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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Final farewell to Celtic goalie
Simpson funeral, hearse
Flowers donated by Newcastle United are placed on the coffin
Big names from the world of football joined together for the funeral of Ronnie Simpson, one of Celtic's famous "Lisbon Lions".

Players, managers and pundits past and present said their goodbyes to the former goalkeeper on Tuesday.

The funeral of 73-year-old Simpson, who died of a heart attack, took place at St Ninian's Church in Edinburgh.

He helped Celtic become the first British team to lift the European Cup in Portugal in 1967.

The player was also the last line of defence in Scotland's 3-2 win over then world champions England at Wembley in the same year.

Simpson was the second member of the legendary Lisbon Lions squad to pass away. Right-half Bobby Murdoch died three years ago.

Former Lisbon Lions team mates, including Billy McNeill , Tommy Gemmell, and Jimmy Johnstone, were joined by stars from the current Celtic side, among them Henrik Larsson and club captain Paul Lambert.

Scotland return

And the other half of the old firm was represented by Rangers' legends John Greig and Sandy Jardine.

Hundreds of mourners heard McNeill, who captained the Lisbon Lions team, describe Simpson as a "very exceptional person" and a "very exceptional player".

Ronnie Simpson
Ronnie Simpson died of a heart attack at the age of 73
Simpson played for the Hoops between 1964 and 1970, making his debut at the Nou Camp against Barcelona.

He first played for Queen's Park a month before his 15th birthday in 1945 and, after National Service, joined Third Lanark in 1950.

Within a year he had moved to Tyneside, where he won the FA Cup with Newcastle United in 1952 and 1955 - the last domestic silverware won by the Magpies.

Simpson returned to Scotland in 1960 to join Hibernian, where he stayed for four years before Jock Stein sold him to Celtic and followed him to Parkhead within the year.

Simpson retired from the game in 1970 but made one final appearance for Celtic the following year when the Lisbon Lions played together for the last time.

He took over as manager of Hamilton Academical for less than a year and continued to work at Celtic Park on match days in the hospitality suites.


SEE ALSO:
Simpson a shining example
25 Apr 04  |  Celtic
Celts hero passes away
20 Apr 04  |  Celtic


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