Bobby Murdoch (Celtic)
Bob's 70-71 Pages was
very saddened by the news that one of the Lisbon Lions
and members of the 1970-71 World of Soccer Stars album,
has died. Bobby was number 387 in the album appearing on
the Celtic page. Celtic had been included because they
were1969-70 European Cup Finalists, along with
Feijenoord. That season Celtic were unable to repeat
their feat of 1967. Bobby did play, but Celtic lost the
website presently opens with a page devoted to Bobby, and
has opened a book of condolence. See Bobby Murdoch RIP and Bobby Murdoch Condolence
Middlesbrough also had
tributes at Middlesbrough Football Club -
Bobby Murdoch RIP
There have been many
tributes to Bobby including those from fellow 70-71
players which appears at Bobby Murdoch RIP - Comments
17 August 1944 - 15 May 2001
at the Victoria Infirmary, on 15th May 2001, Robert
White (Bobby) Murdoch, loving husband of Kathleen
Barrie, beloved son of Barbara, much loved dad of
Kathleen, Bobby and Barrie, and grandfather of Bobby,
Rachel, Paul, John and Neve.
Fortified by rites of Holy Catholic Church. Reception
and Vigil at Saint Columcilles, Main Street,
Rutherglen on Thursday 17th May at 6.30pm. Funeral
Mass on Friday, at 9am, to which all friends are
invited and thereafter to Linn Crematorium.
Family flowers only, please, but donations may be
sent to Cancer Research.
Murdoch, who suffered a stroke on Sunday evening,
died on Tuesday morning at 5.00 am in the Victoria
Fellow Lisbon Lion and
long-term friend, Billy McNeill (Celtic)said:
times like this people always say nice things, but
Bobby was a genuinely great guy. He always had a
smile on his face, always had time to sit down and
have a chat, and was a very unassuming character.
loved the Lions getting together and, if you look at
all our meetings, I would bet that he didnt
miss a single one. Bobby was undoubtedly a great Celt
and someone who was very proud of his association
with the club.
what a player he was! He was central cog in our team
and had the rare ability to pass and shoot superbly
with both feet. Anyone who saw him play will remember
him as a quite immense talent. Ill prefer to
remember him for the special, humble person he was.
His death has reminded the Lions that were not
invincible as we might have thought we were and
Ill certainly miss him a great deal."
Former Celt and teammate, Paddy Crerand (Manchester United) said:
Bobby came and
played my position after I left and, had I ever gone
back to Celtic, Im quite sure I would never
have got it back off him. He was an absolutely
brilliant midfielder ask any player of the
time and theyll tell you the same.
When I think of the
Lisbon Lions, I remember how much I admired Bertie
Auld and, obviously, the terrific talent of Jimmy
Johnstone. But to my mind, Bobby was the main man in
that team. He pulled the strings from midfield and,
when he played well, so did the rest of the side.
He was also a great
friend. The last time I saw him was for that Scottish
Player of the Century awards at Hampden last year
and, although it was great to see him, I was sad to
see that he wasnt looking well. Theres no
doubt that his death, coming as it does just after
the passing of Jim Baxter, means that Scotland has
lost two of its greatest ever footballers. I,
personally, will miss him greatly".
Livingston manager Davie Hay (Celtic), another former team-mate
can say that, without a shadow of a doubt, he was the
greatest midfielder in Celtics history. He had
no peers in that position and, in my opinion, he and
Bertie Auld were the perfect combination in that
was exceptionally talented. I always feel that the
measure of a midfield player is their ability to make
a pass and that was his speciality. He was just a top
class player and, even after he left Celtic, he
helped bring Middlesborough to the fore down south.
Im not one of the Lions, I havent met him
all that much recently but whenever I bumped into him
at supporters functions, what struck me most about
him was how humble and approachable he was.
Theres no doubt in my mind that he was one of
lifes better people."
