header photo

The Journaling of Mooney 404

tresemmeshampooreview's blog

The Lisbon Lions — Football As Working Class Ballet

2 years ago
Celtic’s Lisbon Lions had been more than football heroes they had been working class heroes, a bunch of young men from the West of Scotland who succeeded in transcending the restrictions of their working class roots without ever searching for to interrupt freed from them, devoted to the reason for bringing joy to their own.

For this was a group imbued with the ethos of service to the very communities that raised them and of which they have been a product, proving in the process that artwork, creativity, and tradition usually are not the unique preserve of the middle class.

From supervisor Jock Stein all the way by means of a roll call of now legendary names — Ronnie Simpson, Jim Craig, Tommy Gemmell, Bobby Murdoch, Billy McNeill, John Clark, Jimmy Johnstone, Willie Wallace, Stevie Chalmers, Bertie Auld, and Bobby Lennox — the Celtic workforce that emerged from the tunnel on that sun-soaked day on the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon with their pale faces and lopsided features a research in distinction to the tanned and tall and spectacular Italians of Inter Milan, who’d received the European Cup twice in the earlier three years, achieved the unthinkable.

Over the ninety minutes that followed, they handled the world to an exhibition of whole football years before Johann Cruyff and his famous Dutch group gave start to the title.

The Portuguese capital on 25 May 1967 was house to the East End of Glasgow — or no less than it appeared that manner judging by the sea of green, white and gold that lined each inch of house. Stories of the inordinate efforts and adventures undertaken and endured to get there from Scotland would come to attain their own legendary status within the years that adopted, adding to the magic of an occasion that remains etched in Scottish and European sporting history.

Even now, watching footage the game fifty-two years on, is to look at the ethos of the collective in motion; the very ethos from which the attractive sport derives its spiritual nourishment. of the suffering masses of Latin America, Eduardo Galeano, mined this spiritual nourishment higher than anyone, contrasting it with the dead weight of commerce and capitalism that has come to dominate the sport over time.

“Luckily, on the sphere you possibly can still see,” Galeano writes, “even if only once in a long while, some insolent rascal who sets apart the script and commits the blunder of dribbling past all the opposing aspect, the referee, and the group within the stands, all for the carnal delight of embracing the forbidden adventure of freedom.”

The image of Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone with the ball at his toes, effortlessly gliding previous defenders, is unattainable to resist when studying Galeano’s phrases. The discipline of inflexible ways and methods was to a player of his creativity tantamount to fixing a ball and chain to the ankle of Rudolph Nureyev.

Football, for one of the world’s greatest ever wingers, was a game of the soul and the human spirit; it was not the mechanical software of formations with its deadening fixation on zones, man marking, and the denial of space to the opposition. Such a philosophy rests on foundations of concern — concern of constructing a mistake, of dropping a aim, of being caught out of place.

The Lisbon Lions played soccer with the joy of males for whom the expectation of winning banished the concern of dropping. For them and manager, Jock Stein, the game was about placing the ball within the opposition’s web more occasions the oppositiom put it in yours. It was about self and group expression, about weaving patterns on the pitch that mesmerise not solely the other staff but support

Go Back


Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.