Glentoran Euro memories stayed with Eusebio
Published 06/01/2014 | 09:30
Eusebio never forgot his visits to Belfast with Benfica in the Sixties.
Four years after scoring a late equaliser to deny Distillery a 3-2 European Cup victory at Windsor Park, he repeated the feat with a memorable goal against Glentoran at the Oval in the same competition, earning a 1-1 draw before John Colrain's team travelled to Lisbon and held his team to a scoreless draw.
Glentoran legend Jim Weatherup recalled: "I can remember chatting to Eusebio when he came back to The Oval and he remarked that eight players in that Benfica side had featured in the World Cup semi-finals against England in 1966. I found that remarkable and a tribute to our great performances."
Those games against the Glens in 1967 were also vividly recalled by Eusebio when he returned to the city to conduct the draw for the 1996 Milk Cup.
Cup stalwart Victor Leonard recalled: "I was driving him from the airport to the Culloden Hotel and as we passed The Oval he told me he had played there. He spoke glowingly of the reception afforded to the team by the Glens and remarked how well they had played."
Eusebio made the Milk Cup trip while visiting England to take in the Euro 96 finals and renewed acquaintance with old Manchester United adversary Harry Gregg and father of the Milk Cup, the late Bertie Peacock.