Charlton (Leeds United), the man who brought him
to Middlesborough, said:
"Its very, very sad news. Bobby Murdoch
was the first player I ever signed and he was also my
favourite. I played against him for Leeds when he
scored to send us out of the Eutropean Cup
I forgave him for that! Yes, he was a smashing lad
and theres no doubt that he went on to become a
major part of my team at Middlesborough.
was an amazing passer of a ball who could drop a ball
on a sixpence from any distance and, although
Ive had players who covered more ground, I
never worked with anyone who could strike the ball as
well as he could. Personally, I feel that Ive
lost a real friend and my only regret is that I
didnt get the chance to speak to him before he
who was 56, is survived by his wife Kathleen, his two
sons Robert and Barrie, his daughter Kathleen and
Official Pages also have this at Jim Craig tribute:
Lion Jim Craig has paid tribute to former team-mate
Bobby Murdoch, hailing his friend and colleague
like a brother.
an emotional press conference, Craig spoke of his
loss at the death of 56-year old Murdoch, the second
youngest member of the squad who were the first
British team to lift the European Cup in 1967.
of all, said Craig, the Lisbon Lions were
like a family within a family club, and this is an
emotional day for us all.
players are often recognised by the number of
international caps that they accumulate, yet
its well known that Bobby had only 12 Scottish
caps. However, I think anyone who ever saw him play
would recognise just how good a player he was.
had two great feet, he was powerful, he had great
vision and when he played the whole team played, and
thats really the biggest tribute that anyone
could give him.
was a Celtic fan who had been brought up in the
traditions of the club, and came to Celtic almost
straight from school. He played here throughout the
unsuccessful days of the early 1960s and at a time
when, like a lot of young boys, he was played out of
position in the outside right position.
Jock Stein arrived at the club he moved him into
midfield into the old right-half position, and that
was where Bobby really found his forte.
might sound terribly unprofessional, but when we play
none of us were paid a lot of money so we made up for
it by getting our enjoyment off the park as well as
recent years Richard Gough has spoken of the bonding
sessions at Ibrox, but we were doing it long before
then. If we went on European trips we would have a
day before the game and the night after the game free
and we would go out together, taking advantage of the
helped to foster a tremendous team spirit between us
all and that is why Bobbys loss is so sad; I
feels as though I have lost a brother.
I got the call this morning from his son to say that
he had passed away I immediately phoned Billy
[McNeill] and we split the team before we started
calling round. Bobby was a popular man who played
with a lot of different players ranging from the
likes of Joe McBride and Charlie Gallagher to Harry
Hood and Tommy Callaghan, so we made our way through
them all. It is a difficult day for all of us.
There is a
profile of Bobby at BBC SPORT CELTIC Bobby Murdoch
Born of humble
beginnings in Cambuslang, Bobby Murdoch was a regal
influence in a side that conquered Europe and began a
dynasty that ruled Scotland for nine years.
A big, strong
player with a lethal shot, Murdoch won respect both
sides of the Border for his skills on the park and
his demeanour off it with Celtic and Middlesbrough.
He was voted
Scottish Football Writers' Player of the Year in
1969, led Middlesbrough to promotion to England's top
division and won 12 caps for Scotland.
But his greatest
achievement was helping Celtic become the first
British club to lift the European Cup, by beating
Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon.
It was from
Murdoch's shot that Stevie Chalmers deflected for the
winner that spawned the Lisbon Lions legend.
Celtic days provisionally in August 1959 as a
£3-a-week part-timer while working as a sheet metal
worker, Murdoch gained experience at junior side
Cambuslang Rangers before joining the Parkhead club
permanently in 1961.
Soon after he took
over as manager, Jock Stein made the inspired
decision to move Murdoch from inside-right to
right-half, where he became the midfield brain of the
celebrated Celtic side of the 60s.
admitted: "As far as I am concerned, Murdoch was
just about the best player I had as manager.
"I only let
him move because he had run out of challenges with
Murdoch made nearly
500 appearances for Celtic and scored around 100
goals before transferring to Middlesborough.
captain Graeme Souness played there alongside with
his fellow Scot and once remarked: "He came
along at just the right time, not only for me but for
the whole team.
experience settled us down as we went for promotion
and he also proved to be a big influence on my
"Bobby was a
great passer of the ball and he had an excellent
always pull me to one side to pass on advice or to
tell me when he thought I was acting wrongly."
While Murdoch did
not achieve as many caps as his skills possibly
deserved, he had plenty to celebrate during his
career, which corresponded with the start of Celtic's
nine-in-a-row championship run.
