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Part Four of The Unforgettable Bertie Auld: ‘How I Made Celtic History’



LISBON LION Bertie Auld dovetailed with his proper buddy Bobby Murdoch into making the Celtic midfield the envy of Europe in the course of Jock Stein’s all-conquering side’s sweep thru the sixties.

CQN has been celebrating the lifestyles and splendid times of the Celtic legend in an EXCLUSIVE series with extracts from his best-selling autobiography, ‘A Bhoy Called Bertie’, co-authored with the aid of his buddy and creator Alex Gordon.

The story continues with a younger Bertie taking a special place in the Celtic Hall of Fame.

Please enjoy.

I SIGNED a full contract on April 2 1955 and made my debut in opposition to Rangers on May 1, two years later. In between, I had a season-long duration at Dumbarton and I can divulge now that I am unique in Celtic history – I am the solely player to sign for the club THREE times.

When I went to Dumbarton it was supposed to be on loan. There was some type of trouble with the contract and the Boghead facet sincerely had to make a nominal rate to sign me. It would only have been a token and Celtic promised to return it in a year’s time.

When I heard Celtic desired me to go to Dumbarton I, naturally, consulted my dad Joe. Once again he didn’t hesitate, ‘Take it, son. You’ll get first group soccer there. It’s phase of your education.’ I lower back to Parkhead and the transfer was executed and Dumbarton got their money lower back at the give up of the season.

Around that time I used to be referred to as up for my country wide service. I was put thru a rigorous examination and, as a sports activities enthusiast and as you might expect, I handed with flying colours. I was rated Grade One. My mum wasn’t having any of that – her boy wasn’t going to be taken away by way of the army.

GREEN FOR GO…Bertie Auld warms up for a game against Rangers at Ibrox.

She knew a physician who had a exercise in Possil and, rather amazingly, I was all of sudden located to have flat feet and that put me down to Grade Three. It was once regarded as a deferrment – something that virtually means. So, there used to be no area in the frontline for me and it was once business as regular at home.

Something usually seemed to be happening to me and I recall a humorous incident rapidly after I had put a string of video games collectively in the first team. We were due to play Hearts at Tynecastle and the educate used to be due to leave Glasgow at eleven in the morning for the ride thru to Edinburgh.

I was once getting prepared as usual, making an attempt to appear neat and tidy, and my mum Margaret was once fussing around as she usually did on matchday. ‘Have you brushed your teeth? Is your tie straight? Have you polished your shoes?’ All that type of thing.

My mum made me my breakfast which I made short work of in my regular fashion. ‘Have you had sufficient to eat? Do you want every other sandwich?’ On this precise morning she regarded more determined than ever to fatten up her first son for the rigours that lay beforehand – so a lot so that I used to be late for the instruct that left for Edinburgh except me.

‘Oh, hell,’ I thought, ‘what am I going to do now?’ I ought to simply think about even the usually placid Jimmy McGrory hitting the roof when he located I was once missing. There used to be nothing else for it – I would have to get a taxi and strive to capture up with the rest of the lads at Tynecastle. I waved down a black cab on the road and asked him to take me to Hearts’ ground. He eyed me up and said, ‘That’ll be three quid, son. Have you received the cash?’

THREE CHEERS…Celtic trio Billy McNeill, Ronnie Simpson and Bertie Auld lock out Rangers forward Alex Smith at Hampden

I had exactly £3 on me and I confirmed him the money. Satisfied, he nudged the car into gear and set off for our capital metropolis where, later in life, I would have such an eventful duration as a player, coach and supervisor of Hibs.

It appeared to take an eternity to get from Glasgow to Edinburgh that day although, of course, the traffic is nothing like as congested as it is today. I recall it was simply 5 days earlier than Christmas, so there was the typical rush on at the shops. We finally reached our destination, happily enough, simply as the group teach was once pulling in.

I received out of the taxi in a rush before mingling with the rest of my colleagues as they got off and headed for the primary entrance at Tynecastle. Boy, was I relieved. I’m not too positive how the Celtic bosses would have considered it at the time, a younger participant missing the legit crew bus. I don’t believe they would have accepted the excuse that my mum delayed me because she wanted me to eat every other bacon buttie!

