The Road to Lisbon

By Martin Greig, Charles McGarry

Format: Multiple Formats

The first fictionalised account of Celtic's historic triumph over Inter Milan in the 1967 European Cup final in Lisbon.

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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In 1967 Celtic manager Jock Stein stepped from the tunnel of Lisbon's Estadio Nacional and took up a position pitch-side as his team of home-grown journeymen trotted out to face Inter Milan, the charismatic superstars of Italian football, in the European Cup final. Celtic were a team forged in Stein's own image, steeled with a relentless industry and integrity by their inspirational manager whose character had, in turn, been honed by the horrors of the deep dark of the Lanarkshire coalfields. Martin Greig and Charlie McGarry's extraordinary novel delves to the very heart of that incredible season through the eyes of Stein - as he plots and plans and drags his team to the very pinnacle of European club football - and those of Tom, an idealistic young fan from the East End of Glasgow, whose dreams of life beyond the decaying slums of the Gorbals are inextricably tied to those of his heroes. The Road to Lisbon is a novel of hopes and dreams, of self discovery and triumph over adversity - and of an unerring love with an institution that represents so much more than just a football club.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 14 May 2012
SKU 9781780270845-grouped
Number of Pages 256

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Press Reviews

"As a fellow writer The Road to Lisbon fills me with envy and admiration. Not my team, not quite my era yet I was hooked - utterly drawn in by the two narratives and it made me remember what I felt like when I first fell in love with football and it wasn't a job but a passion. Thank you to Charlie and Martin for that." Graham Hunter, Sky Sports' Spanish football expert "Reading The Road To Lisbon reminded me of the extraordinary football achievement by Jock Stein and his players, and also what that success meant for the Celtic supporters. I have to confess that I had a tear in my eye at the end of the novel." Paul Cuddihy, Editor, Celtic View "Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road' meets David Peace's 'The Damned United' in Martin Greig and Charles McGarry's spectacular novel, masterfully, and grippingly, telling the story of Celtic's European Cup win in Lisbon in 1967. It is seen vividly, and graphically, through the eyes of the legendary Jock Stein and a young Celtic fan." Brian Marjoribanks, Scottish Daily Mail "FICTIONAL accounts of actual episodes in football has become an in-vogue genre and this enjoyable novel invites the reader to ride in tandem with Tim, a Celtic fan who makes the journey of his lifetime from the Gorbals to Lisbon to watch Celtic become the first British side to win the European Cup in 1967. But we also get how it felt to be the man on whom fell the burden of masterminding victory over Inter Milan. Jock Stein is evoked as an often stern and cursing disciplinarian whose struggles proved that Celtic's historic achievement was a victory born of graft as well as inspiration. When in the company of Tim, this book reads like an On the Road for the footballing hipster. Inside the head of Stein, we are reminded of the Damned United's treatment of Brian Clough." The Scotsman "WITHOUT doubt, 1967 was a landmark year for Celtic. In the hands of Jock Stein, they had become a mighty team, and this novel is set in the week leading up to the European Championship in Lisbon, where there were to face Inter Milan for the cup. It tells of Tim, a young man from the Gorbals who travels to Portugal with some mates for the game. Tim aspires to be an artist, and the tension between his upbringing and the bohemian world he wants to join is palpable. But his story is interspersed with the thoughts of Stein himself as he plans for the forthcoming match with military resolve and thinks back over his career up to that point, The Stein sections can be a little exposition-heavy, but they're intense, portraying the legendary manager almost as a force of nature. By focussing on both boss and fan, the authors capture the passion and determination of the true football devotee." Alastair Mabbott, The Herald

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