JAMES FORREST equalled Bobby Lennox’s feat of scoring in three winning League Cup Finals in the 2-0 triumph over Motherwell yesterday.
The winger got the breakthrough goal shortly after the interval when he accepted a Callum McGregor pass on the edge of the box before sweeping a left-foot effort beyond the reach of the sprawling Trevor Carson.
That strike matched the Lisbon Lion’s threesome achieved in the sixties as Jock Stein’s team racked up the records.
Forrest’s magical curling shot added to his goals in the recent victories against Dundee United, 2-0 in March, 2015 and last year’s 3-0 triumph over Aberdeen when he netted the second following Tom Rogic’s opener.
The Scotland international, who picked up his 12th winner’s medal against Well, said: “You want to play in Cup Finals for Celtic and win trophies.
“There’s nothing better than scoring and helping the team. It’s excellent to contribute and I’m hungry to win more.
“All the boys love the big game and pressure of playing for Celtic. It’s not just Cup Finals, but there is pressure in every game and you just have to keep working hard.
“That’s four trophies in a row and we just want to continue that.
“As a Celtic player, you must be ready to play in big games such as Cup Finals and be prepared to win trophies. It’s a delight when you achieve this and we want to keep going and win as many as we can.
“It’s an unbelievable buzz to win trophies, but it’s relentless at this club with the game we play and we’ve got to be ready to go again in midweek.”
When Paddy Roberts returned on a season-long loan from Manchester City in the summer, it was believed Forrest would start fewer games. However, the tricky attacker has responded to the challenge magnificently.
Forrest, 26, added: “I’m feeling as good as I have in my career. As soon as the manager came in last season, I got a lift and it turned into the best I’d had.
“But the way I’ve started this season has been even better and now I just want to keep that momentum going.
“Having Pat fit again is another incentive for me to be at my past, but, as I’ve said so often in the past, having two or three top players in every position keeps us all on our toes.”
As CQN reported on Friday, legendary Lennox is the club’s all-time highest scorer in the League Cup with a sensational haul of 63 goals.
Lennox – known as The Buzzbomb because of his electrifying pace – once scored five goals in a 10-0 annihilation of Hamilton Accies in a League Cup quarter-final success at Parkhead in September 1968.
Remarkably, Stevie Chalmers netted the other five that memorable evening.
Two years earlier, Lennox fired in the only goal of the Cup Final against Rangers in front of a crowd of 94,532 at Hampden.
Twelve months on from that win, he scored in the 5-3 triumph over Dundee on October 1967. Chalmers, with two, John Hughes and Willie Wallace got the others.
On April 5, 1969, Lennox thumped in a hat-trick as the Hoops hammered Hibs 6-2 in a rip-roaring silverware showpiece finale.
Wallace, Bertie Auld and Jim Craig joined in the goal spree.
Lennox, now 74, won five League Cup medals during his phenomenal trophy-laden career with the Parkhead side.
He also lifted 11 Championships – including the historic nine in a row under Jock Stein – eight Scottish Cups and, of course, the European Cup in 1967.
LISBON LION Jim Craig is the very special guest on the new CQN Podcast – out now!
Jim releases his new book, Right Back to 67, The Lisbon Lion Diary next week and we are pretty confident that this will be regarded as one of the classic Celtic books of all time.
There has been so much written about 1967 in some very fine books to-date but nothing like this. Jim kept a diary of his time at Celtic and in Right Back to 67 he is able to provide the authentic, inside story. It really is too good to miss.
You can order the book now from CQNBookstore.com and you will receive a signed copy. You can also add a personal dedication which is ideal for a Christmas gift. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your dedication after you have ordered and Jim will sort this for you next week.
Jim Craig joined Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham to discuss the Lisbon Lions’ 50th anniversary celebrations in a year which also saw Celtic winning an invincible treble, a prestigious award from FIFA naming their fans as the best in the world, and even a BAFTA!
In this emotional interview, Jim reminisces about Jock Stein, Billy McNeill, Neilly Mochan, Bertie Auld, Tommy Gemmell, Joe McBride and George Connelly.
He also discusses his latest book, his magnificent Lisbon Lion Diary: Right Back to ’67. This memoir is a real fly-on-the-wall recollection of events from 50 years ago, brought to life by Jim Craig’s intelligent and humorous brand of storytelling. Order HERE.
ORDER YOUR SIGNED COPY OF JIM CRAIG – RIGHT BACK TO 67, A LISBON LION DIARY TODAY!