CONTEMPORARY Scottish artist, Gerard M Burns has created a stunning, multi- layered, 6‘ x 4’ painting, entitled “Glittering Prize” to commemorate the Lisbon Lions’ 50th anniversary, celebrating the historic 2-1 European Cup final win against Inter Milan in Lisbon’s Estadio Nacional on May 25, 1967.
It was launched at Celtic Park with Lisbon Lions, Bertie Auld and Jim Craig, accompanying the artist alongside Celtic’s Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell, the Foundation’s Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, and Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Mary’s Meals Founder and Chief Executive.
“Glittering Prize” and an edition of 25 prints will be available for purchase through Celtic FC Foundation to raise funds for #LionsLegacy -a fundraising campaign which is raising and distributing funds to Celtic FC Foundation programmes which honour the Lisbon Lions and create a legacy in their name.
Gerard and Celtic FC Foundation have agreed that 100 per cent of the proceeds from sales of the prints will go towards supporting Celtic FC Foundation’s and Mary’s Meals’ joint campaign – The 67 Kitchens. Funds from this campaign will fund 67 kitchens in schools in Malawi and emergency food supplies for Aleppo and South Sudan.
Each of the limited editions has been embossed with its own unique version of a specially commissioned replica of the 1967 winner’s medal (the Glittering Prize). Each print will be sold for £5,000. Print purchasers will also be invited to name one of the 67 Kitchens alongside Celtic FC Foundation and #LionsLegacy.
The 67 Kitchens campaign will also be a beneficiary of the Henrik’s Heroes v Lubo’s Legends Charity Match at Celtic Park on May 28. In addition, a number of Celtic Supporters’ Clubs and other fans are arranging fundraisers to support the campaign.
Gerard visited Lisbon with five of the Lions, Jim Craig, Bertie Auld, Willie Wallace, John Fallon and Bobby Lennox along with members of the Jock Stein, Neilly Mochan and Sean Fallon families, back in February this year to inspire his vision for “Glittering Prize” and get a first-hand sense of the incredible achievement by11 Celtic players, all born within a 30- mile radius of Celtic Park.
Gerard explained: “I was really excited about the trip. I had a rough idea of how I wanted to visually represent all of the team and capture all the press reaction and the magnitude of their success… what I didn’t bargain for was how overwhelmingly emotional the entire experience was going to be.
“Actually being in the stadium with the Lions and family members and seeing the experience through their eyes and hearing their stories of that day was completely overwhelming. I am not too proud to admit I bawled my eyes out. Bertie Auld had me in stitches one minute and in floods of tears the next.”
“I have supported and worked with the Celtic FC Foundation for many years and my wife Ellen does a lot of work with Mary’s Meals so we decided that “Glittering Prize” would be our way of making a contribution to The 67 Kitchens and #LionsLegacy.”
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “It’s been a tremendous season for the club and the Foundation and we have an exciting few weeks ahead.
“The 67 Kitchens campaign gives Celtic fans all over the world the chance to unite in the common causes of food for the hungry and honouring our legendary Lions.
“Our sincerest thanks go to Gerard and Ellen for their tremendous support for The 67 Kitchens campaign and #LionsLegacy.”
Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation, added: “We are very pleased to be continuing our partnership with Mary’s Meals. Food for the hungry is something Celtic fans are passionate about and it resonates so strongly with the roots of our club where children were encouraged into school with the hope of a meal.”
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Mary’s Meals Chief Executive said: “Through our joint efforts with Celtic FC Foundation over the years, Mary’s Meals knows only too well the conscience and goodness of the Celtic support and we will work hard – on their behalf – to bring that incredible generosity to bear in some of the world’s poorest communities.
“On behalf of each of the many children who will benefit, we thank Celtic FC Foundation and its supporters.”
Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld said: “It’s been a great pleasure for the boys to stay so closely involved with the club through the Foundation. We love to see the founding principles of the club carried forward and the modern-day Celtic and its charitable side rise to the challenges at home and abroad that others shy away from.
“The boys are all proud to be Celtic fans to this day and together all Celtic fans are showing that we care about the great inheritance Brother Walfrid passed down to us.”
Lisbon Lion Jim Craig added: “Celtic is a global family of fans living and working all over the world who also know of poverty on their own doorstep in the communities in which they live and work.
“Yet against all that, the unsurpassed charitable nature of Celtic fans has always meant a real conviction behind a core value – there is always somebody worse off than yourself – and we have always found ways of supporting the world’s poorest people.
“The Lions are very touched by this #LionsLegacy initiative and proud to see our club getting behind initiatives like The 67 Kitchens.”