Celtic supporters pay emotional tributes to Lisbon Lion hero Bertie Auld after his death aged 83

Auld rightly took his place among Scottish football folklore

Celtic fans have posted emotional tributes to Lisbon Lion great Bertie Auld, after his death aged 83 was announced yesterday.

Auld, who was diagnosed with dementia in June and was being cared for by loved ones, had two spells at Celtic between 1955-61 and 1965-71.

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Bertie Auld wrote himself into Scottish football folklore as a member of the Lisbon Lions

Born in Maryhill on March 23, 1938, Auld joined the Parkhead outfit at the age of 17 having caught the eye of club scouts while playing for Maryhill Harp.

After making his debut in a Charity Cup match against Rangers in May 1957, he would go on to capture the imagination of Celts supporters over the ensuing years as an energetic and creative winger.

Auld featured in every round of the club’s League Cup campaign that season, but missed out on a place in the starting line-up for the final as they recorded a famous 7-1 thrashing of Old Firm rivals Rangers.

He left Parkhead in 1961 to join Birmingham City for a fee of £15,000, where he spent four years in England and helped the Blues to League Cup victory in 1963, beating Aston Villa over two legs.

Tommy Gemmell, Bertie Auld and Billy McNeill hoist the European Cup in 1967. Picture

A return to Glasgow in January 1965 followed, two months before the arrival of the club’s greatest ever manager, Jock Stein.

Auld would prove to be an integral part of the success Celtic enjoyed over the next few seasons, forging arguably the strongest midfield partnership in European football at the time with Bobby Murdoch.

He scored five goals in a 6-0 rout over Airdrie during Stein’s first match in charge, while his two most famous goals for the Hoops came in the 1965 Scottish Cup final against Dunfermline.

That match would kickstart a golden era for the club and Auld, who was a proud Glaswegian, etched his name into Celtic folklore as part of the Hoops greatest ever team as they beat Inter Milan 2-1 to lift the European Cup in 1967.

An infectious character both on and off the field, his ‘gallus’ nature won over the hearts of Celtic supporters across the world.

The Lisbon Lions. The Celtic team line up before their European Cup Final match against Inter Milan in Lisbon. They went on to win 2-1 to become the first British club to lift the trophy.

Following a distinguished playing career, Auld would take his first steps into management with Partick Thistle in 1974, where he won the old First Division title in 1975-76.

He later coached Hibernian, Hamilton Accies and would return to Thistle before a short stint at Dumbarton.

Capped three times for the national teal, Auld was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and in his latter years was regularly seen around Parkhead.

He took a lot of pride in his work with the Celtic FC Foundation and his tragic passing has been felt by the club’s supporters.

REACTION

Shadow2: “As a player he was a top class talent and will forever be a true Celtic legend but more importantly imo he was a top class human being, whether he was telling funny stories about his playing days in interviews, belting out Celtic songs at supporters’ do’s or taking time out to chat and have photos taken with the fans, he never failed to bring a smile to people’s faces... it’s a cliche but that saying ‘the world is a darker place without him in it’ has never rung so true!”

Dungloe67: “Sad to hear this. I remembered he was getting interviewed by Peter Martin. Martin asked him what was the best away result he ever had? Bertie replied: ‘I’d rather not say, the wife’s watching this programme.’ Thoughts and prayers are with Bertie and his family and friends.”

Hoopy427: “Of all our players past and present Bertie was the one I most wanted to meet. I never saw him play but it was his stories, his character, his enthusiasm, and his love for life and for Celtic that endeared me to him and to Celtic. To me, he embodied Celtic more than anyone else because the club filled his heart with joy, not bitterness or anger. He was gallus, in fact that word was surely created to describe Bertie! There will surely never be another Bertie Auld.”

JamSam67: “Sad news. A true Legend. Great stories of his love for Celtic, always picture him singing ‘For it’s a grand old team to play for, for its a grand auld team to see’ when he filmed by Jeff Stelling about the Lions.”

Lcifiero: “Bertie started singing “The Celtic Song” in the tunnel in Lisbon in 1967. That alone would have made him a Celtic legend. But everything else that Bertie did that came afterward cemented his status as a true Celtic hero - a man who was faithful through and through. I am crushed by this news - if anything, Bertie Auld personifies everything good about Celtic.”

Jinkybhoy: “What can you say about Bertie Auld - the guy lived and breathed Celtic - he will forever live in my memory. So sad to hear about his passing. RIP Bertie.”

Lmcbhoy: “Was fortunate to meet Bertie a lot at Celtic Park. The guy was simply an outstanding ambassador for our club. He was a football legend and just a great guy. Sad day and respects to his family. Hail Hail Bertie”

Ally: “Lost for words at the very sad passing of our Bertie. A Celtic legend and was one of us. He loved talking to the fans and signing autographs. A very humble upbringing in Panmure St. Maryhill. He was from the old school, a working-class family who did everything to ensure the Auld children got the best they could afford. Rest in peace Bertie and thank you for just being you. Condolences to his wife and children. YNWA.”