Rod Steward’s tears of joy at watching his beloved Celtic beat the mighty Barcelona in the Champions League at Parkhead last night has sparked almost as much reaction as the match itself. It was a human response that anyone who adores sport and the passion of following a football team will understand entirely, whatever the critics say who ridicule a grown man being overcome by emotion.
As for the jealous fans who called radio phone in today to insist media and supporters have gone overboard in their praise for Celtic, my response is quite the opposite. It is 45 years since Celtic’s Lisbon Lions became the first British club to win the European Cup, and this without question is their greatest triumph since that famous day.
Back in 1967 Jock Stein’s men (pictured below) were giants in a world game played on a level playing field compared to the modern day version distorted by television rights and billionaire owners. For Neil Lennon’s lionhearted team to follow up their magificent losing effort in the Nou Camp a fortnight ago with their heroic 2-1 win at Parkhead is the stuff of legend.
To conquer a Spanish super team that dominated over 80 pecent of possession and included the world’s greatest player Lionel Messi at the top of his game was an epic triumph of David and Goliath proportions.