An estimated crowd of 70,000 crammed into the Estádio Nacional near Lisbon, Portugal to witness the Glasgow side lift the greatest prize in club football, defeating Inter Milan 2–1. As the final whistle blew, euphoric Celtic fans poured onto the pitch to celebrate their team’s victory, many whooping with joy and waving banners.
Jock Stein, said: “There is not a prouder man on God’s Earth than me at this moment. Winning was important, but it was the way that we won that has filled me with satisfaction. “We did it by playing football; pure, beautiful, inventive football. There was not a negative thought in our heads.”
The Celtic victory is regarded as the greatest in the Scottish club’s history. The 11 players became known as the Lisbon Lions – the first non-Latin side to win the European championships. The team players were all born within a 30-mile radius of Glasgow.
They flew into Glasgow the following day and were transported by coach to Celtic Park where an estimated 50,000 people had packed into the grandstand and terraces to greet their heroes.
Jock Stein was credited with creating the winning side. He had joined as manager in March 1965 and within weeks Celtic had won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 11 years – they had previously been beaten in four finals.
He led the team to many more triumphs – including a second European cup final four years later.
Andrew Kerins, known by his religious name Brother Walfrid, was an Irish Marist Brother and the founder of Celtic Football Club. Walfrid was born of John Kerins and Elizabeth Flynn in Ballymote, a village in south Co Sligo. His ancestors, the Ó Céirín (later anglicized as “Kerins”), were anciently Gaelic lords of Carriage Locha na nÁirne, with a long history in Mayo.