John Hughes, legend who wore his heart on his sleeve


I got to know John Hughes through his good friend, CQN’s own, Alex Gordon.  He was in his 70s by then, but retained a charm and mischievousness.  He loved talking football and, in particular, Celtic, who he continued to follow as a fan.  Unlike you and I, when John talked Celtic, there was an edge that could only come from playing for the club you loved.

Had he cared less, missing out on Lisbon would not have mattered.  It did, though, you could hear the pain in his voice when talking about it.  The five European Cup games he played that season, however, brought the team to the final.  A chance not converted three years later in Milan also troubled him; John wanted to deliver for Celtic as much as anyone ever did.  He scored the equaliser in Celtic’s home semi-final at Hampden against Leeds, front of 136,000 people, which will forever remain an attendance record for a European Cup match.

I often found the Lisbon Lions faultlessly diplomatic.  John, however, told it as it was.  Some of his experiences cut too deep to bandage over.  Fans recount the past through the prism of football results, for players like John, memories of events past were about what you were like as a person.  I am glad we had his testimony to eventually add to the annuls of Celtic history.

On the park, he was a Bear of a man.  A striker with strength whose record as goal scorer is bettered by only seven others in Celtic’s illustrious 134-year history.  He took the club through its most transformational time, the 1960s, when Celtic went from being domestic also-rans to kings of Europe.

For most of us, the most enduring memory of John will not be of a prolific footballer, it will be of a smiling legend we met at Celtic Park.  The Celtic world is enormously poorer today; how lucky we were to have such heroes.  Our condolences to John’s family and close friends.

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  1. as a wee aside.



    did anyone see any empty seats on sunday ?






    Attendance: 58,824

  2. What do you mean by ‘the’.







    It’s not like he’s the only one.





    Very Hunnish posts from Mr Sarcastic.

  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    Remember there are empty seats used as a partition between 119 and the sheep, don’t know how many though

  4. Looking at the huns tonight and from what I saw at the weekend, with fair and honest refereeing in sectarianland they would struggle to finish in the top handful IMO

  5. I hope USG don’t regret that miss when Goldson gave ball away and forward was 1 on 1 with keeper

  6. ET ,


    Got to agree there mate , very poor looking hun team .


    MIB is our biggest threat again this season .

  7. celtic supporters right up to the aberdeen corner and i was sure they had sold out their allocation



    as an aside to that asiide




    and VAR, would the livi goal have stood as an obvious refereeing error ?




  8. prestonpans bhoys on

    Well that attendance figure suggests around 1,500 empty seats, certainly not that many in the partition.

  9. Saint stivs


    Referee blew the whistle before ball went in the net – so wouldn’t be referred to VAR

  10. The returnof weeron on

    New Celtic Chairperson?



    Does anyone think that the Chairperson decides the direction for the Club? As far as I can figure out, there are a couple of investment firms whose objectives are similar to those of DD. That is, steady as she goes, minimum risk…..Their combined weight seems to hold sway. So I would think that, whoever gets the big seat will be expected to keep us on that course.



    At a time when the SPFL is killing itself with pettiness, such as deliberately turning away visiting fans and their money, there isn’t much scope for growing the value of our league. What is left, is for our board to try and grow the club. No Chairperson or CEO is going to do much of that without the support of the heavier hitters and a shot of investment.



    So, our only play is, once in a while, to snag a MON, Rodgers or Ange, who will raise standards, hopes and expectations. This doesn’t tend to have a lasting effect, however as the taps are shut and the ambitious manager heads south…..



    All of which is to say…I wouldn’t put too much weight on the willingness or ability of a Chair appointment. the only Chair that impressed me was Brian Quinn.

  11. VINNIETHEDOG on 2ND AUGUST 2022 9:29 PM


    No way would that have given in Scotland



    funnily enough, Shortie said “that would never have been given in scotland”

  12. pintaguinness on

    I remember kinky on the right and Yogi on the left



    On colder conditions Yogi would wear “sannies” and was unstoppable



    A big hero

  13. PINTAGUINNESS on 2ND AUGUST 2022 9:39 PM


    I remember kinky on the right



    rule number 1 of internet, always delete your search history as it gives itself away in your predictive texts …..

  14. 2-0 , Tavpen clears off the line in last minute .


    Will be amazed if the huns progress to next round .