Charlie Gallagher of Celtic and Dumbarton: Lisbon Lion dies aged 80

Pictured above: Charlie Gallagher, who won every domestic honour and the European Cup during 12 years with Celtic, with legendary Celtic captain Billy McNeill.

By Bill Heaney

Former Celtic and Dumbarton midfielder Charlie Gallagher, part of the legendary Lisbon Lions’ 1967 European Cup-winning squad, has died at the age of 80.

Gallagher played 171 games for the Glasgow club, scoring 32 goals, in a 12-year spell from 1958. He joined Dumbarton and was part of one of the then Boghead club’s most successful teams ever, winning the championship in 1972.

As well as helping Celtic become the first British team to secure European Cup success, he won three league titles, a League Cup and Scottish Cup.

Celtic have paid tribute to “a hugely popular figure amongst the support”.

Gallagher, pictured here, spent the final seasons of his playing career with Dumbarton,  where he lived and ran a successful business with his wife, Mary, before returning to Celtic as a scout for two years and later worked as a taxi driver.

He played his part in Celtic’s run to European Cup glory, with his corner headed home by Billy McNeill to defeat Vojvodina in the quarter-final.

Gallagher missed out on a starting place for the final against Inter Milan in Lisbon, but the club notes “he celebrated that triumph with his team-mates and has always been rightly acknowledged as part of the Lisbon Lions squad”.

Born in Glasgow to parents from Donegal, he was the first Scotland-born player to represent the Republic of Ireland, earning two caps.

“The thoughts and prayers of the whole Celtic family are with Charlie’s wife, Mary, his children and grandchildren, and all his family and friends,” said Celtic’s statement.

“Charlie’s contribution to his beloved Celtic over 12 years was immense, and he would become an integral part of the squad which achieved great things both in Scotland and in Europe under the stewardship of Jock Stein.

“His many achievements for Celtic will always be remembered.

“The Celtic players will wear black armbands on Wednesday night when they play Bristol City as a mark of respect for the Celtic great.”

Dumbarton FC issued the following tribute: “It is with very deep sadness that we have learned that Charlie Gallagher, a member of our legendary championship-winning team of 1972, has died.

“The passing of the former forwardhas been announced by Celtic, from whom he joined Dumbarton in 1970.

“Charlie went on to play 95 games for the club, scoring 40 goals, 21 of which came across all competitions during the wonderful 1971/72 season which saw the club win the Second Division title.

“He retired as a player in 1973. He was also a full international for the Republic of Ireland, gaining two caps.

“The thoughts of everybody at Dumbarton FC are with Charlie’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

Dumbarton Football Club


Sunday 11th July 2021

Charlie Gallagher was an integral part of the Seventies Sons squad which included Kenny Wilson, Davy Wilson and Lawrie Williams. Caricature by Tom Ferguson.

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