Billy and Davie on Caesar and the Assassin


Billy McNeill and Davie Hay met the press at Celtic Park yesterday, along with Alex Gordon, who authored their time as managers of Celtic.  It didn’t disappoint……

Billy was self-effacing as ever.  For all purposes, today he is an ordinary Celtic fan, so much so you need to remind yourself that there is nothing in the club game he hasn’t done.  Yesterday was about his days as Celtic manager but he made the point that Davie Hay was a profound influence on him as a team-mate.

The take-away thought I had on Davie Hay was about his range of knowledge and experience.  He has done so much in the game which still pulses in his veins.  Does Scotland still produce men of his calibre?  If so, why are we not giving them a platform to flourish?

There is tons of great stuff in the book from both men:

“We were already a goal down nine minutes into the second-half when Johnny Doyle was ordered off.  As he came off, I remember telling him he would be in serious trouble if we lost.

“I was furious, especially as we were in such a desperate situation at the time.

“Afterwards in the foyer, Jimmy Johnstone, Bobby Murdoch, Mike Jackson, Paul Wilson, Pat McCluskey, Benny Rooney and a whole host of former players were dancing around in amazement.

“Jinky was as happy as I’ve seen him. That win meant so much to anyone with an affiliation with Celtic.”

– Billy McNeill on winning the league against Rangers in 1979.

“I arranged for someone to cut out the stories and pin them to the walls of our dressing room at Love Street.

“I said nothing, but I could see the players reading the clippings. It was having the desired effect. It’s never clever to dismiss Celtic.

“It’s history now that we won 5-0 and Hearts lost 2-0.

“I think I still owe [Albert Kidd] a pint!”

-Davie Hay on winning the league at Love St in 1986.

The book’s great, reading the step-by-step accounts of what happened from the managers’ view, you’ll love it.  I know I’m biased but it’s the best thing CQN has done, a wee bit of our history set down on record.

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  1. I know there are quite a few on here who don’t rate Stokes. However even though he is being played out of position he is our joint top SPFL goalscorer along with John Guidetti at 6 goals.


    Why would anyone want to see him leave?

  2. I see young duffy has returned to derry city after his trial with celtic.



    Anyword in glasgow on how the trial went ?

  3. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on




    Thanks for that great photo on your post today, Hope the book sells and sells and the two legends benefit in a grand manner.



    It’s been a disappointment for me that Billy didn’t manage to sign the ordered copies and that we haven’t yet had a chance to chat to him on this blog, but all completely understandable. Tempus fugit.



    Nevertheless, when all’s said and done – Hail, Hail BillyMcNeillaforeverhero. We’ll never see your like again.

  4. corkcelt



    13:50 on 9 December, 2014





    Didnt know that.. very decent return from tony.



    Iv watched him closely last 2 games after some of the comments on here and despite having no real pace he is always looking for quick pass ..quick free kicks and one twos. Definitely not slowing down attacks anyway.



    I thought gudetti had more than 6 spl goals… that does need to improve.



    Hopefully the rags publish that and out other teams off. Love to see him sign 3/4 year deal in january or may.




    I remember speaking to an aulder Rangers fan when I was a Bhoy in my first job.


    He was very honest.



    If we need a penalty 9 times out of 10 we will get one. Same goes for a soft goal or red card.


    We get most 50/50 challenges which mean our players can steam into tackles more.


    When Aberdeen came to Ibrox to win the league in the 90’s he said before the game that Aberdeen had no chance. The referee will be picked very carefully and Rangers will be the safest bet on the coupon that day.



    He knew that if they needed a decision on or off the pitch they would get it. The problem now is that the playing field is as level as it has been in 100 years and they can not handle it. The fact that their club got liquidated is even too much for most of them to take. The finger of blame is pointing all over the shop because it can’t be Rangers fault. It can also never be Murray’s fault. If they blame Murray and they believe that he run the club into the ground then they are admitting that they won trophies they shouldn;t with money they didn;t have.


    It’s hard to get into their mindset but it is quite simple.


    They think they are the people. They believe that everyone should help Rangers (privately of course). They believe that on and off the pitch whether it be supporters, players or any other staff should do what they want when they want.


