On an incredibly emotional and uplifting evening at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow the Celtic family celebrated the stunning achievements of the Lisbon Lions, 50 years to the day that they lifted the European Cup.
Around 13,000 Hoops supporters watched the world of football, music and entertainment pay tribute to Jock Stein’s side, who famously blew away Inter Milan at the Estadio Nacional to become the first British team to win the most prestigious prize in club football.
Host for the evening Elaine C Smith told how it was the “Perfect night” to remember one of the “Greatest football stories ever told” before leading a minute’s applause in tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack. The tearful actress, who is patron of the Celtic women’s team, said: “We want our brothers and sisters in Manchester to know we stand with you in our grief, “Not one of us who walked didn’t have the thoughts for our brothers and sisters in Manchester, “We want them to know, in that other great football and industrial city, we stand with them in their grief.”
Elaine also revealed to the audience that Rod had waived his fee for the club he loves,and had jumped at the chance to take part.
Rod flew his full band into Scotland for the event which was packed with celebrities.
Prior to Rod taking to the stage, his daughter Ruby became an instant fan favourite as her act Sisterhood performed Irish folk songs Grace and the Celtic anthem The Fields of Athenry.
Other highlights were Susan Boyle who opened the show and summed up the feelings of the fans of 1967 by belting out her favourite I Dreamed a Dream and received a standing ovation to cheers of “Subo”, Michelle McManus performing the Bette Midler classic From a Distance, with photographs of the deceased Lions being beamed out on screens, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers performing Don’t Stop Believing, and the People’s Tenor, John Innes, who treated the crowd to a rendition of You Raise Me Up.
The gig also featured a performance by the Bay City Rollers, that included the hits Shang-a-lang and I Only Wanna Be With You.
A host of football stars also took to the stage including Sir Alex Ferguson who spoke about Celtic's former bosses Jock Stein and Sean Fallon, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers was introduced on stage by Line of Duty star Martin Compton, Rodgers said: “We are here to pay tribute to the real pioneers of Celtic – the Lisbon Lions.” There were also video messages from Hollywood star Gerard Butler and Hoops legend Henrik Larsson, who said: “Have a few pints for me!”.
Many other players were spotted in the crowd including former Celtic players Roy Aitken, Murdo MacLeod and Frank McAvennie, also in attendance were club chief executive Peter Lawwell and chairman Ian Bankier, as well as former managers Gordon Strachan, Neil Lennon, Kenny Dalglish, Martin O’Neill and Kris Commons and his partner Lisa Hague.
But the star of the show was Rod who made his entrance to the Champions League anthem and Magnificent Seven theme tune.Rod who wore a striking green and white suite then kicked balls into the crowd and nearly hit the VIP section with one shot!
Rod made a reference to Celtic's Green Brigade as he sang It's a Heartache. The Celtic supporters group sing the song In The Heat of Lisbon to the same tune.
Rod went through a few many of his greatest hits and showed his acoustic guitar skills on his version of Dirty Old town
Rod summed his feelings up to the crowd saying saying: “This is one of the biggest occasions of my life. I’ve sung for Her Majesty the Queen at the Commonwealth Games but this tops the lot.”
It was also announced at the event that the money raised would go towards the club's charity Celtic FC Foundation.
By Mike Walton
Rod's set list
Having a Party
It's A Heartache
I Don't wanna Talk About It
You Wear It Well
Dirty Old Town
You're In My Heart
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy
You'll Never Walk Alone
Photos-Two Sirs lifting a cup.. and a keyboard player