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Evening Times

Evening Times

Jinky in tears for Lisbon Lions hero

Jonathan Paisley

25 April 2004

CELTIC legend Jimmy Johnstone was reduced to tears at the premiere of his new film last night as the Lisbon Lions paid tribute to their teammate Ronnie Simpson.

The European Cup winners joined thousands of Celtic fans to observe a minute's silence for the former goalkeeper, who died last week.

Jimmy Johnstone
STAR OF THE SHOW: Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone

Guests including Celtic boss Martin O'Neill, Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan turned out at the Armadillo for the screening of Lord of the Wing, a documentary about Jimmy.

The film, narrated by Billy Connolly, charts the legendary winger's remarkable life, from lifting the European Cup in 1967 to his battle with motor neurone disease.

Jimmy, 59, said Ronnie Simpson's sudden death last week had left him "devastated".

Simpson was an integral part of the homegrown Lisbon Lions, who beat Inter Milan 2-1 to become the first British club to win the European Cup.

Jimmy, who had considered postponing the gala premiere, said: "The night is dedicated to Ronnie. It is a fitting tribute."

The documentary includes footage of Jimmy returning to the winner's podium at Lisbon's Estadio Nacional, where Celtic clinched the European Cup.

Jinky, who was voted the Greatest Ever Celt by Hoops fans in 2002, met Benfica superstar Eusebio and Real Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano during filming.

Lord of the Wing began filming two-and-a-half years ago after Jimmy had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is among a host of big names who agreed to be interviewed for the film. Lord of the Wing is expected to hit the shops next month. Meanwhile, Jimmy hopes Celtic's army of fans will back his bid for chart stardom.

He has teamed up with Jim Kerr to record a duet of the Ewan MacColl song Dirty Old Town. The single is due to be released on Monday next week, with proceeds going to Jimmy's Motor Neurone Disease Tribute Fund.

Earlier this year Celtic fans raised 20,000 to kick off the fund, set up in honour of the club legend.

Supporters rallied round after an appeal at a league match in December.

HEYDAY: Jimmy salutes his fans after scoring yet another match-winning goal
Source: Evening Times
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