The day big Jock paid a visit to the Burgh
It was not every day a European Cupwinning manager visited Rutherglen, but that is exactly what happened 40 years ago.
Jock Stein was already established as one of Scottish football’s greatest figures in 1977, but that did not stop him dropping in at St Columbkille’s Church boys’ club presentation night.
Not only did he show up to congratulate the boys, he even stayed to answer questions from those in attendance.
Memories of that night came flooding back to Eddie McCallum, who was co-manager of the under-18 team alongside Brian Kelly.
He was clearing out his old photos when he came across a snap of Jock with members of the team.
Looking back on the night, he said: “Someone said Jock Stein was going to come and we all just thought, ‘aye, right’.
“But sure enough, big Jock turned up and sat for an hour answering questions.
“He made quite a big impression on me because he was such a big personality.
“Sir Robert Kelly lived in Burnside at the time and was a big influence on Jock Stein so maybe he had something to do with it.
“He was great. You hear people say he could be quite intimidating but that wasn’t the impression that night.
“He had a charisma about him. He walked in the hall and even if you didn’t know anything about football you would know he was someone.
“What I remember the most is his humility, which really came across. He stayed until every last question was asked and he did not hold back. He was very honest gave an honest assessment about the players.”
Eddie, who was 22 at the time, grew up in Fernhill.
A member at St Mark’s Church, he became involved at St Columbkille’s through his school friends Brian Gallagher and John Lang, who helped out with the under-16 and -14 football teams.
Although his brother went on to play senior football for Dumbarton, Eddie, who now lives in Stirling, became a referee at amateur level.
Recalling his time at St Columbkille’s, he said: “We were not a top team in the league to be honest. We were quite nondescript. That was what made it so special for Jock to come down.
“Hopefully some of the guys in the picture recognise themselves. It was a real privilege to meet him.”