Football: Celtic to honour Stein's memory

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The Independent Online
Celtic will open this season's European campaign by remembering the man who led them to their greatest triumph 30 years ago. Before tonight's Uefa Cup preliminary round tie against Inter-Cabletel at Ninian Park, supporters will lay a wreath at a ceremony to honour Jock Stein, who died of a heart attack at the Cardiff ground a dozen years ago.

Stein, who was managing Scotland in a World Cup qualifier at the time, steered Celtic to European Cup success in 1967. This is the first match involving a Scottish team to be played at Ninian Park since Stein's death and it is only being held there because the match was moved from Inter's tiny Leckwith stadium to accommodate Celtic's travelling support.

This is the most glamorous fixture involving a League of Wales club since it was created and it is regarded by the Football Association of Wales as a further justification for the controversial decision. However, there is no expectation of Inter repeating Barry Town's performance last year when they won through two rounds before worrying Aberdeen. Celtic may be in some disarray, losing a friendly to Derry City last week and estranged striker Paolo Di Canio to "stress", but Inter finished a distant second to Barry in the League last season and remain resolutely part-time.

George Wood, the former Everton and Scotland goalkeeper, is manager but his team are the customary collection of firemen, foundry-workers, students and grocers. The nearest they have to professional experience is goal- scoring midfielder and social worker Sean Wharton, a former Sunderland apprentice.