But of course he was mortal

Stein Herrera half time
Caption this, Stein and Herrera at half time in Lisbon.

“John, you’re immortal”, but of course he was mortal. Bill Shankly’s words from 1967 recorded the moment Jock Stein went from being merely a successful football manager into the greatest icon the Scottish game will ever have, but 30 years ago today, Jock’s mortality came as a shock to the world. A massive heart-attack, while managing Scotland at a World Cup qualifier at Ninian Park, Cardiff, ended the story of Jock Stein, aged 62.

He was 29 before he arrived at Celtic Park as a player after a career with Albion Rovers and Llanelli Town. By all accounts he was a decent central defender and a more than decent leader on the park. He quickly became vice-captain, then captain, and in 1954 led Celtic to their first double in 40 years, and their first league title in 16 years. Injury forced him out of the game as a 33-year-old. Celtic gave him a job coaching the reserve team, where he would work with some future Lisbon Lions.

In 1961, a year after becoming Dunfermline manager, he led them to their first Scottish Cup, beating Celtic in the final. In four years he transformed Dunfermline from the bottom of the table team he inherited, into a team who recorded astonishing victories in European football.

A meritocratic year at Hibernian then followed, at least part of which he spent discussing his future with Celtic chairman, Bob Kelly, before Kelly made one of the most inspired decisions in sport and offered Jock the Celtic manager’s job.

The rest, is literally history. In 13 years he took 10 league titles, winning all of his first nine. In his first five seasons he only lost three of 15 domestic trophies, but most important of all, in May 1967, his Celtic team became the first British club to reach, and then win, a European Cup final.

That European Cup win was enough in itself, but the manner of the win would mean Stein’s legend grew far wider than it otherwise would. Opponents Inter Milan were the most dominant team in the game. They were going for their third European Cup in four years and their fourth Italian title in five.

Celtic blew them away. It was the most comprehensive single goal victory in sport. The Italians were exhausted at the end, having defended 43 attempts at goal, seldom managing to cross the halfway line. The underdogs had triumphed, Celtic were instantly respected and adored across Europe, while Stein was viewed as having almost mystical powers.

So what did he really achieve? The Celtic you know today would be unrecognisable without him. Had he stayed at Hibs, they could be a bigger club than Celtic today. Our decades in the wilderness, which started in the 1920s, would have continued into the 70s and who knows thereafter. His gift to you, is Celtic. That’s why his statue is outside the ground.

It wasn’t all sweetness and light. Stein was a hard authoritarian, consistent with the style of the time. Football also caught up with him. Those first five years at Celtic, five league titles, five League Cups, two Scottish Cups, two European Cup finals, European semi-finalists a remarkable three times, were imperious, but some lights went out after losing to Feyenoord in the 1970 European Cup final.

After a fifth place finish in 1978 Celtic decided to sack Jock, offering him a position on the board, which he initially accepted but only later realised his responsibilities would be limited to Celtic Pools.

Football is a results business and looking back, the decision to sack The Big Man in 1978, should not be regarded as controversial. I certainly remember many Celtic fans of the era questioning his decisions, but the way the termination was handled was shoddy. Stein had lost his mentor, then Sir Robert Kelly, seven years earlier, while the pick of his second team, Hay, Macari and Dalglish, were sold for huge fees which were never invested in the squad. Or the stadium, training facilities or anything else an aspiring football club would invest in.

He grabbed the first offer out of Kerrydale St, but only 44 days later couldn’t wait to leave Leeds United to take up the Scotland job, where he returned to his earlier form. That night in Cardiff, Scotland stood on the verge of qualification for their fourth successive World Cup, two of which were under Stein.

The nation watched him being carried into the Ninian Park tunnel live on television. Even then, no one expected him to die.  We thought Jock was immortal.


Foundation call: Walfrid and Directors’ Box hospitality, thanks to Intelligent Car Leasing, ebay auction here. More on this tomorrow.

SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Apologies for server problems over the last couple of days, I’m on it….

