The pinnacle for Jim Craig was inevitably the European Cup final in 1967. A glorious occasion and a magnificent crowning after a trophy laden season at home made the club the most special in football. For Jim Craig the day actually has some mixed memories. After just seven minutes, Jim Craig was judged to have fouled a player in the box leading to Inter Milan’s opening goal via a penalty. A very big blow and the match had only just kicked off.
From a book on “The Lisbon Lions”, Jim Craig recalled about that incident. Likely fearful of the vengeance from the manager, Jock came over to Jim Craig and simply threw an arm around him and said, “Don’t worry, Cairney [Craig’s nickname] that was never a penalty. Never in a million years. Don’t blame yourself. Put it behind you. Show them what you can do in the second half.” However, at the end of the game, after Celtic had won the trophy, Jock Stein’s tone became much darker to Craig: “What on earth were you thinking about at the penalty? What a stupid tackle. You almost cost us the European Cup with that daft tackle.”
Jim Craig acknowledges that this was typical of the boss. “He knew the right buttons to push at the right time.” It was a definite lesson learnt.
Honours with Celtic
Scottish League Titles
1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70
1967, 1969, 1971, 1972
Scottish League Cup
1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70