Discussion in 'The Lisbon Lions' started by Valhalla, Apr 29, 2019.
Discuss Stevie Chalmers - Rest In Peace in the The Lisbon Lions area at TalkCeltic.net.
Legends never die.
JIM Craig described his Lisbon Lions team-mate, Stevie Chalmers, as a wonderful man and an exceptional footballer as he paid tribute to the Celtic legend who sadly passed away this morning (Monday, April 29).
Stevie's family announced the 83-year-old’s passing this morning, just over a week after the death of his team-mate and Lisbon Lions captain Billy McNeill.
Stevie leaves behind a remarkable legacy, having scored 231 goals in 406 appearances for Celtic between 1959 and ’71. He ranks fourth in the club’s top goalscorers of all-time, but his friend and team-mate Craig pointed out that no Celtic player has ever scored a more important goal that Stevie Chalmers did on the May 25, 1967 in Lisbon.
“Stevie scored the most important goal in the club’s history,” said Craig. “That goal made us the first British team to win the European Cup.
“Stevie was a lovely man but the thing I would like to stress about Stevie is, he was a great goalscorer. He was very good at taking a half a chance and evidence for that is in the record books. He had a good strike on him and had the instincts of knowing when to take a chance and have a shot.
“That’s a great thing to have as a striker - to have the confidence in your own ability to be able to hit it hard and hit it accurately when you get into the right position. That’s what gives you the chance to make your mark on history and Stevie certainly did that.
“The thing I’ll always remember him for most was his calmness in front of goal when that ball came across in Lisbon. He could have blasted it but he just pushed the ball into the corner, very calmly and very relaxed. That was a striker at the height of his powers, taking advantage of an opportunity when it mattered most."
Despite holding the accolade of being the man to score the most important goal in the club’s history, Jim Craig said that his friend and former team-mate was a humble and selfless man.
“He had all these lovely attributes and was such a modest man so people might not have realised just how good a man he was.
“Stevie was a bit older than me and he was very kind to me when I first came into the team. I was a wee bit overawed when I first came into the team because I had come from university football but Stevie was very kind to me, as were all the players.
“He made me feel welcome and got me involved. On my first trip abroad to Russia in 1966 Stevie made a point of sitting alongside me to make me feel good. I was very touched to have that comfort from him and I’ll always be grateful to him for that.”
Another legend gone
After we won the Treble in 2001, Celtic did a tour of the trophies all over Ireland.
At the Derry one, we got to meet Stevie Chalmers and Bobby Lennox.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet them. Honestly, they were two of the loveliest, most humble guys I've ever met.
Stevie Chalmers was introduced as the guy who scored the winning goal in the European Cup final (I must confess that at this stage, I was only 11 and didn't actually know who scored the goals in Lisbon ) but he made it out as if it was no big deal and that he was just in the right place and the right time.
There was something about him that was just really pleasant. For a guy who had scored such an iconic goal he was just so down to earth and so warm and friendly.
Even though I only got to spend a few minutes in his company it was a truly wonderful moment for me.
RIP Stevie, you made a wee Bhoy's dream come true.
* be good to Billy and Stevie. Legends never die.
Sad sad week
Such a natural picture, yet they are legends
That's an incredibly wonderful yet sa
Can't believe this news. Sad times for our club. Lucky enough to meet him and bobby Lennox at a cup final a few years back. I felt in awe or their presence and what they had achieved. Briefly chatted and signed my programme. Class. Another legend gone. And I'd forgotten about his TB experience until McGuire mentioned it.
Gutted. Hopefully another fitting display and tribute is due.
embarrassed i just seen the news
* bless Stevie, another legend in a week is cruel
Rest in peace
Remember back in 88 him and the Lisbon Lions came to Dumbarton golf club which was having it's centenary and played a wee tournament and Stevie was partnered with my dad for a mini comp, absolute gentleman of a man, got photo's of him me and my father together and if I remember correctly he bunged me a few quid for being a ball finder.
So sad to lose two Legends in a week. RIP Stevie Chalmers
Lovely story for you and your father to cherish
I didn't know you were from the Shire.
The Myre Marie
Sure we were talking about this a while back.
We probably did, Angus, I've got a memory like a sieve.