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  1. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I know its good to poke fun at King but I think he will be proved right that The Rangers will challenge for the SPL next season they will do what ever it takes to challenge including assistance from the men in black.We would do well to ensure we are as well prepared for the fight as we can be. Next season in my opinion the top SPL clubs will be Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and the Rangers also they will be aided and abetted by the MSM. H.H.

  2. So there we have it



    Glib and shameless recognises Sevco are 5 players short from challenging Celtic next season.



    Will be interesting to see the first ever club to field 16 players.

  3. Hi Paul67,



    What an excellent piece, a thoughtful tribute to a ……….



    Well what was he? As Geordie Munro states the Legend tag is oft overstated and misused.



    Immortal, well you’ve touched on a very poignant and pragmatic look at Big Jock in the Ozymadias role. Of course it’s all very tangible thirty years on… but… in many ways, the impact of a person, is how those who are left behind feel… well and this goes on a bit…



    I posted a few days ago, I was at Ninian Park when Wales played Scotland in that 1985 World Cup qualifier.



    Drove down to Cardiff with my brother for the game. Parked up and went into town to soak up the atmosphere – it was immense, passed along Cardiff Castle and in front of the huge Castle Walls were tartan clad Scots, the Saltires firmly planted and the Rampant Lions waving to the rhythm of the songs. It was more reminiscent of an ancient siege than a modern sporting event.



    We joined in the celebrations, it was and maybe still is, customary as Scotland supporters to celebrate the Football match, or for that matter even the football tournament before a ball has been played – well, you never know how it’s going to turn out.



    Anyways, it was a great afternoon, making new acquaintances both Scottish and Welsh. Some not as pleasant as others – the chaps that didn’t want that we taig Mo Johnston playing (strangly, the next Scottish International we attended some years later, he was the toast of team:/) and some of our new welsh pals telling us we were celtic brothers and they’d be no trouble that evening – well unless those b…..ds from Swansea turn up – which they duly did and there duly was.



    We got to the match, full of high spirits, we were in a very iconic Scottish Football scene. It was around the time Ravenscraig was closing down – there was a Scottish flag next to us that had the British Steel logo “S” in the middle of a Saltire.



    When the Welsh team were warming up and the balls went into the Scotland crowd, we weren’t giving the balls back. The Welsh players soon ran out of balls and patience. A rather, weary, pasty looking Jock came over to the Scotland supporters – as soon as he appeared, all the balls were returned.



    Kick-off – and as usual, when it’s the last thing we need, we conceded an early goal – well what would you expect with, Gough, Malpas, Miller, McLeish and Roy Aitken in defence.



    And we couldn’t score a goal – well what would you expect from a front two that were Sharp and Speedie?



    The tension was unbelievable, I was strangely struck down after Wales scored, I stood there mummified, my brother digging me, telling me to sing… I felt so strange, detached, like the game was in slow motion and noise, deafening as it was, sounded muted to me… very odd.



    Davie Copper, came on as sub (you have to understand/remember, Scotland due to injuries and suspensions were playing with a very depleted team and had already lost to Wales at Hampden Park – Wales forward line was Rush and Hughes – Scotland were set up for damage limitation.)



    The substitution was inspired – Davie Cooper changed the game, we got a penalty – Cooper converted against the outstanding Neville Southhall.



    The Stadium exploded, the celebrations began, the fans were ecstatic, we had a real chance of qualifying for the 1986 World Cup.



    At the end of the game my bro and I went back to the car, to get stuff sorted before we went on a mental celebration.



    We hit the town, we came across some subdued pubs with “no Scots allowed on the door” och well…



    But we couldn’t find the Scotland supporters – we found a more or less empty pub that would serve us, ordered a couple of beers and asked the bar man where were the Scotland fans – it was then he told us…



    We didn’t have a clue, we were devastated… we nursed the beers and went on our way, passed a few Scotland supporters, we just exchanged glances and shook our heads.



    12,000 Scots folk went to Ninian Park that night and we wanted a win, we would have settled for a result – but win, lose or draw, we were going to have a party.



    Yet with 12,000 of the tartan army in town, having just got into a position to qualify for the World Cup – even the Mo Johnstone ’85 haters were in mourning. The City was desolate with a harrowing, melancholic overhang.