I used to be excited at the prospect of taking part in a very suitable Hearts group who had robust characters in the likes of Dave Mackay and John Cumming. These blokes have been two of the hardest men in football, but have been usually fair. They would go in for a 50/50 ball like their lives depended on it. You knew you were tackled when these two guys hit you. But, as I said, they never went over the pinnacle or suchlike. They have been just a pair of very committed gurus and I have continually admired that in people.

ON PATROL…Bertie Auld in his usual midfield beat

I would like to suppose I used to be each and every bit as committed to the Celtic cause. Anyway, there I used to be at Tynecastle, when the group sheet used to be examine out. You should imagine my shock when the name Auld wasn’t on it. I had been dropped. I had simply spent a week’s wages haring from Glasgow via to Edinburgh and my reward used to be a seat in the stand.

I had played the previous fifteen games, netted eight goals, and was in the line-up that hammered Stirling Albion 7-3 the previous week. I idea I would get the nod again, however a fellow known as Matt McVitie was once named at outside-left that afternoon. We managed a 1-1 draw and I returned the following week for a 3-1 triumph over my one-time suitors Clyde.

I nonetheless wonder if Jimmy McGrory had referred to my absence on the bus going through to Edinburgh and dropped me as some kind of punishment. My wages had gone up ten shillings considering the fact that my signing and I’m positive my weekly earnings of £3 made sure the family of a certain Glasgow cabbie had a exquisite Christmas at my expense.

It wasn’t all a barrel of laughs, though. I well remember the shock of being unnoticed from the Celtic team sheet on a pretty wonderful afternoon at Hampden on 19 October, 1957. We have been due to take on our oldest foes Rangers in the League Cup Final and I have to say I entirely enjoyed Old Firm encounters. The atmosphere, the rivalry, the fierce competitiveness, the lot – I cherished it.

Once more, barring sounding conceited, I thought I would be in the side. After all, I had played in the previous League Cup fits in opposition to East Fife (6-1), Hibs (2-0), Third Lanark (6-1) and Clyde (4-2). I had also chipped in with two goals alongside the way. The gaffer, Mr.McGrory decided to recall Neilly Mochan who hadn’t performed in the opposition on account that we lost 3-1 to Hibs in the qualifying area in August. The League Cup format at the time was divided into companies and we certified on factors after eight games. Then it grew to be a knock-out match at the quarter-final stage.

PRIZE GUY…Celtic manager Jimmy McGrory with the newly-won League Cup in 1957

There we were at Hampden, I was once looking forward to the whole event until I was once taken aside and advised I wasn’t playing. The more skilled Mochan was taking my place. Actually, I virtually appreciated the man who was acknowledged as Smiler for the way his face lit up when he scored a goal. He later grew to become a trainer at the club, of course. A stunning bloke, however I could have seen him far ample that day.

Jimmy McGrory put out this team: Beattie, Donnelly, Fallon, Ferrnie, Evans, Peacock, Tully, Collins, McPhail, Wilson and Mochan. There had been no substitutes in those days, so I used to be in the stand once again. Yes, I desired to be out there in the hoops, however I wasn’t grumbling at the cease as Celtic won 7-1 in virtually overwhelming fashion.

And it ought to have been worse for Rangers – we hit the woodwork three times as well. Mr.McGrory’s choice to depart me out was once vindicated when Smiler flashed in two high-quality goals.

As I left the country wide stadium that afternoon I wouldn’t have believed that the success over Rangers would be Celtic’s remaining piece of silverware until we returned to the Mount Florida district of Glasgow in 1965 when we met Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup Final in an extraordinarily fateful afternoon for yours really when I actually performed my part.

More of that unforgettable, rollicking event later.

However, some thing very extraordinary occured on the evening of April 26, 1961. Celtic lost 2-0 to a Dunfermline aspect managed by using Jock Stein in the Scottish Cup Final replay at Hampden.

I played for the reserves towards Hearts at Tynecastle the identical evening, scored five dreams and agreed to depart Celtic the following day.

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