Lisbon Lions 50th anniversary: Painting sale for charity

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Lisbon Lions painting unveiled
Image caption,
The painting was unveiled by Bertie Auld and Jim Craig at Celtic Park

A painting commemorating 50 years since Celtic's Lisbon Lions lifted the European Cup is to be sold to raise money for charity.

"Glittering Prize" is a vast, multi-layered, canvas by Scottish artist Gerard M Burns.

He created the work after travelling to Lisbon with five of the surviving Lions earlier this year.

It will be sold to raise money for projects supported by Celtic FC Foundation and Mary's Meals.

Celtic triumphed 2-1 against Inter Milan to win the historic title in Lisbon's Estádio Nacional on 25 May 1967.

The team, who became known as the Lisbon Lions, were all born within a 30-mile radius of Celtic Park.

Mr Burns visited Lisbon with five of the Lions - Jim Craig, Bertie Auld, Willie Wallace, John Fallon and Bobby Lennox - back in February in order to get inspiration for his painting.

Image caption,
The painting is a combination of old images and newer ones

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, the artist said he had "very clear memories" of watching the famous victory when he was about five years old.

"My grandfather came to the house to watch the game on our black and white telly.

"When the second goal went in he tumbled over his wilkies and kicked the telly. As a wee boy, I remember nearly having a hear attack," he said.

'Moving experience'

Talking of his trip to Lisbon, he said: "It was an astonishing experience. The bizarrist thing of all was that the stadium is the same so it was like stepping back through a time portal.

"To actually be in that space with those men was quite a moving experience."

He added: "When I got back I felt I have to do something, I have to respond in some way to this.

"I decided to make something which was a combination of a lot of the imagery that was already out there, I had taken some photos myself and I did some detective work and I've produced one art work which brings together lots of those elements."

The painting will be sold through Celtic FC Foundation, along with 25 print editions.

The funds raised will support The 67 Kitchens project which funds cooking facilities in schools in Malawi and emergency food supplies in Aleppo and South Sudan.

Image source, SNS
Image caption,
It is 50 years since Celtic's Lisbon Lions lifted the European Cup

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: "The 67 Kitchens campaign gives Celtic fans all over the world the chance to unite in the common causes of food for the hungry and honouring our legendary Lions."

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Mary's Meals chief executive, said: "Through our joint efforts with Celtic FC Foundation over the years, Mary's Meals knows only too well the conscience and goodness of the Celtic support and we will work hard - on their behalf - to bring that incredible generosity to bear in some of the world's poorest communities."

Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld added: "It's been a great pleasure for the boys to stay so closely involved with the club through the foundation. We love to see the founding principles of the club carried forward and the modern day Celtic and its charitable side rise to the challenges at home and abroad that others shy away from."

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