    Bill Shankley once said “John your immortal”.



    He also said “Some people think football is a matter of life or death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”



    Well Jock Stein proved… Losing a Great human being, will touch people far more than a game ever will.



    Hail Hail

  4. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Good Evening,



    First of all my caption re the half time chat between Stein and Herrera.



    ” I wouldn’t look too smug if I were you. Where I come from there is a saying: “One or even two is never enough” – well we have 45 minutes coming up …… and your eleven won’t be enough!”



    Now, there will be many a comment on Stein this evening. I never met him, but I met many who did and who told many a tale of ” The Big Man”.



    I have also read many stories about hm and about how others viewed him.



    The great Bobby Charlton was terrified of him. In the TV studios for the 1974 World cup Charlton became increasingly afraid of him. According to the England and Manchester Utd legend, he just seemed to get bigger and bigger every time Charlton saw him. He also pointed out that Stein could point out things that were happening in a game that no one else saw or noticed.



    Even when Charlton disagreed with an opinion held by Stein, he felt too afraid to come out with his own view for fear of being corrected by Stein.



    He once literally threw Billy Bremner across a table much to the astonishment of David Coleman and Barry Davis.



    However, one of my favourite stories re Stein’s death comes from a Rangers supporting fan of mine who was fishing on the night he died.



    He was out on a boat somewhere down in the Borders with another older man at the other end the boat.



    At some point, the older chap who had a radio simply announced ” That’s Jock Stein gone for an early bath.”



    ” What do you mean?” said my friend.



    ” He’s dead. He collapsed at Ninian Park”



    My friend sat at the end of the boat and found tears rolling down his face. He was and still is a competitive fisherman. At that point his line tightened and he reeled in a large gleaming fish. He took the hook out of the fish’s mouth and gently lowered it back into the water.



    “What are you doing?” asked the other fella ” Why did you let it go?”



    ” That was for big Jock. ” said my pal ” I don’t feel like fishing tonight and denying a creature like that life. The Big man lives somewhere – maybe he lives in that fish. That was for Jock.”



    On that same night, I was on holiday in Villamoura in Portugal with a very very good looking dark haired young woman. The following day we went to a bar/cafe for something to eat and as we were sitting there I happened to glance at the front page of a Portuguese newspaper which said something like ” Jock Stein, gerente de Glasgow Celtic está morto” .



    I remember being completely numb and falling incredibly silent. There were no mobile phones in those days and I went to a phone box and phoned home to my dad who told many a Stein story. He was very upset and just shocked as was my mum. To say the day had a real sombre feel to it was would be a huge understatement.



    If you have an hour and a half to spare then listen to this Radio 5 documentary on Stein — it has many a good story contained in it form Hugh McIlvanney, Pat Nevin, Tommy Sheridan, Alex Ferguson, Danny McGrain, Gordon Strachan, Sean Fallon, Roddy Forsyth and many others.









    Sheik Yerbouti



    Great video about Johnny Madden – have you ever read my story about Madden and Joe Venglos etc?



    If not give me a shout.

  5. Ruggygman



    “So there we have it



     Glib and shameless recognises Sevco are 5 players short from challenging Celtic next season.



     Will be interesting to see the first ever club to field 16 players.”






    Doncaster and Regan have already got Sandy Bryson poring over the ‘rule’ book, under section “For the good of the game: exception to rule 5, par 2, equal numbers of players in each side”.

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Glibby all over the place here:


    “When the club’s holding company entered administration and then liquidation, Ally stepped forward and became a figurehead in the struggle to keep the club alive.



    “During this period Ally worked without pay and later also took a 50% salary reduction to help keep the club going.




    So, the holding company were liquidated, but Super’s pay cut kept the CLUB going?????

  7. BRTH



    ” A Rangers (sic) supporting fan of mine”






    Nice wee story, but, although I know how popular you are on here, amazed that you’ve also got a following among Sevconians!!



    HAil Hail!

  8. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on




    Why would you be surprised that I know people who have followed and do follow Rangers?



    I live in West central Scotland and have done for 53 years during which I have made many friends who follow many a different team including Rangers or The Rangers.



