Yogi, R I P


It is a sad day indeed for us all as Celtic supporters to learn of the passing of John Hughes. Beloved as Big Yogi,this fella was a fearsome sight as he rampaged down the left wing for over a decade for us. 

And he was a prolific goal scorer too,as I will come to shortly.

I had the pleasure of listening to him giving a wee blether to a rapt audience in Wimbledon Irish Centre,home of the Wimbledon Celtic Supporters Club about a decade ago. It was hosted by that fine gentleman,Brogan,Rogan,Trevino and Hogan. I was in the company of Steinreignedsupreme and also briefly met Auldheid for the first time.

I also knew a fair few of the locals,and we were very much looking forward to John’s tales of his footballing days. He didn’t disappoint. 

John made his debut as a raw teenager-and,bhoy,was he raw. Raw and powerful,with no little skill. Barely seventeen,and playing in a very inconsistent side-for inconsistent,read underperforming-he still managed to hit some heights. Indeed,but for a worldie save by the keeper in the 1961 Scottish Cup final,he would have denied Jock Stein his first silverware via the replay! Two years later,he was a signing target for Juventus,but either Celtic or John himself turned the offer down.

John was vitalised by the arrival of Jock Stein in 1965,as were most of the squad. He soon hit new heights,terrorising defences with his height,presence,speed and skill. And his ability to play on the most awkward of icy pitches in a pair of sannies! He did that a few times,btw. 

Celtic obviously had a terrific side at the time,and although John could play on either wing or as the central attacker,he was up against some top quality contenders for a regular starting position. He can play on the right,but how do you drop Jimmy Johnstone? He can play on the left,but Bobby Lennox is there. He can spearhead the attack,but Stevie Chalmers and Willie Wallace have first dibs.

John perhaps had his best ever performance for us on that memorable night in 1970 which saw us beat the hardest and most brutal footballing machine in the history of the game. There is no doubt that Leeds United were a wonderful football team,but Brian Clough was right. They were a bunch of thugs,and flat track bullies into the bargain. 

Our lads were not the type to be intimidated,and certainly not John. Nor the likes of Jimmy Johnstone,who tormented the England full back Terry Cooper all night long. Told by Jack Charlton to “just f…..g kick him”,he replied-“you f…..g kick him,I can’t get near him!”

Bertie Auld famously decked Norman Hunter while the ball was lost in the floodlights,and Bobby Murdoch and George Connelly simply strolled through the match. The likes of Giles and Bremner-despite his quality opening goal-were no match. And again,neither of those two famous exponents of the dark arts could get close enough to intimidate our lads. Or dared to.

But John? Aye,his finest moment. Amongst many. 

John was none too pleased to be sold to Crystal Palace when he was only 28yo,and still had a lot of time on his side. He made that perfectly clear in that discussion in Wimbledon. If I am honest,I agree with him. As much as I adore Jock Stein for everything that he did for the club-and the players too,obviously-I have no love for the ruthless and often,IMO,wrong jettisoning of our heroes. 

John scored 189 times for the club he adored. Another season with us would have seen him join the select few to have scored more than 200 goals for the club. I think that rankled more than anything,and I don’t blame him either.

But John Hughes was and is a Celtic legend. And we are sadly becoming accustomed to the departure of our childhood heroes. But they were and are heroes for a bloody good reason!

John was built like an American football player,a big unit. He could have played the game wearing ballet shoes. He could burst the net from 35 yards out-sorry,I can’t remember who that was against,but he did. And the ball was a lot heavier then.

He is a loss to us all,and will join his pals for a kickabout upstairs. More than that,of course,he is a loss to his family and friends,and they all have my sincere condolences.

John Hughes,Celtic Legend.


