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John "Jock" Stein
Jock Stein Celtic Supporters Club - John "Jock" Stein

Playing Career

Born in Burnbank, South Lanarkshire, Jock Stein saw football as his escape from the Lanarkshire coal mines. In 1937 he left Greenfield school in Hamilton and after a short time working in a carpet factory went down the pits to become a miner. The next year he joined Blantyre Victoria junior football club.

He started out as a professional player with Albion Rovers in 1942 and continued to work as a miner during the week, while playing as centre-half on Saturday. He made a name for himself as a no nonsense centre-half and went on to make over 200 appearances for the Coatbridge club, which also included a brief loan spell to Dundee United in 1943. Rovers won promotion to the First Division in 1948.

In 1950 Jock Stein signed for non-league Welsh club Llanelli Town. For the first time in his career, he became a full-time professional footballer on the sum of £12 per week.

He was soon desperate to return to Scotland as he had left his wife and young daughter behind and his house had been broken into twice in his absence. In 1951, on the recommendation of Celtic F.C. reserve team trainer Jimmy Gribben, Celtic bought him for £1,200.

He was signed as a reserve but injuries incurred by first team players resulted in him being elevated to the first team. In 1952 he was appointed vice-captain and when captain Sean Fallon broke his arm the full captaincy was passed to Stein. He was club captain until his Celtic playing career ended due to injury in 1956.

In 1953 he captained Celtic to Coronation Cup success when they unexpectedly beat Arsenal 1-0, Manchester United 2-1 and Hibernian 1-0 to become unofficial champions of Britain and in 1954, he captained Celtic to their first League championship since 1938 and first League and Scottish Cup double since 1914. During Scotland's performances in the 1954 World Cup Finals, Jock Stein learned from the shambles of Scotland’s preparations and also about the continentals' tactics.
In 1956, Stein was forced to retire from football after persistent ankle injuries.

In total he played 148 games for Celtic and scored 2 goals. He was given the job of coaching the reserve and youth players and was responsible for persuading the board to purchase Barrowfield as a training ground. In 1958, he led the reserves to the second XI Cup with an 8-2 aggregate triumph over Rangers. This was Stein’s first success as a manager.


Career as Manager

On 14 March 1960 he accepted the job of manager at Dunfermline. After only 6 weeks in charge, Stein led them clear of relegation. He built Dunfermline into a powerful force and guided them to their first Scottish Cup in 1961, via a 2-0 replay victory over Celtic. In 1962 they defeated Everton in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and only lost to Valencia in a third game play-off after retrieving a four goal first leg deficit.

On 1 April 1964, he was appointed manager of Hibernian and within months of becoming manager he led them to Summer Cup success. The testimony of his contemporaries was that he was already “miles” ahead of everyone else in his understanding of the game, and in studying how the investment of energy could be tailored to maximum effect. Stein was immersing himself in the structure of the game while the rest simply went out and played.

On 9 March 1965, Stein returned to Celtic as their first non-Catholic manager. Following a barren period of 8 years without a trophy for Celtic, he revitalised the team and just six weeks after becoming manager, led Celtic to Scottish Cup success in a 3-2 victory over his old club Dunfermline. The next year Celtic were crowned Scottish champions for the first time since 1954; they also reached the semi-finals of the European Cup-Winners-Cup only to be knocked out on away goals by Liverpool.


European Success

Stein managed Celtic to a domestic treble for the first time in the club's history, winning the Scottish League Cup, the League Championship and the Scottish Cup.

He guided Celtic to victory in the final of the 1967 European Cup against previous champions and Italian giants Inter Milan.

Despite initially falling behind to an Italian penalty his team triumphed 2-1, winning much admiration for the positive attacking quality of their football.

In winning club football's most prestigious trophy, Stein became the first man not only to guide a Scottish club to champions of Europe, but also the first to achieve this honour with a British club. Celtic were also the first northern European side to become champions of Europe. He also became the first manager in history to win all competitions entered.

The feat was done with a team all born within 30 miles of Glasgow. The feat of winning the Champions Cup with a team full of native-born players was later matched by Steaua Bucharest.

In a conversation with Bill Shankly shortly afterwards, Shankly famously told him "John, you're immortal now".
The following season, Celtic won the League and League Cup for the third season in a row. In 1969 they won another domestic treble, their second in three years.

In 1970, Stein led Celtic to a League and League Cup double; they also finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup. He also guided them to their second European Cup final which they lost to Dutch side Feijenoord (now Feyenoord) in Milan.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1970. Stein would have been knighted instead if not for an infamous Intercontinental Cup final match against Racing Club where four Celtic players were sent off.

The 1970s brought continued success on the domestic front. During this time Stein's Celtic won a record nine consecutive Scottish Championships.

Stein was badly injured in a car crash in 1975. He nearly died but eventually recovered although some felt that he was never quite the same man again. For most of season 1975 - 1976 Sean Fallon assumed control as manager. Stein returned to manage at the start of season 1976 - 1977.

Celtic's fortunes at this point went into decline and Stein was persuaded to stand down to make way for a younger man. In 1978 with Billy McNeill's appointment as manager, Stein was offered a seat on the Celtic board with responsibility for the Celtic Pools. Stein rejected this offer as he felt he still had something to offer football. Shortly afterwards he became manager of Leeds United but, after just 45 days in charge at Elland Road, Stein resigned, accepting the position of Scotland manager.


Scotland Manager

Stein who had been part-time national manager in 1965, was now able to focus on the job full-time. He led Scotland to the World Cup Finals in 1982 where they went out on goal difference to the Soviet Union.
During qualification for the 1986 World Cup, Stein brought in a young Alex Ferguson - at the time manager at Aberdeen - to be his assistant.
On September 10, 1985, Jock Stein died from a heart attack at the end of the 1-1 draw with Wales at Ninian Park. He was 62 years old.

The result in this game virtually ensured Scotland's qualification for the 1986 World Cup Finals, where Scotland were managed by Alex Ferguson until the surprise appointment of Andy Roxburgh.



European Cup (1)

Scottish Premier League (11)

Scottish Cup (11)

Scottish League Cup (6)

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