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THE MARYHILL LION, THE GREENOCK COAL LORRY, YOU

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THE Celtic faithful that live in Maryhill turned out in their numbers on Saturday to celebrate one of their own.

Bertie Auld was brought up in Panmure Street in Maryhill fittingly for me alongside my grandmother. Gary Love and Allan Hall felt that Bertie’s achievement as a Lisbon Lion had to be celebrated on this golden anniversary.

As per usual Bertie strutted up to the Woodside Halls in Maryhill looking immaculately dressed.

The compere for the evening was ex-footballer and Celtic mad Chic Charnley who knows Bertie very well. As Glen Daly’s masterpiece started to play Bertie Auld made his way into the hall singing away with the European Cup in hand.

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He told us stories of dancing at the Woodside Halls, being called a B***** by Jock Wallace and talking to John Greig about bonuses in the Ibrox tunnel. Bertie spoke very fondly of his Celtic days, speaking about Jock Stein, Sean Fallon and Neilly Mochan.

Bertie thinks that the current team are doing extremely well under Brendan Rodgers and told us of the first time that both of them met. Celtic had travelled to Dublin to face Liverpool in a friendly three years ago. After the game, Bertie got a chance to speak to Brendan. The Lisbon Lion was quite annoyed about a challenge that Steven Gerrard had made on a young Celt so confronted the Liverpool boss about it.

Brendan told Bertie that coming to Celtic was something that he always had planned and now three years on from that game in Dublin he has led Celtic to an invincible league campaign with the great possibility of an invincible treble.

A special thank you has to go out to Kevin Tait from the Penalty Spot.

By giving us a special painting of Bertie for the raffle over two-hundred pounds was raised which I have passed on to Billy McNeill’s family.

I cannot put into context how much the Lisbon Lions mean to me as a young Celtic supporter.

From an early age I was taught Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld and Lennox.

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It has been an absolute privilege to meet some of the Lions and have a conversation with them. All are very humble men that every Celtic supporter should be very proud of. This forthcoming week will be very special as the whole Celtic family will come together to celebrate their miraculous achievements.

CQN will be participating in the celebrations themselves on Friday evening along with Willie Wallace and his teammates from 1967. This is happening at the Greenock Celtic Supporters club and it’s 50 years to the day since the Lisbon Lions were last seen on a coal lorry in the West of Scotland holding aloft the Big Cup.

Now you can join them and get the photo of a life-time courtesy of CQN’s photographer Geo.

Alex Gordon is speaking to pay tribute to Tommy Gemmell, a close personal friend to the guys at CQN and there are two bands playing.

Tickets are £10 from CQNBookstore.com and you get to keep the ticket to use as a £10 voucher at the CQN books stall.

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The fabulous paintings from the Celtic in Art exhibition will also be on display for you to marvel at.

And the CQN Raffle will be drawn on the night by Willie Wallace. The star prize is a Celtic shirt from 1967 signed last year by Tommy Gemmell and now signed by all his remaining teammates.

CQN will be thanking all the Celtic players who played or participated in the European Campaign of 1966/67 and will also have something nice for their wives.

In this way the Celtic support are getting a chance to say THANK YOU to the Lisbon Lions. You should come along and shake their hands, and thank them in person. Each and every one of them done in Greenock this Friday.

Every supporter has an important part to play in the Lions celebrations. As Bertie Auld says you are Celtic Football Club.

By Declan McConville, CQN’s Youth Correspondent

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