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Bobby Lennox
Personal information
Full name Robert Lennox
Date of birth 30 August 1943 (1943-08-30) (age 66)
Place of birth    Saltcoats, Scotland
Playing position Outside Left
Youth career
Ardeer Recreation F.C.
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1961–1978
1978
1978–1981
Celtic
Houston Hurricane
Celtic
293 0(157)
030 0 (3)
042 0 (10)   
National team
1966–1970 Scotland 010 00(3)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Robert "Bobby" Lennox, MBE (born 30 August 1943, in Saltcoats, Ayrshire) is a former Scottish professional footballer who played for Celtic and was a member of their 1967 European Cup winning team known as the Lisbon Lions. He also earned ten international caps for his national team Scotland. In 2002, Celtic supporters voted him a member of the club's all-time greatest team.[1]

Contents

Celtic

Celtic signed Lennox from Scottish Junior team Ardeer Recreation on provisional forms in 1961 at the age of 18, and made his first team debut the following March. He went on to score 273 goals in all competitions, second only to Celtic's all time top scorer Jimmy McGrory's total of 468 goals. Of his 273 goals, 167 were scored in the Scottish league, making him the fifth top league scorer in Celtic's history.[2] He won eleven League medals, eight Scottish Cup medals, and four League Cup medals (scoring 63 goals in the competition) and was a member of the 1967 European Cup winning Celtic team, known as the Lisbon Lions, who defeated Inter Milan 2–1 in the Estádio Nacional stadium in Lisbon, Portugal.[2][3]

He played in a second European Cup final with Celtic in 1970, losing 2–1 after extra time to Feyenoord Rotterdam of the Netherlands at the San Siro stadium, Milan. He was an extremely fast winger and was known by fans as 'Buzz Bomb' or 'Lemon' as they thought he made defenders look like 'suckers'.[4][5] He left Celtic in March 1978, and moved to the United States to play for Houston Hurricane in their debut season in the NASL. After a disappointing 3 goals in 30 games for a struggling team, he got a surprise offer to rejoin Celtic in September 1978. It was a good move, as Celtic took the League Championship that year and the Scottish Cup in 1980. He was the last Lisbon Lion to retire as a player when he joined Celtic's coaching staff in November 1980.

Scotland

Lennox made his debut for Scotland in a 2-1 victory over Northern Ireland in 1966, going on to win ten international caps and scoring three goals in the process. He scored one of the goals in the famous victory over the then reigning FIFA World Cup holders England at Wembley in 1967, Englands first defeat since winning the trophy. The goal made him the first Celtic player to score for Scotland at Wembley, and he later said it was a major moment in his life. [6][7] Although he thought there was no particular bias, he believes that he and several of his Celtic team mates should have received more caps than they were given.[8] His last appearance for Scotland was against Wales in 1970 at Hampden Park which resulted in a 0–0 draw.

Tributes

Lennox was much admired by his fellow professionals, such as the Manchester United and England legend Bobby Charlton who said of him "If I'd had Lennox in my team, I could have played forever. He was one of the best strikers I have ever seen". Another football legend Alfredo Di Stefano of Real Madrid said of him, "The Scotsman who gave me the most trouble was Bobby Lennox of Celtic. My testimonial at the Bernabeu was against Celtic as, of course, they were the champions of Europe in 1967, and although I remember the Bernabeu rising to Jimmy Johnstone, I admired Lennox greatly".[9]

Later life

He was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in November 2005 and was also awarded an MBE in 1981. Lennox published his autobiography, "A Million Miles For Celtic", in 1982. He continues his connection with Celtic as a match day host and is the Honorary President of the Houston Bobby Lennox Celtic Supporters Club.[10] His son Gary carried on the family's footballing tradition, playing professionally for Dundee Ayr United and Falkirk.

Anecdotes

In a Scottish television poll taken at the beginning of the new millennium to find Scotlands greatest sporting moments of the twentieth century, Celtic's win in Lisbon was voted number one, with Scotlands win over England at Wembley in 1967 in second place. Billy McNeill, the Lisbon Lions captain who had not been chosen for the game at Wembley, telephoned him and said "Great to be number one isn't it?" Lennox replied "some of us are number one and number two!". McNeill replied "Ya wee so and so, I wish I'd never called you!". On another occasion when Lennox was at a Scotland training camp, Walter MacRae, a Scotland trainer who also worked with Kilmarnock, a club that almost signed him as a youth, told him "You were unlucky Bobby, you were nearly at Kilmarnock, we were keen to sign you but we thought you were a bit too small." With a bemused look on his face Bobby replied "I was unlucky? I've got a European Cup winners medal." MacRae had the good grace to laugh when he realised what he'd said.[8]

References

External links

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