John ‘Yogi’ Hughes dead at 79: Tributes paid to Celtic icon after battle with short illness

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CELTIC great John ‘Yogi’ Hughes has passed away after a short illness at the age of 79.

Hughes scored 189 goals in 416 games for the Hoops between 1959 and 1971.

John Hughes leaves Celtic Park for the funeral of Lisbon Lion hero Stevie Chalmers

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John Hughes leaves Celtic Park for the funeral of Lisbon Lion hero Stevie ChalmersCredit: Getty

He started the 1970 European Cup final defeat to Feynoord – and was only denied the chance to start the 1967 victory over Inter Milan in Lisbon by injury.

A family statement read: “John ‘Yogi’ Hughes passed away peacefully in hospital today after a short illness. He was surrounded by is loving family.

“He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed. Always remembered and celebrated with love by his wife Theresa, his sons Kevin, Martin and John, his daughter Joanna, his six grandchildren and extended family.

“He now joins the ranks of those who will be immortal as long as there’s a Glasgow Celtic.

“The family ask for privacy at this terribly difficult time and will release details of his funeral arrangements in due course.”

A Celtic spokesman said: “Everyone at Celtic Football Club is extremely sad to hear of the passing of Lisbon Lion, John ‘Yogi’ Hughes, who has died at the age of 79, and the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club are with John’s family and friends at this extremely sad time.”

Hughes won eight Scotland caps and also played for Crystal Palace and Sunderland as well as managing Stranraer.

But the larger than life frontman will always be best remembered for his dozen years in the Hoops.

He won seven titles, four Scottish Cups and five League Cups – and also was presented with a European Cup winner’s medal in ‘67 despite missing the final.

The Coatbridge-born star made his debut in a League Cup win over Shotts Bon Accord in 1960 and was a regular at Parkhead over the next six decades.

Nicknamed after cartoon character Yogi Bear, he became a fans’ favourite at Celtic Park and was greeted by chants of ‘Feed The Bear’.

He was a key member of Jock Stein’s title-winning squad in 1967 but missed the final in Lisbon after an injury in one of the final league games of the season.

Hughes landed a medal after playing sufficient games on the run to Lisbon and is as warmly remembered by Celts fans as any who played in the final itself.

Supporters paid tribute to Yogi – who later ran a popular bar in Glasgow’s Hope Street – on social media.

One said: “A true Celtic legend and lovely guy. Big John Hughes. RIP.”

Another commented: “It’s a sad thought that fans in previous generations will have idolized John Hughes and other legends in the same way we do with Jota, Kyogo etc.

“Just seems impossible to think of a scenario where these current guys aren’t with us anymore, that’s why it’s so sad. RIP Yogi.”


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