    In their centenary year, Rangers Football Club commissioned 10 special rolex watches for each of their diretcors – i have had the only one not at Ibrox on my wrist at one point – the grandson of the director who received it is a good friend and one who tells his own story about why that watch is not at Ibrox and why he will never go back – something that stems from way before any liquidation.



    I have friends who go to Ibrox to this day – I don’t try to persuade them otherwise – and over the years I have known many folk who follow the gers.



    I have even worked for some Rangers players over the years.



    Besides the guy in my fishing story is just one of those guys – he supported the gers and played for St Rochs.



    I have taken Rangers supporters to Celtic Park ( I am a sucker for missionary work ) and to various other games so they can see what proper football is like!



    Just the way it is!

  9. I watched that match in my future wife’s house. I sid to her before the kick off. Big jock doesn’t look well. When he went to ask for balls back he seemed almost gentle. Quiet.



    Watching him go was just numbing.



    My best friend aged 10 went to annfield in 77 with his dad and uncle in the car. We were all jealous. Watched that night and we won in that most amazing way. The scene as Dalglish scored was just incredible.



    Next morning I got to school early. Ball in hand. My mate was there. Tartan trousers on. In tears. His dad left behind in Liverpool.



    Suffering the same fate as jock at that match eight years earlier.



    Every time jock is talked about I remember my pals dad. A lovely lovely man.


    At the time I remember I didn’t even know his first name.




    God bless jock.



    And Mr deegan

  10. Hey fellas



    Amidst the stuff that’s been posted today about The Big Man, I remembered earlier that it would also have been the birthday of wee Oscar. I know that the guys on this site were amongst the best friends he had.



    This one’s for you guys, and I hope the rest of the boys don’t mind; this is what I wrote on the morning he died, a morning when I started off feeling about as angry and fed up as I ever have, and by the end, after a good cry, I realised what that meant.



    Oscar, like Jock, was special and what matters isn’t that they are gone, but that they were ever here in the first place.



    RIP both of you. YNWA.






    Ralph Wando Emerson said “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” Plato said that “Courage is a kind of salvation.”



    Today the writing is going to be hard.



    Today, expressing what I’m feeling is going to be difficult because this is one of those days when my feelings are all over the place, being pulled this way and that.



    On the one hand, I want to salute young Oscar Knox and the people who loved him, and were there with him, for being brave beyond the point of ordinary endurance.



    I want to pay tribute to their courage, and their love, and remind them they are not alone.



    Words can do that sometimes. Yet, they feel inadequate to this task, maybe because I do. I can write the most flowery sentences that will flow from my brain, to my fingers to the keyboard. If I can sort out my own mess of emotions I can do that, but today part of me wants to just pull the curtains, switch everything off and sit in the dark for a while.



    I sit here and think, and I type. What good, what possible good, could words do at this time? We, all of us, can sit here and write the most vivid prose, the most heartfelt condolences. We can send them on to those who’re in pain.



    Yet the world never runs out of funeral cards, and hallmark sentiment is cheaper than happy hour beer. “We are sorry for your loss.” “You are in our thoughts.” “We are thinking about you.” All true, I’m sure, all written with feeling. But so what? Our sympathy makes not one iota of difference, it does not change a single thing, it does not make the sky less dark or the picture more clear and it doesn’t bring back those who have gone.



    When I heard the news this morning about little Oscar it was that, the monetary stab of anger, that got to me to switch on the computer. I thought about those quotes and I wasn’t inspired. I was pissed off instead, and I’m still kind of pissed off.



    Why should a young boy at that age have to show heroism like that? Why should Oscar have needed to be that brave for five minutes, far less the “five minutes longer” which have made him such a part of our lives? Why should a kid have to go through something as awful as this? Is courage really a form of salvation, and if it is, how exactly does that work?



    Because, to me, children aren’t supposed to have this kind of courage. They are not supposed to need it. We live in a terrible world where this is one of the requirements of childhood.



    Why should a family have to struggle on in the face of this? What’s our existence about if good people are tested in such a way? Where’s the salvation for them? Where is the ending where they get to see their son grow up?



