JOHN ‘YOGI’ HUGHES played in five of Celtic’s eight ties during their great adventure that took Jock Stein’s team to the European Cup Final against Inter Milan in Lisbon on the unforgettable date of May 25 1967.

The non-appearance of the iconic Hoops forward has been the subject of conjecture ever since.

The goalscoring winger offered an insight in his acclaimed autobiography, ‘Yogi Bare: The Life and Times of a Celtic Legend’, which was co-authored by his friend Alex Gordon and published in 2014.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE series, we will publish extracts to once and for all provide the answers to the Lisbon question.

Please enjoy.

JOSEF MASOPUST wore No.9, but certainly didn’t play like a centre-forward while Stanislav Strunc had No.7 on his shirt, but I doubt if Dukla Prague’s beanpole hitman went anywhere near the right touchline all night.

So, there was a little bit of kidology from our Czech opponents, too. It made little difference to us in the second-half with our European Cup semi-final at a packed Parkhead balanced at 1-1. We began to dictate the pace of the game as we forced them back.

Masopust was less influential and Strunc was becoming isolated, a lone figure in attack. Bobby Murdoch and Bertie Auld got a grip of the midfield and they refused to let go. Stevie Chalmers was challenging for everything and Wispy Wallace was drifting to the right with Jinky Johnstone coming inside.

TWO OF A KIND…Celtic’s midfield masters Bertie Auld and Bobby Murdoch celebrate another European Cup semi-final success – a 2-1 win over Leeds United at Hampden in April 1970 – three years after their devastating double-act against Dukla Prague at Parkhead.

I remained on the left and was told to hit the by-line and get balls across, high or low. We got the breakthrough goal just before the hour mark and it was as simple as you like. No intricate footwork was required as Tommy Gemmell hammered the ball out of defence.

It caught the Dukla back lot out of position and Wispy chased after it and connected perfectly with the outside of the right foot. The ball simply sailed high past the astonished Ivo Viktor.

Tommy later claimed it was a pass. I’ll take his word for it.

Six minutes later, Celtic Park was in uproar when we got a third, a goal straight from our training ground at Barrowfield. Jock Stein always wanted to be inventive with set-pieces and would urge the players to attempt something different to catch our opponents off guard.

TWIST AND SHOUT…Willie Wallace yells with delight as he sends the ball soaring high past Dukla Prague keeper Ivo Viktor for the second goal in the 3-1 triumph.

We were awarded a free-kick after one of their panicking defenders punched away a pass from Bobby Murdoch. It was about 25 yards out and fairly central. We all took our positions as Bertie strolled forward to take it. He hesitated and then motioned to re-centre the ball.

Their defensive wall must have taken a collective breather for a split second and that was all our crafty midfielder needed. He touched the ball sideways to his right and Wispy came thundering in to first-time an unstoppable drive through the wall and past a static Viktor. What a way for Wispy to celebrate his first-ever European Cup-tie.

And it might have been even more memorable for my team-mate. He could have claimed a hat-trick, but struck the top of the crossbar with a clipped drive after great work from Stevie as we piled forward looking for a killer fourth.

That, surely, would have put the tie to bed and make absolutely certain there would be no repeats of the bungling in Budapest three years earlier when we threw away a 3-0 first leg lead to lose 4-0 to MTK in the second leg of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup.

Bobby Murdoch sent a left-foot 20-yarder just over the top and then followed that up with another drive from a similar range that whipped past the upright. Stevie almost scored from under the crossbar, but the keeper somehow managed to scramble the ball to safety.

And where was I while all this was taking place? I remained wide on the left to stretch their back line.

YOGI ON THE RAMPAGE…John Hughes in full flight.

The right-back had rarely strayed from my side since the kick-off and when I received a pass I heard him barking orders for someone to come and play behind him to offer cover. That suited me fine.

If I was on the ball and effectively taking two of their players out of the game, then that was leaving room for my mates to exploit in other areas of the pitch.

But if I am being brutally honest, I would say I didn’t play as well as I would have hoped. However, I did take great exception to a match report in one of the national newspapers that stated: “Celtic had 10 professionals on the field. And John Hughes.” As far as criticism goes, that was way over the top.

No, I hadn’t put in an eye-catching performance and I will readily admit that. But to say I wasn’t professional was unacceptable, possibly even a bit vindictive from a scribe I didn’t rate in the first place. Anyway, I still managed to keep the right-back occupied throughout the night and that was important.

ON THE BALL…John ‘Yogi’ Hughes poses a menacing threat.

Mainly, we got it right against Dukla on the night, but we left Celtic Park talking about some of the missed opportunities that would have brought a vital fourth goal. They were on the ropes for the remaining 25 minutes of the game and were there for the taking while we bombarded their goal.

Most clubs would have been satisfied with a 3-1 advantage, but strange things could happen on your travels in Europe. If any team knew that, it was Celtic.

What I didn’t realise, though, was that I had kicked my last ball in the European Cup for the season.

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the EXCLUSIVE Part Five of Big Yogi and Lisbon: The Truth – only in your champion CQN.

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