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‘BOBBY EVANS? FORGOTTEN? HE’S MY CELTIC HERO,’ BERTIE AULD

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BERTIE AULD is rightly regarded as a Celtic legend by all of our support, but even legends have their own heroes. For Bertie his could only be one player. Bertie explains in his own words…

Bobby Evans!

Bobby Evans?

The word ‘legend’ is too often over-used – and I can say that safely because I am one – but Bobby was a true legend.

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He played for Celtic for about sixteen years and for most of that time he was the best player on the books. Once he was switched to right-half in 1948, he found himself and he was ‘capped’ forty-eight times for Scotland – and for those days that was an achievement. For a Celtic player it could be considered a miracle!

After Jock Stein retired as a player, Bobby moved to centre-half and, despite the fact that he was on the short side, was Scotland’s centre-half as well.

You could always recognise Bobby with his red hair, and jersey outside his shorts, and with that boundless energy.  And, of course, he was a great player.  Truly great.

I have personal memories of him as a player and as a man.

Did you know that I might have played in the famous 7-1 game in 1957 alongside Bobby?

If I had, I would have become a legend ten years earlier.

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I was a ‘regular’ in the run to the final but the chairman decided that Neilly Mochan’s experience was needed against Rangers – and to be perfectly honest Neilly roasted Rangers’ Bobby Shearer that day.

In fact, I remember that Bobby Evans was off the pitch getting treated for an injury when Rangers scored their only goal that day.

That was Bobby Evans for you.

He was Celtic’s captain when I broke into the team.

It might surprise you but I was considered cocky, even ‘gallus’ when I was younger.

But Bobby, a senior player, took me in hand; he used to invite me out to his house for meals and, when he talked football, he made a lot of sense.

He gave me good, practical advice and he was always positive and encouraging.

I think I made about fifty appearances for Celtic alongside Bobby and never once did I hear a negative word on the pitch or at training.

An inspiration, and a model for any player – even for a wee boy from Maryhill.

Written by Bertie Auld

Bobby Evans, Celtic’s Forgotten Hero by Tom Campbell is out now on CQN Books – order HERE

The book is reviewed by @JoeBloggsCity from The CelticWiki and Kerrydale Street HERE.

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