Which was the first British football club to win the European Cup?

In the history of the European Cup, which was founded in 1955, and the Champions League, which replaced the European Cup in 1992, British clubs have won the competition on 15 occasions. Liverpool, with six wins, in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005 and 2019, has been the most successful British club, followed by Manchester United, with three wins, in 1968, 1999 and 2008, and Nottingham Forest and Chelsea, with two wins apiece, in 1979 and 1980, and 2012 and 2021, respectively. The only other British clubs to win the most prestigious club tournament in Europe, so far, have been Celtic, in 1967, and Aston Villa, in 1981.

Indeed, a 2-1 victory over Internazionale, a.k.a. Inter Milan, at Estádio Nacional in Lisbon, Portugal on May 25, 1967, made Celtic the first British Club to win the European Cup. At that stage, the European Cup was contested by the champions, and only the champions, of domestic leagues throughout Europe, such that Celtic qualified as champions of Scottish Football League Division One. The tournament format was straight, but double-legged, knockout, with the total aggregate score over home and away ties to count as the result.

The Bhoys made serene progress through the first two rounds, beating FC Zurich 2-0 at home and 3-0 away, and Nantes 3-1 home and away to set up a quarter-final clash with FK Vojvodina who, at the time, were one of the most successful clubs in the former Yugoslavia. Celtic lost the first leg, at the Gradski Stadium in Novi Sad, 1-0, but won the second leg, at Celtic Park, Glasgow, 2-0 to go through 2-1 on aggregrate. A 3-1 win against Czechoslovak champions Dukla Prague at home, followed by a 0-0 draw away, took Celtic through to the final, in which they trailed 1-0 to a seventh-minute penalty scored by Alessandro Mazzola, but recovered to win 2-1 thanks to second-half goals by Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers.

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