    Yeah, the anger is still there. The sense of frustration, the sense of “what are we supposed to do now?, the hundreds of questions, which all come down to the same question really, the one a lot of us will be asking ourselves today; what is the damned point?



    Then I remember, because then it dawns on me, that this, this right here, this is the point. The anger is part of the process. The frustration is perfectly natural. This is what love is, this is how you feel when someone special, someone important to you, is gone.



    It dawns on me then, on me right now, that this is what it’s about, this is what we’re all about, this is the real tribute to Oscar Knox, that someone who never met him, who knew his name from the internet, who read his dad’s heartfelt blogs, who conversed with him on Twitter a couple of times, but who’s interaction was limited to that, to observance from distance, should feel like this today, as if no distance existed, as if I had met these people for myself.



    I suspect I’m not alone. I imagine people across the world are, today, feeling the same numbed shock. It doesn’t matter whether we met the wee man or not, because he was part of us anyway. That heroism and that courage touched us regardless.



    We followed his story, from near or far, and we crossed our fingers and we said our prayers, and we didn’t expect a happy ending but we hoped for one, and in our way we braced ourselves for a day like today, knowing it would hurt when it came, and it does. It really does.



    Yes, the pain is there with the anger, each vying to be the over-riding emotion I feel today, but both are overwhelmed by another one, one I didn’t expect, and it’s this one that pulls me towards it, that wants to be how I choose to remember and pay my respects.



    There are rare people in the world, people who are like candles in the dark. They illuminate their surroundings, and we can see their light from afar. I sometimes think about the times in which we live, where that darkness weaves and creeps around us, where cynicism and despair are, for many people, the default positions they adopt for their lives, and my heart is glad for the flicker of those candles and I feel the ache when one of them dies away.



    Oscar Knox was one of them. His light was bright enough to be seen a world away. What we feel at his loss wants to pull us all into that black hole of grief and despondency, but that would be the ultimate tragedy, and his story has had too much of that already.



    Those who did know Oscar, who did have the sublime pleasure of spending time with him and his family, have spoken to me about him, and about them, in the same awed tones, the same love and affection, and every single one of them, on every single occasion, did so with a smile. They are not haunted by the memories of a boy in a hospital bed, unable to smile or enjoy simple pleasures, although I am sure he had such moments.



    No, those who have spoken about him did so with joy in their hearts, the joy at having known him, at having seen him, at having loved him. They were gladdened by the memories of a happy and joyful child, one who knew more about those simple pleasures than most of us ever will, who experienced life in a way that our own sometimes jaded outlook will not allow.



    Oscar Knox was surrounded by love his whole life, and in his passing that love remains. It does not die, because love itself is immortal. For all the brutality in this world, for all people talk about “monuments to hate” love is the one thing that outlasts everything else, and we sometimes forget that when we are lost in the moment. Enmity is forgotten by history. Rivalry is devoured and made irrelevant by change. Anger fades, until it is no longer significant and hate itself is an awful, colossal and exhausting waste of time and energy, which is why it cannot be sustained.



    Love energises and inspires. It lifts our hearts, and our spirits and it’s that which makes those candles burst into life in the first place. No-one ever lit a candle to anger or kept one burning out of spite. No eternal flame will ever symbolise an enemy who’ll never be forgotten or forgiven.



    Oscar was surrounded by love, and it grew outward from the centre like a wall of light, and it brought a smile of joy and a feeling of warmth to every person it touched. The candle might have gone out, but all of us carry a little bit of that light inside us, and the best tribute I can pay to Oscar is that today I know that, and I am grateful the world ever had him in it, for giving that to everyone who was touched by his time here.



    As human beings, none of us is born exactly right. There’s a part of all of us that belongs to the darkness. What Oscar did is remind us all that part of us also belongs to the light, and that of the two the light is stronger, and more enduring. The good we do, the happiness we bring, the love we introduce to the world … it is what remains of us when we’re gone, in the memories of others, in how they feel when they remember us.



