IAN YOUNG, who was at right-back in the Celtic team that won its first trophy under Jock Stein in April 1965, has passed away at the age of 76.
The no-frills defender was in the No.2 position when Billy McNeill headed in the winner in the 3-2 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Dunfermline to give the legendary manager his debut success after returning to the club from Hibs the previous month.
It was also the Hoops’ first piece of silverware in eight years with the Fifers leading twice before Bertie Auld levelled on both occasions and the inspirational captain and centre-half bulleted in Charlie Gallagher’s left-wing corner-kick for the memorable late clincher.
A communication from the club stated: “Everyone at Celtic Park was saddened to hear that former Celt, Ian Young who played for the club from 1961 until 1968, passed away suddenly after illness at the age of 76.
“Had it not been for an untimely injury, Ian Young may well have been part of the Lisbon Lions side that swept Inter Milan aside in May, 1967, and he could have enjoyed a more prolonged career with Celtic.
“As it was, his misfortune allowed the likes of Willie O’Neill and then Jim Craig a chance to shine at right-back, and it was the latter who would establish himself in the position and take to the field in the Estadio Nacional
“Seeking first-team football, the defender eventually departed Paradise for Love Street in 1968, where cruciate ligament damage would cruelly cut short his professional career at just 27.
“Nonetheless, Young, could quite rightly reflect on his Celtic career with great pride. He was a regular in the side when Jock Stein arrived at the club and helped Celtic end an era of underachievement to become the dominant force in Scottish football.
“Young starred in the important 1965 Scottish Cup triumph – the club’s first trophy in eight long years – and he was also in the team which overcame Rangers in the League Cup Final of the same year. This was another significant turning point.
“And while he wasn’t at Fir Park to join in the celebrations as the Hoops won the first of nine successive titles in 1966, he certainly played a vital role in that success.
“Joining from Neilston Waverley in June, 1961, Young was also farmed out to Neilston Juniors, and he scored three goals in 133 Celtic games before his move to St Mirren.
“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic Football Club are with the family and friends of Ian Young at this sad time.”