    They believe the establishement should bend the rules to help the quinessential British club especially against us.


    They have had it their own way so long they don;t know what fair play is. They are like a spoilt child how is allowed to bully on the football pitch to win every time, score all the goals, take all the penalties and save all the penalties the opposition take.


    They really are deluded.




  6. jamesgang




    13:47 on 9 December, 2014







    With your daily goals slot you are becoming Jobo-esque.


    I have no higher acclaim to offer you.



    HH jamesgang





    Oh dear, I’ve peaked too young. Years from now posters will say “Mind that guy Davidopoulos? He had potential then burnt out”.

  7. Stokes was never a top striker.



    However, he was always a very talented boy. Clever feet and clever brain.



    Now wide left, he is scoring and assisting every other game. He is combining very well with Izzy and also tracking back.



    Ronny doesn’t want to out and out wingers. I believe in Norway he had a traditional winger and an inside forward either side of a striker.



    Stokes is the best we have for that role.

  8. prestonpans bhoys on



    13:39 on 9 December, 2014



    Very true, this McLeod boy has been running about against part-timers in the lower leagues for two/three years. No one in their right mind would part with anything north of £300k.

  9. Marrakesh Express on

    ‘We did nine in a row , something that Celtic fans detest , they still don’t like it being mentioned’



    In the same way Neil Armstrong detested Buzz Aldrin for being second man on the moon? Or Roger Bannister hating John Landy for the second sub four minute mile?



    At least McMurdo does’nt mention the Big Cup. They where still running that race with Murray’s dodgy millions, thirty years after it was won.

  10. Who really benefited from [The Huns’] use of FFin’ EBT’s



    “Has anyone ever considered the bigger picture?


    A league with better players, a better standard of football, attracting bigger crowds, more sponsorship and more TV money that flowed throughout the game.


    A better standard of player, enabling Scottish clubs to get into the Champions League and the prestige that came with it.


    Look at the state of the game now……”




    “Nah, you cannot have that.


    It was [The Huns] so it was all bad.


    I never thought of it in the way you describe , quite an interesting take on it.


    [The Huns] would never get credit for improving the standard of our game though.”




    “And because of the EBTs we became a target of HMRC. Nobody would buy us because of the fear that we would be hit with a massive bill.


    Ultimately the only people who benefited were the recipients.”




    “Assuming the players never paid back the EBT loans, then I suppose they would be the only beneficiaries.”




    “Individuals who used them sheer greed ”




    “Disagree with this – Signing any of the dutch contingent lets say the De Boers, if we could ‘only’ offer say £35k p/w basic and the further £15k was in the form of an EBT loan. How is this greed? The De boers could easily have earned the £50k plus anywhere else in Europe or doubled it in the Middle East/Far East or USA.


    What were the brothers supposed to say? No thanks ill just take the £35k because your perfectly legal EBT scheme will lead to an attempt to bring down an institution from the HMRC”




    “At the end of the day EBT’s were a perfectly normal method of dealing with recompense.”

  11. starry plough




    14:02 on 9 December, 2014




    Whatever happened to that guy Davidopoulos???





    His flame burned too brightly.



    Don’t play with matches…

  12. tonydonnelly67




    13:03 on 9 December, 2014






    Same as her runners in here have the cheap pathetic digs at PL and the CFC Board,


    You have your enemy, I will defend that go back and educate the kids.;)







    That’s what I was doing Tony :-)



    Agree with your comment about the LC semi final on the Celtic website. Best we expected.





    13:41 on 9 December, 2014




    Celtic should buy MacLeod. What a kick in the haw-maws that would be.




    Was thinking the same myself , Why ,just coz



    Tony D


    The Charlie Telfer Tribuneral was last Thurs the 3rd not a peep anywhere on the outcome.

  14. Marrakesh Express on




    ‘They have had it their own way so long they don’t know what fair play is. They are like a spoilt child who is allowed to bully on the football pitch to win every time, score all the goals, take all the penalties and save all the penalties the opposition take’.



    The bully now complains he’s being bullied.

