The Glasgow striker, who signed the victory against Inter in the Lisbon European Cup final, died at 83 years old
First captain Billy McNeill, today striker Steve Chalmers, signing the decisive goal, 2-1, in the famous European Cup final against Inter in Lisbon in 1967: Celtic lost two legends in a week. McNeill, remembered with a thrilling tribute by the fans last Saturday at 1-0 against Kilmarnock, was the leader. Chalmers, 83, originally from the Garngad district of Glasgow, was the bomber: with 236 goals scored in twelve seasons, from 1959 to 1971, he is the fifth ever scorer. Left Celtic, he played again: from 1971 to 1973 in the Greenock Mortom and from 1973 to 1975 in the Partick Thistle. It boasts 5 national appearances and 3 goals.
CHAMPION – A winner: 6 championships in a row between 1966 and 1971, 5 League Cups, 4 Cups of Scotland and 1 Champions Cup. In the historic game of 25 May 1967 in Lisbon – a Thursday -, Chalmers signed at 84 ’2-1. Inter had passed on 6 minutes with a penalty by Sandrino Mazzola, but Helenio Herrera’s team was exhausted after years of success. Celtic besieged the Nerazzurri and only the parades of Giuliano Sarti complicated the life of the Scots. The 1-1 arrived at 63 ‘with a Gemmell stone and at 84’ the diagonal of Chalmers delivered the Champions Cup to the formation of Jock Stein, the first British club to get on the roof of Europe. That Celtic played aggressive and spectacular football: a starter of Ajax and total football.
Chalmers died of senile dementia, the same disease that marked the end of Billy McNeill. In 1955, at age 19, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis meningitis: he was rescued by a Rangers fan doctor. His father David in the 1920s and his son Paul in the 1980s were footballers, but he was the family champion. Celtic will remember him next Saturday in Aberdeen – when he will be able to celebrate a new title – and then in the Old Firm on May 12th.