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Scottish legend Johnstone dies at 61 (March 2006)

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) - Former Scotland winger Jimmy Johnstone, best known as one of the 'Lisbon Lions' when Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup in 1967, died last Monday. He was 61.

Johnstone, who became an active campaigner for stem cell research after being diagnosed with motor neuron disease in November 2001, died at 0600 GMT at his home in Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Nicknamed 'Jinky' because of his dribbling ability, Johnstone won nine straight Scottish league titles from 1965-73 with Celtic. He scored 129 goals in 515 appearances for Celtic, and played 23 internationals for Scotland.

"He fought motor neuron disease with great courage," said Tommy Gemmell, his European Cup-winning teammate. "He was deteriorating physically, but he's at peace now. He had the heart of a lion and the ability of a maestro.
"He was voted by the fans as Celtic's greatest-ever player and he could have played in any team in the world. I doubt very much if we'll see his like again."

At only 5-foot-4 (163 centimeters) and weighing 9 1/2 stone (60 kilograms), Johnstone starred when Celtic came from a goal behind to defeat Inter Milan 2-1 in the 1967 European Cup final in Portugal.

"Jimmy practically played Inter Milan on his own," said Billy McNeill, then Celtic captain. "There was nothing he was ever frightened of, he was brilliant."

Johnstone also played for the San Jose Earthquakes, Sheffield United, Dundee, Shelbourne and Elgin City.

Posted on 29 Mar 2006 by coachgianni
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