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August 1, 2022 11:38 pm

Wonderful tribute
Thank you

The Fenian Whaler
August 1, 2022 11:43 pm

RIP Yogi

416 games and 189 goals for Celtic


edited – info from Celtic wiki

August 1, 2022 11:54 pm


A fine tribute to a true Celt. The words to be found on the gravestone, of another famous Celt, who was laid to rest in Cardenden, Fife, are appropriate today:

“They never die, who live in the hearts of those they leave behind.”

Hail Hail.

August 1, 2022 11:56 pm

Perfectly pitched, Bobby. I’m sure Yogi’s family and friends will be made aware of it and be very happy! Well done, mate! 💚🤍💛🙏

August 1, 2022 11:57 pm


After us twinning our comments the other day,I think you’ve got this one wrong. It was definitely 189 goals that John scored.

If I’d listened so intently to my lectures at uni as I did to John that night,I might not be driving a van overnight to bliddy Lowestoft,etc! But that eleven goals short pissed him off.

Still a legend of course for scoring over 100,though I’m sure I am right on my figures. What amazes me is that Brian McClair didn’t hold off his move to Man Utd till the start of the new season so that he too could join The Centenary Club-in The Centenary Season!-instead of leaving with 99 to his name.

Call me Gerry
August 1, 2022 11:59 pm

Lovely tribute 👏


Bada Bing
August 2, 2022 12:05 am

Lovely tribute M

Bada Bing
August 2, 2022 12:05 am
August 2, 2022 12:07 am


Those are beautiful sentiments,which I’m sure comfort the bereaved. True as well,in my own case,and not for here.

But aye,you are right.

August 2, 2022 12:13 am


Thanks Bobby. Much appreciated.

The Real McCoy
August 2, 2022 12:48 am

Lovely tribute Bobby 👍🏻
John Yogi Bear Hughes R.I.P. 🙏🏻🍀💚

August 2, 2022 12:51 am

The Real McCoy
August 2, 2022 1:01 am

Jim The Tim ,
Lovely. This was on the sidebar.
Unforgettable- 💚


August 2, 2022 1:23 am


I was hooked the minute I played Rainy Day Women,#12 and 35 when I was about 12yo. Bob Dylan isn’t to everyone’s taste,yet his songs have been covered by so many great artistes. None,and I include Jimi Hendrix in that,can do it like Bob can.

Equally,What A Wonderful World. Louis Armstrong might not have a voice like Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone,it might grate on a few ears like Bob’s does.

But he owns that song.

August 2, 2022 2:47 am

Sad day indeed, just another Tim from Coatbridge but rightly loved by us and feared by all opponents

August 2, 2022 2:53 am

Quality, moving, tribute to Yogi, Bobby.
Yogi, Jinky, Big Tam and Bertie were my earliest heroes. All massive characters as well as super footballers. Yogi charging through the mud, two defenders hanging off him; unstoppable! It was an awesome sight for this 9yr old. The comments from the older fans nearby only confirmed my awe.
He scored a long range header v England in 1968, dominating Jack Charlton most of the game. Jock clearly had this in mind when Yogi was up front v Leeds in 1970 at Hampden. And the big man only scores again!
A Celtic great, and one of my heroes. RIP John Hughes.

August 2, 2022 4:03 am

John Hughes was one of our best players in our greatest team and was a gentleman. Condolences to his family and may he score another winner in our celestial team of greats.

A thing of beauty
August 2, 2022 6:35 am

RIP Big Yogi,
Always a sad day when we lose a great. Lovely tribute from bmcuwp

August 2, 2022 6:47 am

Excellent tribute, I hope John’s family manage to read it and it gives them a little bit of comfort.
The first Celtic game, I attended, was in Aug 1970. We beat Hearts 4.2 in a league cup sectional.
Big Yogi scored 2, one of them after 30 secs, so as a young lad, that stuck in my head.
As an aside one of your favourites scored that day, too, George Connelly, Lou Macari, scored the other.
Williams, Hay, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Brogan, Johnstone, Hood, Connelly, Lennox (Macari 72), Hughes.
Scorers Hughes 2 (30 secs, 67), Connelly (83), Macari (86)

