CELTIC hero Murdo MacLeod is recovering in hospital this morning following an operation to have a heart valve replaced.

The former club and country midfielder’s daughter Mhairi took to social media to thank well-wishers concerned with the 63-year-old legend’s health.

She explained it was a “routine procedure” after her father had undergone the initial operation over a decade ago.

Mhairi said on Twitter: “Just to stop any rumours flying about.

“My dad has had a heart valve replaced, which is routine 10-15 years after the initial operation.

“His operation went well and he is currently in recovery.

“Thank you for all your good wishes.”

MAY THE FOURS BE WITH YOU…Murdo MacLeod celebrates his pulverising goal to seal 10-man Celtic’s unforgettable 4-2 triumph over Rangers at Parkhead in May 1979 to win the title. Andy Lynch is about to join in while Davie Provan sinks to his knees.

MacLeod was one of Billy McNeill’s first signings for the Hoops when he replaced the legendary Jock Stein in the summer of 1978.

The new manager spent £100,000 to bring in the powerhouse competitor from Dumbarton and, of course, it was mighty Murdo who fired in the final goal when 10-man Celts famously beat Rangers 4-2 to win the league title on May 21 1979.

The Hoops great spoke to author Alex Gordon when he wrote his tribute book to McNeill, ‘In Praise of Caesar’, which was published in 2018.

Here is an edited extract from MacLeod’s chapter in the best-selling publication.

Please enjoy.

BILLY McNEILL possessed a wonderfully wicked sense of humour and he demonstrated it one afternoon at Ibrox.

It was September 19 1981 and we had just beaten Rangers 2–0 in a league game. Tom McAdam had given us an early lead with a trademark header and I netted the second with a low shot following a free-kick with four minutes to go.

In truth, we should have won a lot more comfortably as we had control of the encounter straight from the kick-off.

As we celebrated in the dressing room, Big Billy said to me, ‘Right, Murdo, hurry up and get changed. Let’s go upstairs and see Deedle Dawdle – the nickname for Rangers director Willie Waddell – and tell him he’s got a lovely new stand.’

NUMBER ONE…Tom McAdam sends a header soaring past Rangers keeper Peter McCloy to open the scoring in September 1981.

NUMBER TWO…Murdo MacLeod is congratulated by Tom McAdam after his clinching goal in the 2-0 win in Govan. Derek Johnstone doesn’t look too impressed.

Rangers had just spent £4million, a lot of money back then, on refurbishing the stadium and a lot of the credit went to Waddell, who had been a player, manager, general manager, vice-chairman and director at the club.

The Rangers hierarchy had deliberately held back the unveiling of the stadium for the visit of their greatest foes. They had already played a few league and League Cup-ties on their home turf, but they wanted a gala occasion in front of a sell-out Old Firm crowd.

The sun was shining in Govan that day, the brand spanking new stadium gleamed, the fans turned up in their thousands and all they needed was the right result.

HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Murdo Macleod is congratulated by Tom McAdam and Mark Reid after his goal sealed the victory at Ibrox. New stadium, same old story.

Celtic, though, were in no mood to be bit-part players in the Ibrox theatre. Billy McNeill made sure of that. We won by two goals, but we could have claimed four or five.

So, the Celtic manager was in fine fettle afterwards, but he couldn’t help himself when it came to rattling Deedle’s cage. Maybe there was history between the pair, I don’t know.

What I was aware of, though, was that the Rangers man was an acquired taste for many of his contemporaries. He would have been fizzing, having just watched his team be completely outplayed and beaten by Celtic.

Billy just had to rub it in.

All at CQN and his legion of Celtic fans wish Murdo a speedy recovery.

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