HeadLine: CELTIC LEGEND FIGHTS FOR LIFE
The Mirror, 15/05/2001, p1
by SHAUN MILNE
CELTIC legend Bobby Murdoch was fighting for his life last night after
suffering a massive stroke.
The “Lisbon Lion” was in a coma at Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary with
his family at his bedside.
Shocked former members of the 1967 European Cup champions were last
night praying that Murdoch, 57, would pull through.
But close friends were fearing the worst after doctors described his
condition as “critical”.
Fellow Lisbon Lion Jim Craig rushed to his bedside last night.
He said: “Bobby’s in a coma and we really don’t know any more than
that. He’s in a very bad way.
“We just hope and pray that he comes through, but he’s in a very
“I went to the hospital the moment I was told. Everybody is just really
Murdoch’s wife Kathleen, his two sons and daughter remained at his
bedside last night.
It is understood Murdoch went to the hospital on Sunday with a hernia
complaint, but his condition deteriorated throughout the day and he
slipped into a coma.
Murdoch was a regular visitor to Northern Ireland and attended a
supporters’ meeting in Belfast’s Europa Hotel last month.
The Celtic team became legends when they beat Inter Milan in Lisbon,
Portugal, to bring the European Cup to Britain for the first time.
Former team-mate Bobby Lennox said: “This has come as a terrible shock
to us all.”
Several of Murdoch’s former team-mates visited him in hospital
throughout the day.
Legend Jimmy Johnstone was at his bedside last night.
He said: “We are just completely devastated and this has as a terrible
shock to everybody.
“All the boys have been phoning throughout the day and everybody knows
how serious it is.”
Celtic officials were being kept informed of Murdoch’s condition last
A spokeswoman said: “The thoughts of everybody at the club are with
Bobby and his family at this difficult time.”
Murdoch is the oldest of four boys and grew up in Rutherglen, where he
At just 14 he showed the skills which would make him a Celtic legend
and eventually signed for the club he adored in 1960 as a £3-a-week
part-time player while still working as a sheet metal worker opposite
He spent 13 years at Celtic – playing 10 of them with a badly damaged
Celtic supporters were also stunned last night as news of his condition
Paul O’Neill from Belfast-based Eire Go Brach supporters club said: “He
was in Belfast and Dundalk last month helping fans in the ‘Hands of the
Hoops campaign’ against the new kit.” He was very good to Irish fans
“Any time he was needed for a function or to speak at a dinner he would
come over. There is a lot of affection for him with the fans.”
Celtic Supporters Association’s Eddie Toner said: “”It is a real shock
to hear what has happened and our thoughts are obviously with Bobby and
“Like everyone else we are just hoping he recovers.”
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