Tributes paid as Celtic legend John ‘Yogi’ Hughes dies after short illness, aged 79

The Hoops great passed away on Monday night, a family statement confirmed.

Celtic legend John ‘Yogi’ Hughes has died at the age of 79 after a short illness.

Hughes, one of the club’s all-time top scorers having netted 189 goals in 416 appearances between 1959 and 1971, passed away peacefull in hospital yesterday, a family statement confirmed.

He was a member of the famous 1966/67 European Cup winning squad in Lisbon and received a winners medal, despite not playing in the final against Inter Milan due to injury.

John Hughes, the former Celtic forward, pictured during season 1965/66, has passed away at the age of 79.

Hughes, an outside-left started the 1970 European Cup final defeat to Dutch side Feyenoord and during his 12 seasons at Parkhead he won seven league titles, five League Cups and four Scottish Cup.

A family statement, released by son John on social media read: “John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, aged 79, passed away peacefully in hospital today following a short illness.

“He was surrounded by his loving family. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.

“Always remembered & celebrated with love by his wife Theresa, his sons Kevin, Martin & John, his daughter Joanna, his six grandchldren and extended family.

“He now joins the ranks of those who will be immortal as long as there’s a Glasgow Celtic. The family ask for privacy at this terribly difficult time and will release details of his funeral arrangements in due course.”

A Celtic spokesman issued a club statement which stated: “Everyone at Celtic Football Club is extremely sad to hear of the passing of Lisbon Lion, John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, who has died at the age of 79, and the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club are with John’s family and friends at this extremely sad time.”

Hughes was capped eight times by Scotland and also played for Crystal Palace and Sunderland before having a brief managerial stint at Stranraer.

Born in Coatbridge, he made his Celtic debut in a League Cup win over Shotts Bon Accord in 1960 and quickly established himself as a fans’ favourite.

Nicknamed after cartoon character Yogi Bear, Hughes was a key member of Jock Stein’s side and would later run a popular bar in Glasgow’s Hope Street.

Tributes continue to pour in from across the Scottish football scene.

John Hughes pictured at a Lisbon Lions tribute lunch at the Hilton Doubletree in Glasgow in 2017.

Ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton wrote: “Really sad news to hear about John ‘Yogi’ Hughes passing. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Former Hoops goalkeeper Rab Douglas posted: “Very sad to see John Yogi Hughes passed away, always used to see him in Majorca every summer he had time for everyone. Thoughts go to all his family. RIP Mr Hughes.”

TalkSPORT pundit Alan Brazil said: “In the semi-final of the 1970 European Cup against Leeds United, me and my mate snuck in to Hampden, we climbed over and hid until the gates opened. Celtic won 2-1 and Yogi scored the equaliser - what a game that was. I remember walking home after the game and it’s a moment I’ll never forget.”