HIS goal, a classic poacher’s effort that was turned in instinctively from just a few yards out after a thunderous drive from his team mate Bobby Murdoch, with just seven minutes of the match remaining ultimately clinched Celtic’s momentous 2-1 victory.
Would the Glasgow club, though, even have been in the position to triumph over their formidable rivals Inter Milan in the European Cup final at the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon in 1967 had it not been for Stevie Chalmers?
The striker, whose death at the age of 83 was announced by his former club yesterday just six days after it emerged his old captain and friend Billy McNeill had passed away, was integral to the famous result and not just because he pitched in with the winner.
Jock Stein, the Celtic manager, recognised before kick-off that his team wouldn’t be able to approach the meeting with Inter like any other game and expect to prevail.
Their opponents, who had won the tournament in two of three previous years by deploying the negative Catenaccio system favoured by their coach Helenio Herrera, were too defensive and too experienced to succumb.
So Stein changed his tactics accordingly and the centre forward was handed an important role.
“Chalmers was always a very selfless player,” said Pat Woods, a Celtic author, historian and lifelong supporter who was in the 45,000-strong crowd in Lisbon, yesterday. “He did an awful lot of work that went unnoticed off the ball.
“L’Equipe’s report on the final singled him out for that – his intelligent running off the ball that made space for the likes of Murdoch to come through and bombard the Italian goal. He drew defenders away, pulled them out of position.
That was the game plan. Celtic weren’t going to win throwing crosses into the box. They knew they would have to work the Italian defence and work them hard. They needed someone to draw them out, to make space. Chalmers did that.
“Stein understood exactly what was required. He knew his side couldn’t play the traditional way. He promised before the game that Celtic would go out and attack, which they did. But he also appreciated that they would need to wear the Italians down. In the end, that was what happened. They put Inter under so much pressure they were punch drunk at the end.”
It was fitting, after putting in such a powerful shift up front in the Portuguese evening sun, that Chalmers, who was the grand old age of 31 at that stage in his career, should be the man to sew up the victory.
“He wasn’t a scorer of spectacular goals, but he was a really good striker, a great finisher from close in,” said Woods. “Look at his position for the winning goal. He comes out of nowhere. But he was there to touch the ball into the net.”
Chalmers was always self-effacing about his role in the victory. “It was the moment that changed everything,” he once said. “But there were some terrific individual performances from our players on the day in Lisbon. We won the European Cup as a team.”
It was a wonder that Chalmers was still around to play football, never mind as a professional at such a high level, at all. He contracted tuberculosis-meningitis as a young man of just 20 in 1955 and was given just three weeks to live.
He spent six months in the Belvidere Hospital for Infectious Diseases near to Celtic Park and only recovered after receiving pioneering treatment from Dr Peter McKenzie, a Rangers supporter.
He made a full recovery and went on to win Scotland Juniors representative honours while playing for Ashfield Juniors. It was during his three years at the Possilpark club that he caught the attention of Celtic.
He signed for them in 1959 and scored the first of his 236 goals – only Jimmy McGrory, Bobby Lennox, Henrik Larsson and Jimmy Quinn have scored more in the 131 year history of the East End club – in a league game against Raith Rovers away in his first season.
Chalmers found himself in a side that included Jimmy Johnstone, Billy McNeill, John Hughes and Tommy Gemmell. But they struggled until Stein took over in 1965. The new manager was immediately impressed with the work ethic, unselfishness and ability of the player he inherited.
He won four League Cups, four Scottish titles and three Scottish Cups, not to mention that European Cup, in the space of the next five years. He also won five caps and scored three goals, including one in a 1-1 draw with Brazil, for Scotland. Not that he was one to bask in the glory of his accomplishments. “Stevie was always very modest,” said Woods. “You couldn’t really get him to talk about his achievements. He was such a nice guy, he really was.”
After spells as a player with Morton and Partick Thistle he worked as a youth coach as well as in a variety of other roles at Celtic. His sad passing yesterday will be mourned by all who knew him and everyone who ever saw him play.
What a tumultuous week
R.I.P Stevie Chalmers
RIP Stevie, another sad day. Getting some team up there, must be a big game coming up.