Cruickshank, Sneddon, Oliver, Veitch (Winchester), Thompson, Brown, Jensen, Clunie, Ford, Hegarty, Lynch
Scorer Hegarty 2 (16, 80)

Referee: A.F. Webster (Falkirk)
Attendance: 40,000

Celtic Champs Elect
August 2, 2022 7:15 am

RIP Big Yogi what a legend and excellent tribute Bobby

I was one of the youngest members of the John Hughes supporters club that left from Big Yogis fathers pub at the fountain In Coatbridge back in the day. My uncle Tony and his pals taught me everything I know about Celtic and especially to never drink eldorado or lanliq wine :-))

August 2, 2022 7:24 am

Morning all,

Wonderful tribute and eloquently written 👏👏👏

John “ Yogi “ Hughes. 🙏🙏🙏💚💚💚

August 2, 2022 7:29 am


That’s A wonderful tribute to a Great Celt!

So sad to see our old heroes go… but we keep those fine, fine memories…. power and skill, a rare combination, and it paid off in all those goals.. most of them absolute belters!

As Magua already said …

“they never die….”

RIP Yogi

August 2, 2022 7:39 am

Fine tribute to a fine Celt.

August 2, 2022 8:08 am

From JOBO,his first POTY stats here.

Was just composing the results post when news reached me of the death of John Yogi Hughes. RIP Yogi. I hope it’s not seen as insensitive to still put out the following…..
A quite brilliant atmosphere in the ground pre-match with everyone remembering to bring their singing voices and an absolutely fantastic TIFO to welcome Scotland’s Champions onto the pitch. And we were all set for the new season.
And what a start with us a goal up within 4 minutes. Lots of good inter-passing and movement followed but I felt we were just overdoing it a bit and could have been a bit more direct. And whilst it remained 1-0 well into the 2nd half there was always the possibility of an undeserved Aberdeen equaliser. But Jota had other ideas with a strike that was netbound from the moment it left his foot – I should know, I was right behind it, albeit 140 yards away!
And with perfect timing as soon as we went 2 goals up we sang “Top of the league looking down on the Sevco…” (well that’s what I sang, anyway).
And so to the voting and what a fantastic response for our first competitive game of the season – a huge thank you to the 82 who took the time to vote. Those votes have now been counted and it was interesting to see that all but one of our outfield starters caught your eye. And the only one scoring nil – poor wee Kyogo!
The total votes cast for each player (with my own choices asterisked) are as follows –

Hart: 0
Juranovic*: 5
Carter-Vickers: 14
Welsh*: 56
Taylor: 49
McGregor: 12
Hatate*: 15
O’Riley: 30
Jota: 61
Kyogo: 0
Maeda: 2

Turnbull: 1
Abada: 0
Giakoumakis: 1
Ralston: 0
Mooy: 0

So, the top 5 players receiving POINTS for the game against Aberdeen are –
Jota – 5 pts
Welsh – 4 pts
Taylor – 3 pts
O’Riley – 2 pts
Carter-Vickers – 1 pt

We now have 5 more sleeps to wait until our next game away against Ross County. It’s obviously more of a challenge to find a way of watching that game in full but hopefully enough of us are able to do so to make next week’s voting meaningful – remember, spread the word, anyone can vote after any game and join in at any time – just keep a note of the email address – sencelpoty@gmail.com
Hail Hail!

August 2, 2022 8:15 am

Personally,I’m delighted to see Stephen Welsh scoring so highly-even though I didn’t vote for him! I said at the end of our annus horribilis that nobody deserved a POTY award that year. But that if anyone did,it was a young and untried centre half.

The form of CCV and Starfelt last season meant he was rarely used. It didn’t mean he was forgotten though,certainly not by me anyway. Just dig in,Stephen. It’s a squad game nowadays,and your time will come.