His honours with
Celtic included that European Cup winners' medal,
eight championship badges, four Scottish Cup winners'
medals and five League Cup winners' medals.
Murdoch then spent
nine years at Ayresome Park as player, coach and
manager between 1973 and 1982.
He played his part
on the pitch in Jack Charlton's record-breaking
promotion side in 1973-74 and later helping to bring
some of the club's emerging talent through to the
Murdoch made 125
appearances for Boro before his retiral in 1976 and
taking up the role of juniors' coach.
A brief, if
ultimately unsuccessful, spell as manager between
1981 and 1982, ended with his departure shortly after
the club were relegated to Division Two.
Murdoch then had an
unsuccessful spell as a publican that ended in debt
but in recent years had been helping at Celtic Park
with match-day hospitality.
He was also plagued
by various illnesses and injury after his playing
days ended but will be remembered as a player of
distinction and those who knew him well were
unanimous in their description of him as a fine man.
Bobby Murdoch died,
aged 56, in Glasgow on 15 May 2001.
Also see BBC SPORT CELTIC Lisbon Lion
Further tributes ...
BBC SPORT CELTIC Murdoch Lisbon
has further tributes from 70-71 players.
Lisbon Lions winger
Jimmy Johnstone said: "He just touched
everybody and everybody will miss him.
"It is very
sad and I am devastated. All the boys are the same.
It was very unexpected.
can happen to anyone. It's so sad."
captain John Greig (Rangers) has called on supporters of the Ibrox club
to pay respect to Murdoch as Celtic fans did to the
late Jim Baxter after his death last month.
"Jim Baxter a
few weeks ago and now Bobby, it's always sad,"
supporters paid a great tribute to Jim Baxter a few
weeks ago when he died.
"I would like
to think that Rangers supporters would do likewise
"It's a big
loss and a sad day for the Celtic supporters and
Celtic Football Club."
Former goalkeeper Jim Platt (Middlesbrough squad), now head coach at the
club's Football in the Community Centre, said:
"As a player, Bobby was outstanding, a fantastic
passer of the ball who did a tremendous job for
"But he was
also a smashing bloke, a gentleman. He did a great
job as youth team coach, but I think he took the
manager's job too soon."
Middlesbrough Football Club has the following:
STUART BOAM (Mansfield
Town) was captain of
Middlesbrough in the 1973-74 season.
He led by example, a tough,
no-nonsense player who deserved the respect he was
shown by all in the game.
He was grateful though for
the advice offered when sought from Bobby Murdoch.
Boam, now a shop owner near
Mansfield, reacting to the news of his former team mate's death said this evening: "I am
"Bobby was not just a
team mate, he was my best mate for the three years we
"We still kept in
touch, sending each other Christmas cards every year
and we met up as often as possible.
"The last time I was
with Bobby was last year when we attended a
fund-raising function for Willie Maddren's MND
appeal. Bobby had the furthest to travel to get to
the function and he was first there and that said
everything about him."
Boam continued: "This
is very upsetting for me. He was my room mate when we
travelled away and I have the biggest respect for
"The one thing I will
always remember is going round for tea at his house
on Teesside when we were still playing and finding a
cardboard box under the sink. That box was full of
medals and honours Bobby had won in the game, yet he
never spoke about any of his achievements and that
box of medals told me everything about the man.
"People would give
anything for a list of honours like his, yet here he
was, quiet, unassuming and never going around
bragging about what he had achieved.
"He was the only player
Jack Charlton bought for that side, but I'll tell you
what, he was the biggest influence.
"He was a real down to
earth sort of person, very much like me, and maybe
that's why we always got on so well. I might have
been the captain, but it was Bobby who got the team
"He got the team going,
he was the finishing piece in a side which was
already good. That midfield which he played in,
Foggon, Souness, Armstrong and Murdoch, would take
some beating in any team at any time.
"Bobby would call upon
his great experience to personally help me when I
"His head was for
thinking and his feet for dancing.
"He was great for
Middlesbrough and that was towards the end of his
career. They will put a statue on the Town Hall clock
for what he did for Celtic."
See more May 2001 news
at the following ...