    So today we hold on to the light. Oscar Knox is gone, much too young and much too soon, but the light will never go out, because it’s inside us and we carry it. No matter what it is we’re doing, or where we go, or the troubles in our own lives, part of Oscar will be there, and I for one will try to remember that most on the days when my own life seems shrouded and gloomy.



    I will try to remember that there was once a boy who got out of bed every day in spite of the pain and wanted to play in the sun. That he kept on smiling when most of us would have wanted to cry. I will try to remember that his family responded to his illness with hope rather than despair. I will try to remember the people who became part of his life because he touched something good in them and that he inspired their own capacity to love.



    Love is what you leave behind you Oscar, and that is everything.



    Mother Teresa said “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” I can get behind that.



    Gone, but not forgotten, Oscar. You leave behind a world that is a little less bright because you’re no longer in it but a better place than it was before you were here. For you, there is no more pain and no more hurt. You are with the angels who sent you to us.



    Rest in Peace little man, and love and respect to those close to you, those you leave behind.



    We will never forget you.

  11. big jock plaques adorn my hallway as you walk in my front door, the wife keeps asking me to put them in the computer room with rest of my shrine to the greatest team that ever played the game, mr stein stays in the hall!!!.






    To the person who asked about android boxes!, go for the DROIDBOX T8-S, fully preloaded, and easy to set up.



    please check your internet speed before purchasing, very important!.



    Wee bit more expensive at £110 but worth it.



    hail hail.

  12. CultsBhoy likes living wage hates heated driveways on

    Long shot…..


    Looking for 2 tickets for AFC game on Saturday…..

  13. Cheers Lefty


    I just can’t get the head around the smsm, they fawn over the hun, they want the hun to be the top dog, yet they still refuse to ask them any probing questions, they are as complicit in their downfall as anyone.


    Why do they do it, it really doesn’t make any sense.


    Had they told the truth all those years ago, they may well still be around, and we could be also rans, but thankfully they didn’t.



  14. The supporter, deliriously happy in Lisbon , on the pitch after the game with the home made T shirt that simply said…… JOCK STEIN.



    Must be the best T shirt of all time.






    The greatest


    RIP Big Mhan

  15. Bada,



    CT, has done some amount of our games up there. Easily more than anyone else in recent times I’d bet.







    I think beatbhoy, was commenting on you saying he was a rangers supporting fan of ‘yours’ :))




  16. BRTH



    Even although I quoted the relevant line, you’ve missed the point, mate.



    You said he was a ‘fan’ of yours!



    I was only having a bit of fun with your wee typo!



    Nothing sinister.

  17. 29 years ago I was dignosed with cancer. I had lost over 3 stone in weight in a period of 3/4 months. I went to France with my family for a month,without telling them. I was operated on within10 days of coming back.


    But, that is not the story.I’m a teacher (retired now) and during chemo in Belvoir Park hospital( which lasted 5 days) I decided that I would work in the children’s cancer ward,teaching tin whistle, songs, telling stories and poetry with tuned/untuned percussion, and throw in a lot of Art as well.I lasted about 10 minutes. I’ve been beaten up by Paras, shot at, pulled people from burning houses, faced Loyalist mobs—but I couldn’t do that. That really takes a special kind of courage. Those children looked at me and I broke. That is also why Wee Oscar is so well loved and remembered. He had that special courage in spades.

  18. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    A day to remember two Celtic heroes, Jock and Oscar.



    May both their souls rest in peace.



    The Saturday after Jock passed away, we played Aberdeen.



    The Saturday after Jock’s thirtieth anniversary, we play Aberdeen.



    My bus goes along Dalmarnock Road and as we went along the road across from Dalmarnock Station, from my seat on the upper deck, Celtic Park looked fantastic with the sun shining brightly on it.



    As an aside , the much maligned Paul McGugan , played the last five minutes of the the above game in 1985, with blood pouring from his head after being elbowed by Eric Black or John Hewitt.

  19. Geordie



    Thanks for the intervention, mate!



    This place would get you hung sometimes.



    Ole BRTH is obviously a better writer than he is a reader!

  20. An article on the late great Jock Stein and we have grown men posting “podium”.



    What an effin embarrassment.

