Glasgow Celtic have given the green light to construct a permanent memorial—in the form of a bronze statue on a granite base—to honor former player James “Jinky” Johnstone. The project will cost the club £60,000.
The ginger haired winger was voted as the Greatest Player in the club's history by fans in 2002, and many will see this as a fitting tribute to the impact that he has had on the club.
Johnstone was of course part of the infamous “Lisbon Lions” team of 1967 that were the first British team to win the European Cup against Inter Milan in the Portuguese capitol of Lisbon.
Johnstone, when describing the scene in the tunnel before facing the Italian ginats in Lisbon that day, once said:
“There they were, Facchetti, Domenghini, Mazzola, Cappellini; all six-footers wi’ Ambre Solaire suntans, Colgate smiles and sleek-backed hair. Each and every wan o’ them looked like yon film star Cesar Romero. They even smelt beautiful.
“And there’s us lot—midgets. Ah’ve got nae teeth, Bobby Lennox hasnae any, and old Ronnie Simpson’s got the full monty, nae teeth top an’ bottom. The Italians are staring doon at us an’ we’re grinnin’ back up at ‘em wi’ our great gumsy grins.
“We must have looked like something out o’ the circus.”
It was not only his unique style of play, but his sometimes dry humor that fans loved. Now everyone will be able to remember Johnstone at Celtic Park.
From 1962-1975 Jinky appeared 515 times and scored 130 goals. He passed away March 13, 2006.