One of the smaller parts of the British Isles, the ethos of the Scottish population, one that of hard-work and perseverance had bled into their football as well.
In 1967, Celtic had become the first British team to conquer Europe aka become European Champions (later rechristened to the UEFA Champions League) and the face of this victory was their manager, Jock Stein.
Jock Stein grew up in Burnbank, Ayshire. Being the son of a coal miner, young Jock went along with his father for work.
He played as semi-professional player for local club Blantyre Victoria. He was then hired for a brief stint at Llaneli Town before coming back to Scotland to play for Celtic. However his playing career was cut short by an injury and he was forced into early retirement.
He started out as a manager for the Celtic reserves sides where future legends such as Billy McNeil and John Clarke benefitted from his then modern style of management.
However with Celtic not ready to promote him to manager of the first team, Jock Stein went to relegation contenders Dunfermline.
As much as his achievements with Celtic were great, his achievements with Dunfermline were equally breath-taking. For a team that were languishing in relegation spots, he won the Scottish Cup in 1961. This earned them a ticket to the UEFA Cup Winners Cup where they reached the Quarter Finals.
He then went to Hibs. A club which was having a bit of a down period rose straight back to the top of Scottish football. With no option, Celtic had to call back Jock Stein with an offer he could not refuse.
Appointed as the Manager of the Bhoys, Jock Stein won the league in his first full season. For a team that had not won the league or the Scottish Cup since 1954, Jock Stein set off winning 9 successive title wins. He also won 8 Scottish cups in this time.
The crowning achievement of his career came when Celtic defeated Helenio Herrera’s Inter 2-1 in Lisbon to win the UEFA European Cup earning the team the nickname Lisbon Lions. All of the players who played for Celtic that day were all born within a 30 mile radius of Parkhead. Celtic had won the quadruple of Scottish and European football.
JOCK STEIN – STYLE OF PLAY
Although tactics and formations were in their formative years, Jock Stein’s style of football was intense, quick and had all the elements of the revolutionary Total Football that would sweep the game later. Ajax who liked to play the 4-3-3 with Cryuff, Stein like to play with a 4-2-4 which sometimes metamorphosized into a 4-4-2.
Stein unlike Herrera, who had a mantra of winning at any cost, wanted to play football that entertained the fans along with the win.