"There it is," he says, as he stands in front of the European Cup. To Chalmers, the silence that follows does not need to be filled with gratuitous remarks. He would, by his nature, consider any triumphant words an act of self-indulgence.
His modest nature must feel at times that the feats of his career have to be tolerated. His regular visits to Celtic Park are taken up by endless reminiscing. There tend to be queues of people waiting to return him to the 1960s, as if nostalgia is the only mood he provokes. Chalmers is happy to ransack his memories, though, even if it is to take the opportunity to downplay his own importance to Celtic's history.
For a time, he did not even take note of his standing among the club's strikers. The records are second nature to him now, not least because they are constantly used to introduce him. He is Celtic's fourth top scorer of all time, and averaged a goal every two games for the club. Yet in truth, one goal was enough to endear Chalmers to every generation of the Celtic support.
He is often asked about the strike that won the European Cup in 1967, mostly by fans who wonder if he was aware of his foot diverting Bobby Murdoch's shot and sending the ball beyond Giuliano Sarti, the Internazionale goalkeeper. On first impression the finish can seem fortunate, but like much of Celtic's display in Lisbon, it had been meticulously planned by Jock Stein. The manager often drilled his strikers in training to take up positions inside the penalty area to take advantage of shots from long range. "Jock was the whole answer to our great run," Chalmers said firmly. "You can't doubt that."
Like the rest of the Lisbon Lions, he must constantly relive that triumph. The subject will seem poignant at Celtic Park tomorrow night, when the club hosts Benfica in the Champions League. After the draw for the group stages, some sharp-witted Celtic supporters pointed out that fate had been cruel to Spartak Moscow in pitching them in against three former winners of the trophy. History provides clubs with their sense of identity and esteem, but the contemporary game has encouraged an elite to develop, and only Barcelona of the four teams in Group G can be thought of as genuine contenders.
That scenario saddens Chalmers. During his career, Celtic reached the final again in 1970, losing to Feyenoord, as well as twice contesting the semi-finals of the Cup-Winners' Cup. Six days after Celtic's glory in Lisbon, Rangers lost to Bayern Munich, after extra-time, in the final of the Cup-Winners Cup, the tournament they eventually won in 1972. Scottish clubs, then, considered themselves among Europe's leading teams, but the old order has been disrupted.
"It's a real different set up from what we had," said Chalmers of the Champions League group stages. "I don't know if I would like the way it is, with plenty of money and good crowds because they're all diving around for tickets, or if I would prefer it the way we played it. There is so much football on television, and you're seeing spectacular goals, free-kicks all the time, it's a different game altogether now.
"I suppose you would like to play in it, as a forward, because the better the football and the better the team, the easier it is. If you played for a good team, you would appreciate it. There are so many players moving about now, though, that they start to know each other, whatever teams they play for. It's completely different. There weren't as many moves in our time. Anybody who's sensible might say, 'how did you not get to one of those teams like Barcelona?'"
Chalmers was devoted to Celtic, although there was little prospect of moving abroad in those days anyway. In his recently published autobiography, The Winning Touch, he tells of his eventual departure to Morton in 1971, and the dismay of being sold by Stein. The Celtic manager was capable of great insight, and there was a formidable understanding of psychology, but he was also a schemer.
In the book, Chalmers is self-aware enough to recognise that he never stood up to Stein, or was never prepared to answer back, unlike some of his colleagues. Despite being told he was leaving, he didn't challenge the move. Stein could be a stern figure, even as he was urging his players to be entertainers, but he would have recognised the resolve in Chalmers. The striker did not need the same mollycoddling as Jimmy Johnstone, for instance, but nor was there the warmth of Stein's relationship with Billy McNeill, or his admiration for Bobby Murdoch.
"I had a bad period in the early 60s, and I was nearly getting chased off," Chalmers recalls. "But once Jock took over, he wanted me to stay. You can say he didn't fancy this player or that player, but you have to do that as a manager. He got on well with the players and they got on well with him. I had played more as a midfielder, but Jock decided that I was pacy enough to play centre-forward.
"Jock was more than just a manager or just a trainer, he wanted to know everybody in the team. He got in with all of us, he would have functions that you would take your wife with you to, and it got everybody moving as one pack. He took us on a five-week tour to America. None of us would ever have been able to go on holiday there, and he worked it so well. That's what pulled us together."
The Champions League is a source of glamour for Celtic, but the intrigue that it provides is of greater value. The form of Neil Lennon's side in the Clydesdale Bank Premiere League has been subdued, and one theory is that the absence of Rangers has dulled the competitive pressure. Chalmers relished the Old Firm encounters, and he is the last player to score a hat trick in a league game between the two sides. He, too, misses the presence of the rivalry this season, and wonders how it will affect his old club.
"It's not going to do anything for Celtic," he says. "It's a hard situation. I'm worried about how the teams will survive without the [Old Firm] games. I can't see any way that it's going to be good. They needed to be punished, but [the SPL clubs are] punishing themselves, because they needed Rangers."
The great achievements of Chalmers' career are also among the most triumphant moments of Celtic's history. Other players left more glaring memories, but the quiet accumulation of distinction is in keeping with his character. "I got what I deserved," he says. "Football was a right good job for me."
The Winning Touch, by Stevie Chalmers, is published by Headline, price £19.99.
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