Lisbon – Hail Hail The Celts Are Here!!

Today we docked in Lisbon.

There was only one place that this Celtic fan wanted to see. …

The Estadio Nacionale.

This was were Celtic had their greatest football achievement winning the European Cup on 25th May 1967.

I’d heard that the stadium was in a state of disrepair, not maintained and inaccessible. That the famous pitch had become overgrown and it was a sad state for what was formerly Portugal’s national arena.

Thankfully that was not case and the taxi driver informed us that there had been a recent cup game between Lisbon’s two biggest sides Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

The stadium looked fantastic,

When we arrived the driver left the car and went to speak with his “friend” the security guard. It was all in the price.

We entered the stadium from an opening on the side and the view of the freshly laid pitch and new seats were breathtaking.

This has been part of my family folklore, I have early memories of watching the game on cine film with my Granda.

Happy happy memories of a black and white simpler world.

My son, daughters and I spent a few minutes taking photographs then Steven and I looked at each other and raced around to the other side of the pitch to the presentation section where King Billy McNeil had lifted Europe’s biggest prize.

We climbed up the stairs to the podium and looked round the stadium with awe in out eyes and pride in our hearts then belted out Hail Hail the Celts are here to anyone who could hear us!

The pic below is the view that Billy had as he lifted the cup.

Got to tell you as we walked back round to the girls, I was more than a little bit choked.

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