JOHN HUGHES yesterday recalled the part he played in the first two trebles in Celtic’s proud history.
The powerhouse striker, who fired in 189 goals during his Hoops career, was known as Yogi to the Parkhead faithful as he rampaged through the middle and on the wings for Jock Stein’s historic all-conquering ensemble.
“Great days and marvellous memories,” said the Big Man. “I missed out on Lisbon, of course, which was a major disappointment from a personal point of view, but there are many other games to look back at which give me pride.
“Season 1966/67 was simply breathtaking – we won everything and someone remarked we would have won the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race, too, if we had entered!
“And two years later, we swept the boards again on the domestic front.
“When you look at the manager and the players we had, no-one can be surprised by our achievements back then.
“The only two members of the squad who didn’t provide goals were keeper Ronnie Simpson and sweeper John Clark, who rarely crossed the halfway line. Everyone else would chip in with goals.
“Big Tommy Gemmell was good for double figures every season and, of course, he was our left-back!
“I still get a warm glow when I recall that era.”
Hughes admitted he has been massively impressed with what Brendan Rodgers is achieving at his old club.
“It’s a pleasure to watch the current team,” he added. “To go through the season without a domestic defeat is simply phenomenal.
“Forty-seven games and forty-three wins is something for Brendan and all his players to be rightly proud of, sensational, really.
“The manager came in and knew precisely what was required and knew how to achieve it. Celtic were a thoroughly professional outfit throughout the campaign.
“They had four draws, but they could all so easily have been wins. Inverness Caley Thistle equalised in stoppage time in the 2-2 draw up at their place.
“The late Ross County penalty-kick decision in Dingwall was laughable, but cost us two points in another 2-2 stalemate.
“And the less said about them getting a 1-1 result at Parkhead the better, A leveller three minutes from the end and then the refusal by the referee to award a stonewall penalty-kick right at the death told that particular story.
“Scott Sinclair, normally so deadly, missed a penalty-kick in the home 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle, as well.
“So, with just a little bit of luck, Brendan’s team could have won all 47 domestic encounters.
“I’m not complaining, though. This is a Celtic team that wants to win and entertain and that was what Big Jock stressed back in the sixties.
“As I said, it’s an absolute pleasure to watch Brendan’s team.”
John Hughes is pictured with author Alex Gordon with his latest project, ‘Celtic: The History Bhoys’, that charts the four greatest seasons in the club’s history when they claimed domestic trebles.
Martin O’Neill, in season 2000/01, and, of course, Brendan Rodgers, in the last campaign, added their names to that of Jock Stein in the Hoops’ Hall of Fame.
‘Celtic: The History Bhoys’ is published by Lang Syne Publishing.
It’s currently flying off the shelves at WH Smith were it is stocked in pretty impressive displays – here’s what Glasgow Airport WH Smith looks like…
The Zombies will love that!
‘Celtic: The History Bhoys’ is also available at Celtic stores and we have some copies available on CQN Bookstore with a decent offer too.
‘Celtic: The History Bhoys’ is priced at only £6.95. You can also order from CQN and you will receive a FREE copy of Once Upon a Time in the Kingdom of Govania, which proves that despite our best efforts In Govan fact remains stranger than fiction! You will laugh out loud at this!
Please use this link to order HERE.
CQN also has some signed copies of Yogi Bare – the John Hughes biography available for only £10 HERE.
Yogi appeared on Celtic Quick News, to answer supporters’ questions around the time of his book launch.