We’re running through the CQN 11 guests as we get set for another fabulous night at the Kerrydale Suite tomorrow evening, Friday 13th March to raise funds to build another CQN school kitchen in Malawi, this time to honour Brother Walfrid. After Tom Boyd and Tommy Coyne we featured featured Super Joe Miller and Pat Bonner. With 3 more men to feature before the big event we paused to focus on our female guest of honour, Lisa Hague. You can read back to catch up on all this. now it’s back to the Bhoys and next up is CQN 11, Guest N0.6, John ‘Yogi’ Hughes…
JOHN HUGHES arrived at Hampden Park before the 1965/66 League Cup Final hoping Celtic would not be awarded a penalty-kick against Rangers!
Big Yogi, as he was affectionately known to the Parkhead faithful, was the designated spot-kick taker at the club at the time. The responsibility would fall on his twenty-two-year-old shoulders to make absolutely he didn’t fluff his lines at a sold-out Hampden.
He recalled: “I realised there would be immense pressure on me if we got an award. It was difficult enough in an ordinary league game, but in a Cup Final at a packed national stadium it would have been awesome. So much for worrying about getting a penalty-kick – we got TWO in rapid succession!
“To be awarded two was unthinkable. Mind you, I wasn’t grumbling by time-up after I had placed both of them in the Rangers net as we picked up the silverware at the expense of our oldest rivals after a well-earned 2-1 victory. Both penalties were given in the first-half and I don’t think even the biggest bluenose could have had a complaint.
“The first came when their centre-half Ronnie McKinnon handled needlessly as a long ball was going out of play. Referee Hugh Phillips pointed to the spot and I realised I had a golden opportunity to put us on our way. All sorts of things go through your mind at that point.
“You want to look cool and in control. There must be no trace of nerves. I placed the ball, moved back, the match official blew his whistle and i stepped forward to hit it practically down the middle of the goal. Thankfully, Billy Ritchie had anticipated a shot to his right and took off in that direction. Boy, was I relieved when I saw that net rippling behind him.
“Not too long afterwards, Jimmy Johnstone was brought crashing to the turf after a badly-timed tackle by their left-back David Provan. Once again, the ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. ‘Oh, hell,’ I thought, ‘where do I place this one?’ Once again, you have to give the impression to the opposition that you haven’t a care in the world. I went through the same routine and hit the ball to the keeper’s right. Thankfully, I smacked it with enough force to see it come off his right hand before strangling itself in the net.
“Two goals gave me an incredible surge of confidence and I would have happily taken a third penalty-kick.”
This is an extract from ‘YOGI BARE: The life and times of Celtic legend John Hughes’ with Alex Gordon and published by CQN books. It is available at www.cqnbookstore.com
Before Friday’s CQN 11 St Patrick’s Dinner you can win a Celtic jersey signed by the 2008 squad, who won one of the most remarkable titles in our history. All proceeds go towards building a fourth CQN school kitchen in Malawi, for Mary’s Meals.