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. L67-TB


    Mr Stein said and I paraphrase, “we need to score than the oppo to take the referees out of the equation” sixty plus years later they are still cheating us, maybes it really is about time our suits grew a pair, or even one would be enough >:)

  2. Could easily have been 4 or 5 tonight.Did you see the pace of them trying to catch the wee CF when he went through.Slow as fek.


    Wee man could be a bet to score anytime next week as they push forward.Very quick.

  3. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Will it be straight in to the Europa or will they need to qualify?

  4. Easy to sneer at the huns but we haven’t done too well in these CL qualifying rounds either.

  5. If Huns lose on agg they go straight into Europa league group stages, according to commentator on Prem Sports.

  6. Who was channelling who: time is weird… Jota on Yogi or Yogi on Jota…worthy “goal of the season winner” 👏




  7. They were under pressure tonight to secure champions league money , at iPox that pressure has now doubled due to a 2 goal defecit and the knowledge that unless they get an early goal their “loyal” fans will turn on them…and the Belgian team would appear to know there way to the goal …should be very interesting .

  8. Colak could be responsible for the huns failing to qualify for the CL for the 2nd season in a row. 🤣

  9. Thing is,if they don’t qualify,that’s the Aeibo,Bassey money offside,with the loss of CL MONEY

  10. Go tell the Spartim on

    Didn’t know the score but caught the goals courtesy on Bonfigli on teh huddleborad


    How gutted does BT’s poor wee Rory sound, get it round ye.



    I don’t think Triggers Broom will make the CL, whoever our new chairman will be getting his worry beads out, hoping I’m right.

  11. From the deady bears den…






    Started off well and ended up an absolute embarrassment.



    Still, there’s one consolation. I won’t need to read anymore crap about how we’re such a good team suited to the European environment.



    If people would have taken the blinkers off, they’d have realised last season was the exception rather than the rule over the last four seasons in Europe.



    In the first three Gerrard seasons, when we were eliminated, most of us acknowledged we were still lacking in that extra quality required.



    Last season however we surpassed all our wildest dreams and all of a sudden some would have had us believe we were now playing in the big boys playground.



    If that shambles tonight doesn’t disabuse large swathes of the support of that notion, then nothing will.



    The funny thing is, there is still a chance we can beat this lot because they are not up to much.



    Which again is an indictment of our performance tonight.

  12. Well that was a laugh.



    Took them 15 minutes to get going but Union are a well organised team with a couple of very decent midfielders.



    I wouldn’t rule out a comeback for the zombies in an up and at them, blood and thunder type performance but it will depend on how well Union handle the pressure.



    The orcs defence is poor. Their new left back makes our full backs look like giants – physically very slight. Didn’t get on the ball much so no idea if he can play but the other newbies hardly kicked a ball. Tillman had a few good touches but faded after 10 minutes.



    I’m not worried about them. In fact if we are on our game at all against them I think they are in for a doing

  13. Fek GVB…he is our enemy…what u mean to say is….weren’t the question soft




  14. They are well organized, a back 5 and a competent GK,no star players,but hard working,the wee striker could be a handful

  15. think I may have just head the biggest faux pas on Rangers TV comms.



    Tom to Gordon Smith: ‘Do you know RUSGs goalkeeping coach is an ex-Celtic player called Logan Bailey?’



    I think Gordon knows him fairly well because he’s the absent father of Gordon’s grandson.

  16. Well well well


    That is a wee bonus,though Turkeybhoy gave us a wee heads up after watching them last week.

  17. ERNIE LYNCH on 2ND AUGUST 2022 9:51 PM



    Looks like we’re all Unionists tonight.



    Listen,just cos your pegged.




  18. Never seen interest in watching them.


    Going by reports Guilloise cut through a few times.


    Hope that silencing goal occurs.




  19. TheLurkinTim on 2nd August 2022 10:49 pm



    Bada @ 10.24pm…interesting but irrelevant…;-))



    2/2,keep going for your hat trick

  20. I’ve no doubt that were they to qualify for the CL, they’d be spending more money before the window closed. Hopefully the Belgians finish the job next week, their form at Ibrox was the basis for their run last season but they’re really up against it now.

  21. Watching them last week,the commentator said their keeper was the best in the League.Also that they always have a very well drilled defence.


    We will find out next week.