LISBON Lion Bobby Murdoch has been honoured by his home town in a special ceremony at Rutherglen Town Hall yesterday.
Former team-mates Bertie Auld, John Clark and John Hughes and Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell were among those present as a commemorative plaque was unveiled which will take pride of place in the reception area of the building.
Murdoch’s widow Kathleen and members of his family were also in attendance as the Hoops legend was remembered by the South Lanarkshire Council in a moving ceremony which was led by veteran sportscaster Archie Macpherson.
Celtic supporters and and former and current pupils from Bobby’s old school St Columbkille’s Primary also turned out for a memorable occasion.
His son Bobby said: “It was very special and was a great day for our family. It was put together at pretty short notice, but all the family turned out and there’s also been great representation from the council, from Celtic and the people of Rutherglen.
“We are very proud of his achievements as a player and this is a great thing for the town. My Gran is 93 on Monday and still going strong. She was delighted to be here along with my dad’s brothers.”
Fellow-Lion Auld, Murdoch’s midfield partner in the historic 1967 team, said: “It was very similar to something we went through with Jimmy Johnstone – sad but very proud. It was something the man deserved as an individual, but, more than that, as a Celtic player.
“I’m delighted he has been honoured like this in his own town because he was a superstar. He was a leader on and off the park, very special. Football is a short career, but when you play for Celtic it is a way of life.”
Defensive anchorman Clark added: “It was a great gesture from the town council and it was a great situation for his mother, at the grand old age of 93, his wife and his family to all be here. You can tell how popular he was. It was great to be on the park with him at the same time.”
Murdoch joined Celtic in 1959, and spent 14 years with the club, making 484 appearances and scoring 104 goals. He won eight league titles, six League Cups, five Scottish Cups and, of course, the European Cup in 1967.
His team-mates always acknowledged his important to Celtic’s success, stating that “when Bobby Murdoch played, Celtic played.”
Sadly he passed away on May 15, 2001 at the age of just 56.