  15. Monaghan1900




    14:06 on 9 December, 2014




    If they weren’t so deludedly funny ,ye would worry for their sanity


    Wiser locked upCSC

  16. starry plough




    14:10 on 9 December, 2014







    You’ll always be the angel on top of the CQN Christmas Tree:))



    Are you on a FF’in Fully Legal EBT?





    Listen, I only ever signed one contract (copyright Neil McCann).




  17. The Battered Bunnet on

    When a club buys a player, they are buying a blend of talent, experience and potential.



    The development of young players is unpredictable. Because they have limited experience, their talent is benchmarked against their peers, and a view is come to as to their potential to develop further.



    Some top youngsters fail to develop as expected, while others take a great deal longer than usual. Unpredictable.



    It’s a punt.



    Tony Stokes has sufficient experience now – 9 years as a professional – for clubs to know exactly what they’re getting. There’s no potential unscrutinised. There’s no punt. At 26 years old, he’s fully developed.



    Tony is now a Ronseal footballer, and his value is stated on the tin. It’s not a princely sum.

  18. Rock Tree Bhoy



    12:39 on 9 December, 2014



    apologies for posting this from the mcmurdo blog – but it does give you an up to date view of how they see themselves….






    Using the Icke Scale of Quantum Delusion, I calculate he’s approximately two articles away from blaming interdimensional time-travelling reptilian aliens.

  19. Marrakesh Express



    Pretty much.


    It’s no fair they won;t let us do what we want!




  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Beautiful article Paul. Respectful homage to two of our heroes.



    “Does Scotland still produce men of his calibre? If so, why are we not giving them a platform to flourish?”



    May I answer the second question?



    Simple – they are not imbued with what I routinely refer to as “A Gullane Sands mentality”.



    An anachronism harvested by one particular club and euphemistically described as “character building”.



    In truth – it produced snarling, scowling, swearing knuckle draggers who kicked everything that moved.



    These types became coaches and managers and have spawned a further generation (ably supported by a MSM which goes into “Which ex-Ger is currently out of work?” mode as soon as a footballing or reporting vacancy appears)



    In no particular order – McDonald, McLean, Davies, McInnes, Black, McCall, Adams, Ferguson.



    World football moved on.



    Hungarian football wasn’t allowed to move on .



    Scottish football had the chance to move on and didn’t.



    Hail Hail

  21. monaghan1900



    14:01 on 9 December, 2014




    13:48 on


    9 December, 2014


    Is it today that Dundee United boys case comes up who played for thems, and thems want compensation for 5 years, and United are saying they only a new club, an offered thems £100,000 ?






    I find this one as another one this mob will get away with,a wee bit of skulduggery will enter this on thems part me thinks.

  22. Two comments off the Dundee Utd forum




    re: Telfer tribunal today?




    wrote at 12:10 on 09 Dec:



    Is it?



    Scheduled for today.



    Also scheduled for today at 10am: the Annual Meeting of Creditors of “FORMERLY THE RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB P.L.C.(IN LIQUIDATION) Company Number: SC004276”




    re: Telfer tribunal today?


    It will be interstibg to see if the are compensated for being newco with 2 ywar history or oldco



    If we are to compensate oldco I am sure there wikk be people queueing to take every penny off them.

  23. The Battered Bunnet



    When a club buys a player, they are buying a blend of talent, experience and potential.



    Great statement. I would expect 1 player in every 3 bought to have more of the first two attributes than the last one.



    I think an old head in our side to help Scott Brown would improve our team especially in Europe. When Brown is missing it shows big time.



    We need another couple of leaders in the team/squad. Craig Gordon was a good signing in that respect. Pretty good keeper too but disappointed he hasn;t been up for a corner yet. It was all people spoke about when we were rumoured to be bringing him in.




  24. We all have different opinions on players that’s half the fun! However those of you who think Stokes is having a good season watch him closely next time you are at a game and see just how often he gives the ball away.Also,and a particular bug bear of mine,he often then stands still admiring his bad pass after it,very frustrating.



    He is not the worst player by some distance but in my opinion he is a weak link in the wide left role.



    I’d give Tonev or Wakaso a run for a few weeks.

  25. Marrakesh Express on

    I wonder if plod has anything to say about McMurdo stirring up a seige mentality among the ‘bullied ones’, just ahead of the Glasgow Derby.

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