August 2, 2022 8:19 am

RIP John Yogi Hughes, a Celtic Legend. A fine and fitting tribute Bobby, thank you.

James Gildea
August 2, 2022 8:35 am

Rest in peace John yogi Hughes a true legend 🙏

Jobo Baldie
August 2, 2022 8:41 am

Good morning, friends and thanks for that fine tribute Bobby.
Thanks also for reposting the results thingmy although as Call Me Gerry correctly pointed out it is Reo Hatate who, as 5th highest, gets the 1 point, not CCV. A schoolboy error for the very first game!

August 2, 2022 8:53 am

RIP Yogi YNWA 🙏🍀 Feed the Bear

August 2, 2022 8:55 am

Jobo Baldie
Good morning, friends and thanks for that fine tribute Bobby.
Thanks also for reposting the results thingmy although as Call Me Gerry correctly pointed out it is Reo Hatate who, as 5th highest, gets the 1 point, not CCV. A schoolboy error for the very first game!

August 2, 2022 8:41 am


Hmmmm… we may have to avail of new VAR process at some point?! 😆

But seriously tho’, it’s going to be a cracking item to follow this Season.

Keep up the good work Jobo!!

August 2, 2022 9:03 am
St tams
August 2, 2022 9:28 am

Lovely tribute Bobby.
RIP Yogi

Fairhill bhoy
August 2, 2022 9:52 am

Lovely tribute to a legend Bobby.

August 2, 2022 11:12 am

Every time a Lion has passed i feel a little of me has gone with them.
Though John Hughes and George Connelly were not on the pitch in Lisbon i consider them both Lions.
Thank you for the many memories Yogi you bestowed on this Celtic supporter.

Prestonpans bhoys
August 2, 2022 11:24 am

I had a chat on here with someone about Celtic eventually paying some sort of minimum wage. Read this from Kevin McKenna about Bankier on the Celtic Way, I was totally unaware of this item below:

‘Later, Celtic agreed to pay the equivalent of the living wage but only after withdrawing an annual discretionary bonus agreement with club staff, a move which reeked of contempt. He reiterated the club’s policy of not recognising a trade union.’

August 2, 2022 11:55 am

Tough draw for the sons of Satan if they get through!

August 2, 2022 11:55 am

PSV or Monaco

August 2, 2022 12:02 pm

First leg at Ibrox

August 2, 2022 12:07 pm

A beautiful tribute BMCUW

I had the chance to talk to Yogi at that Wimbledon event and he came across as a straight talking guy and I agree with you Big Jock did not treat him well personally or technically.

After he joined Crystal Palace he scored two cracking goals that only he could do.

Might have got goal of the day/season.

Having watched him since his debut game it feels a bit like losing a friend as much as a hero.

August 2, 2022 12:14 pm

I am so sad to hear of the passing of John Hughes. I associate him with my discovery of Celtic. He was in and out of the team as a young man monster CF when I came to Celtic. He was the Samaras of his time. Always eager to be involved,sometimes brilliant, sometimes frustrating to watch…..just like Samaras.

The turning point for John was when he was moved out to the left wing. When it first happened, for me, it was one of these “Pourquoi” moments. Surely a man that size could not/should not play out wide? He was built like an old fashioned CF. Wingers were built like Jimmy Johnstone, Willie Henderson or Alex Edwards. However, once again my knowledge, or lack of it, was to be shown up! John had great dribbling skills, previously not seen when he played in the middle. He could cut in from the wing at pace, terrorise the FB, and let go with a thunderous shot that would bounce around in the net like a frantic bee trying to escape a spider’s web! Further, he could do this while wearing sannies or trainers during an actual game. I saw him come out wearing these to warm up and I could not believe that he did not change them before the game started, especially as the playing surface was frozen! Yet there he was with his twinkle toes, turning the FB inside out. The soft boots made no difference to the power of his shooting!

