club’s fourth top goalscorer of all-time behind Jimmy McGrory, Henrik Larsson and Lennox.

The forward also won four league titles and three Scottish Cups as well as earning five caps for Scotland.

After his glorious 12 years at Parkhead, Chalmers had spells at Morton and Partick Thistle before hanging up his boots in 1975.

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