  21. Paul67 et al



    Thirty years since Jock Stein passed away, and fifty years since he returned to Celtic. My own formative years, as a Celtic supporter that is, were not long before that. Can remember the disappointment of losing the 1961 Cup final, but also of looking forward to the next season full of hope and enthusiasm. Getting the hang of reading helped me on to books, well the Wee Red Book and the Wee Green Book, and I’m not talking the thoughts of Chairman Mao, or of Colonel Gaddafi, that came later. By 1963 though, and despite losing the replay, I knew deep down we had some very good players indeed not least McNeil, Murdoch, Johnstone and Chalmers. I’ve told before of meeting a very young Brian McLaughlin also in 1963, whose very first question to me was “who is your favourite Celtic player?”, and Stevie was ours. Bobby came later…. Now, our school had a current affairs board, where we were encouraged to bring cut outs from the previous days newspapers, and the day after Jock Stein returned as Manager I brought in a cutting, from the front page of the Scottish Daily Express I think, which reported the news as ‘Jock Stein becomes Celtic’s first Protestant Manager’ or words to that effect. Didn’t last long on the board mind you as the teacher soon exclaimed, ‘that is coming down!’. Her name was Murphy to be fair, my first but not my last introduction to Murphy’s Law. Didn’t matter Big Jock was now in charge. Well you know the rest!


    God bless Jock Stein


    RIP John

  22. My fading memory as a young lhad in the latter years of the 9-in-a-row was that the tic ‘swarmed’ all over the opposition and we were generally much fitter allied to tanner ba , two-footiness.



    As a country , our approach to football is roughly 25 years out of date , the clowns at Hampden are utterly out of their depth in promoting modern football.

  23. It’s funny what sticks in the mind isn’t it?



    When I was growing up, Jock always reminded me of my granny.




    In my mind’s eye- same build, same demeanour, same eyes and smile.



    Both giants in different ways, both memories timeless and ageing well.



    We are blessed, aren’t we?




  24. Raymac…




    Another great post today, some have been funny, some happy memories and like your own, a sad memory of your turbulent times that happily you got through.



    Paul, even though Im finding it hard to log on to your special site it is worth whatever effort I need to make.



    God bless big Jock, the nemesis of the hun. HH

  25. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Brogan , further to our posts the other nightof us being Hill Street greens.



    The spendidly named Timmy Teague, was in the same Chemistry class as me. Wee Ronnie Fraser’s attitude to him could have been better. He used to wind Timmy right up and finally Timmy had had enough.



    Wee Fraser put him down once to often and Timmy exploded telling wee b@@@@@d features what he and the rest of school pupils thought of him. Count without the o was shouted by Timmy a number of times along with a few other colourful expressions. His outburst lasted about five





    We had a feeling for a few months this teacher wanted Timmy out the school and he pushed him so much, Timmy’s understandable reaction ,saw to that.



    Timmy’s lambasting of wee Fraser was the most memorable thing of my time there.



    One last thing, a year before the above, just before we broke up for summer, a pupil in the year above me (allegedly one of the Dunn and Moore ginger dynasty) threw three eggs at wee Fraser’s car in the car park. They smashed on the windscreen and as it was a very warm day, the eggs baked onto the windscreen.



    The teacher was seething for days much to our enjoyment.

  26. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on

    James Forrest



    Thank you.



    God Bless Wee Oscar and Big Jock.



    2 heroes that will remain legends in our hearts for differing reasons but linked by a special theme. Celtic







  27. Captain Beefheart on

    Enjoyed the Stein memories. Thank goodness primitive sectarianism didn’t prevail and we selected him on his ability.



    Those of you who lived in that time hit the football jackpot. I can’t imagine the nerves before Lisbon or the celebrations afterwards.

  28. Jock Stein was my mammy’s hero (Dean Martin a close second). To this day she refers to Jock as my second dad. :)


    She still tells the stories of his majesty to her great grandchildren.


    She was in shock today when I told her it was 30 years. We both heard the news together that fateful night in Cardiff. We gret and hugged that night, and repeated that this morning.


    Jock Stein YNWA

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