This was an exciting time to be a Celtic supporter. A great team was forming. Stein’s methods were innovations sweeping through Scottish, English and European football. John Hughes was a part of that and a big part of my growth into the beautiful game.

Once you get over a certain age, you are reminded of a grim shadow that dogs your path. John was less than three years older than me and his passing makes me look over my shoulder. However, what a life he lived! I never met him but I did see him many times doing what he clearly loved. Even then he was in a type of heaven.

RIP John


August 2, 2022 12:20 pm

Fan and Rebus… beautiful posts, brought a wee tear to my eye!

August 2, 2022 12:26 pm


Im nodding in agreement again including looking over the shoulder but will add to the frustrating aspect of Yogi’s performance.

My dad would watch out for Yogi’s early touches or passes and if they were off he/we would throttle down our expectation levels.

I might have foolishly mentioned this at the Wimbledon event but not surprisingly Yogi wasnt buying it.

That was part of his magic to take supporters from hands in the air in delight or on heads in despair.

It was all part of what you see is what you get.

August 2, 2022 12:40 pm


We are part of the brotherhood/sisterhood of the ageing. Shared memories, experiences and, hopefully wisdoms!


August 2, 2022 12:50 pm

Great tribute and thoroughly earned. John was more than a great footballer. He was also an honest chronicler of those times. Alongside the likes of John Fallon, he acknowledged the genius of Jock Stein, but did not gloss over the darker side of our greatest manager.

On a day where we have seen the handing in of notice by the Wankier Bankier, there is only one Celtic story that has an impact and only one of those guys made a genuine and lasting contribution to our club.

The Real McCoy
August 2, 2022 12:50 pm

I’ve mentioned before my first game was the Glasgow Cup Final of 1965 .
Celtic ( all green strips) 5 Queens Park 0 .
Got a badge before the game. It was , of course, just a black & white photo from a newspaper stuck on cardboard and with a safety pin to attach it to my scarf.
Cherished it till it eventually fell apart.
Was Yogi Bear 🍀💚
R.I.P. John Hughes 🙏🏻

Posted this last night.
Tears are now smiles at the wonderful tributes and memories of Big Yogi 🍀💚🙏🏻

August 2, 2022 12:50 pm

Around the 3 minute mark, this London lady, a converted Celt, starts talking about Celtic in her phone call to celebrate England Women’s Tournament win- goes on to mention Henrik.


Bada Bing
August 2, 2022 12:52 pm

Hearts EL dates are 18 & 25 August, Hearts at home will be on the Sunday now…..

August 2, 2022 1:12 pm

Today is a day for memories but also for unanswered questions. I know you have already thought of this but it occurs to me that many of the Lions were very versatile. Stevie could play CF or wing at a pinch. Bobbie Lennox could play either wing or through the middle. Willie Wallace, what a great name, could play any of the front five positions plus half back. As already mentioned big John could play in the middle or out wide. Finally, Bertie was, well, Bertie! Started as a winger and ended playing inside forward, like Johnny Giles of Leeds fame.

So here is the chicken and egg issue. Did Jock encourage this versatility as part of his formula for success, or was it already there as part of the game at that time?

We know that there was a significant drop off in wages if you were not in the first team. Ask George Connelly, for example! Was developing versatility a deliberate ploy to maximise your chance of being in the first team under big Jock? Whatever, it certainly contributed to the success of the Lions.

Now here is a question that has bothered me for a while due to my fading memory. In the sixties/seventies there was a first class inside forward who, for whatever reasons, never attained the success his skills deserved. His first name was, I think, Willie and he played for Hibs. He was not pacy but he had good ball control and could hit slide rule passes to split a defence. He was revered by his fellow professionals. Who was he? I think there may have been another player in the Hibs team that shared his surname, but maybe not.

Help, please.


The Real McCoy
August 2, 2022 1:14 pm

Enjoyed that post ☝️. 👇


Certainly know other supporters with that
HH Elaine 🍀💚