Fifty years ago last night I watched ex-Newcastle United goalie Ronnie ‘The Cat’ Simpsonget his medal for being part of the first British team to win the European Cup, the great Celtic team managed by Jock Stein. They beat Inter Milan 2-1. I watched the game on TV with great friends- still great friends – as Celtic showed the rest of the UK how to win the greatest competition in club football.
I remember watching Ronnie Simpson at every home game from when I was fourteen until he left, surprisingly turning up at Celtic when his best playing days were supposedly over. Simpson was tiny for a keeper by today’s standards, only 5 feet 9 inches but he wasn’t known as The Cat for nothing. Ronnie Simpson was extremely agile, twisting and turning in impossible directions stopping what should have been stunning goals.
So united fans we may be a long way from winning the European Cup – but with Rafa in charge and as long as Ashley lets him get on with the job in peace it’s a little bit closer than before, if you need one more thing to beat your Sunderland friends with (my oldest friend is one) just remind them that Ronnie Simpson, ex- United star goalie was a member of the first British team to win the European Cup.