St Ninian’s help celebrate Lisbon Lions 50th anniversary

The St Ninian's team who took part in the Lisbon Lions Trophy
The St Ninian's team who took part in the Lisbon Lions Trophy

St Ninian’s High School’s under-14 side took part in a special tournament to mark the 50th anniversary of Celtic’s European Cup success in 1967.

They joined 15 other schools from across Glasgow and Lanarkshiree for the GFSA Lisbon Lions Trophy tournament which was held at the Toryglen regional football centre.

Eligibility criteria for the invitation-only tournament consisted of schools either being GFSA affiliated or having had one of the Lisbon Lions attend their school.

The schools were split into four groups of four teams with the teams with the most points after their three 30 minute games proceeding to the finals day at Celtic’s training ground in Lennoxtown.

The team’s first match was against Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell. The boys held off strong attacking in the first half and their patience in the second half paid off with two goals scored by Ethan Frame and Aidan McDade.

The second match was a tough fought battle against Holyrood Secondary and a penalty awarded very late in the game, tucked away calmly by Joseph Murphy, kept St Ninian’s in the running with a 1-1 draw against the group favourites.

The last match was against St Peters with St Ninian’s knowing a win would guarantee them a place in the finals.

It was a very exciting, end-to-end game which concluded in a 0-0 draw.

However Holyrood managed to win their last game, which took the decision down to goal difference with St Ninian’s having to settle for second.

Regardless of the result, the boys played consistently well and showed great tenacity, commitment and sportsmanship on what was a well organised event, fitting of the historic victory it set out to commemorate.