Bobby loved ‘The Boss’
Murdoch would have been proud to be at memorial
The widow of Rutherglen football legend Bobby Murdoch spoke this week of her mixed emotions on the 30th anniversary of Jock Stein’s death.
Kathleen Murdoch was a guest at last Thursday’s memorial to the former Celtic and Scotland boss.
But the event was tinged with sadness because Lisbon Lion Bobby, who died tragically in 2001 of a stroke, aged just 56, was not there to be part of it all.
Kathleen said: “Bobby had a close affinity with Jock and he would have loved being part of the tribute to the man they called ‘The Boss’.”
Former St Columbkille’s Primary pupil Bobby was a member of the famous Celtic team which lifted the European Cup in Lisbon in 1967.
He would go on to to win eight league medals, four Scottish Cup badges and five league cup medals, alongside his European Cup success.
Despite the success, Kathleen says that some players at the time were critical of Stein and his style.
But she insisted: “Bobby would never have done that. He didn’t have a bad word to say about Jock.
“He was absolutely devastated when he died – and no- one can take his achievements away from him.”
The memorial at Celtic Park was attended by players and figures from the world of football who paid tribute to the first British manager to win the European Cup.
“It was a mixture of tears and laughter,” said Kathleen, 70. “It brought back all the sadness of the night it happened – it was just so unexpected.
“But a lot of the people there also had funny stories to tell about their memories of Jock.
“It was an emotional day all round and it was nice to see the rest of the team who played with Bobby.”
Scotland boss Stein died of a heart attack on September 10, 1985, after Scotland played Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff, in a 1986 World Cup qualification match.
Kathleen said: “I remember watching it on television with Bobby and it was really upsetting. They kept showing it over and over again.
“His poor family must have been distraught. I know how I would have felt if I had to watch constant replays of my husband dying.”
As well as being a Celtic legend, Bobby won 12 caps for Scotland, notching six goals in the process.
Stein is on record as saying Bobby was the best player he ever worked with.
Kathleen said: “You couldn’t ever get higher praise than that – to know that one of the greatest managers the game has seen thinks your husband was also a great player is such an honour.”