John Hughes tributes from Celtic fans as 'Yogi' remembered on final farewell

·4-min read
John Hughes
John Hughes

Celtic fans gathered at the ground they call Paradise to say a final farewell to John 'Yogi' Hughes.

The Hoops legend passed away earlier this month after a short illness, with his funeral held in Glasgow on Friday afternoon.

Players and coaches past and present were in attendance for the ceremony, with a crowd of fans waiting back at Celtic Park to pay their respects.

From those who saw Hughes in his pomp to those too young to remember even Henrik Larsson, the mourners fell into a respectful clap as another of that legendary 1966-67 side said his final farewell to the paradise they created.

And fans were only too happy to share their memories of the great man with the Glasgow Times.

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

Charles Gillan, 58, from Ballieston, said: "Celtic is my family club.

"He was a Lisbon Lion so he’s a hero and a legend.

"I was only three when he was playing but people who are older than me will remember him well.

"That’s why people are here to pay their respects.

"That’s what the Celtic family is all about."

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

Carol Lawson, 56, from Hamilton, said: "He’s a legend to the club.

"Today I feel proud when I look around and see all of these people.

"You do feel sad because you’ve been brought up to know these players as legends.

"If my daughter wasn’t working, she would be here and my wee granddaughter who is five knows who he is.

"That’s how you know that someone has had an impact on the club.

"You want his family to see that he was loved by us as much as they loved him.

"I’m here more for his family than myself to show the respect and love that he deserves.

"People ask you when did you start supporting Celtic but the answer is that you don’t start, you just do."

Nancy Henry, 83, also from Hamilton, added: "It’s a family thing.

"It goes on from generation to generation to generation."

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Glasgow Times:

James Anderson, 81, from Burnside, said: "I grew up in the Calton.

"I used to stand in that very corner of the grounds and the first name I used to look for was John Hughes.

"He was a big man and a great entertainer.

"He was a huge part of my childhood and my love for Celtic, that’s why I’m here today."

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Glasgow Times:

John Mitchell, 69, from Parkhead, said: "I just remember him bursting through taking on man after man, defenders bouncing off him because he was so strong. But he was so skilful too.

“I was only a kid, 10 or 12-years-old, but he was just a marvellous player and a lovely big gentleman.

“Stevie Chalmers used to live close to me in Easterhouse, a few players went up to his house one time when I was about 11 and big John spoke to all the kids. A big gentleman.”

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Glasgow Times:

Alex Smith, 73, from Sandyhills, said: "I’ve been living for 22 years where John lived, his family are still there, and I’d nod to the big man in the car now and then.

“I remember a pre-season friendly in 1965, Celtic played Sunderland down at Roker Park. The late, great Jim Baxter of Rangers had gone down there - Celtic hammered them 5-0 and big Yogi scored two goals. He ran amok.

“There was the league cup final in ’65, two penalty kicks against Rangers. The game against Leeds United and Jackie Charlton where he scored the goal at Hampden.

“It’s a family thing, in those days you were all part of the Celtic family. It’s a generation of players you grew up with. I saw him as a young, young boy in the team and then… it’s a sad thing for any Celtic supporter and we just want to show our respect to him.”

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Glasgow Times:

Bill McGraw, 76, from Auchinairn, said: "I can remember he used to play in baseball boots on a snowy, icy day.

“There was a day he fouled (Rangers captain) John Greig. Greig went to jump up and saw big Yogi standing over him and just laid back down again!

“There was one time I was sitting in the stand and there was a free seat beside me. So I got talking to him during a European tie. That was enlightening, he obviously had a good knowledge of football - more than I did!"