Would Jock have accepted a Knighthood? I doubt it.

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Joe O'Rourke
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Would Jock have accepted a Knighthood? I doubt it.

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:37 pm

I find it quite ironic that a newspaper like the Daily Mail are running a campaign to get the Lisbon Lions some kind of recognition for the Magnificent Achievement of being the first British/Non Latin team to win the European Cup.

I find myself asking the question, would Big Jock have wanted a Knighthood? I think it’s extremely likely that Jock would have declined the opportunity to be called Sir John Stein, after all Big Jock was very proud of his working class roots, and of his times working as a Miner.

There has been six British teams that won the European Cup/Champions League, only two of the Managers were awarded Knighthoods, Bob Paisley won it three times and wasn’t Knighted, Brian Clough twice won the Big Cup, no Knighthood then either.

Matt Busby was knighted after Manchester United followed Glasgow Celtic by winning the European Cup in 1968. I think there might have been more to it than that, Matt had survived the Munich Air Disaster and rebuilt his team after losing so many players in the Airplane crash.

We all know why Cloughie never got awarded a Knighthood, like Jock he was very much a Labour supporter and looked on himself as being “Working Class”. They remain the only team to have won the European Cup more times than they won the League.

Aston Villa won the Cup in 1982 under Tony Barton after the manager that had won the League the previous year Ron Saunders resigned before the quarter final, ironically they were relegated just five years later.

Liverpool won the Big Cup five times, three times under Bob Paisley, why did Bob not get knighted? Again I’m not sure he was the type of guy who would have welcomed that type of award, by all accounts Bob was a very laid back quiet family man, not interested in the trappings of so-called Royalty.

The second Manager to be knighted for winning the European Cup was Alex Ferguson, is it just coincidence that he was Manager of Manchester United? Or are Man Utd now recognised as the establishment team? I believe it may well be the latter.

Getting back to the man who started it all off Big Jock. Jock not only won the Cup with a team of players born within thirty miles of Celtic Park, he actually changed the way every other team in Europe played their football, even the Italians applauded Celtic’s style and ditched their famous Catenaccio.

I’m pretty confident that Big Jock would have turned down a Knighthood, I’m also pretty sure there were workings going on behind the scenes to make sure a Celtic Manager wasn’t going to get the chance to refuse the award.

Could you imagine the furore if Jock was Knighted and Scott Symon wasn’t, the loyal unionists over in Govan would not have accepted that, I don’t suppose we’ll ever find out the truth about the snub to Big Jock, and I don’t expect any phoney campaign by the Ultra Tory Rag that is The Daily Mail is going to change that.

You have to ask yourself what sounds better, Sir John Stein, or Jock Stein Celtic Legend and European Cup Winner, I certainly know which one I prefer.

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