Bobby loved ‘The Boss’

Mur­doch would have been proud to be at me­mo­rial

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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.”

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