David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.26 – John Hughes

There were few players who could divide the support as much as Yogi Bear could. On his day he was absolutely brilliant, a world beater and unstoppable. On other occasions he could be woeful, uninterested and clumsy.

He played his first game for the club in 1960 at centre forward, but there were times when he played at outside left, and he was equally at home in either position. He was a particularly good “bad weather” player, equally at home in the mud and on the hard frosty pitches of mid-winter.

He was strong, fast and able to take a goal, and some of his goals were absolutely wonderful – one thinks of Greenock in early 1964, Dens Park in September 1965 and a League Cup semi-final in 1967. But possibly his most significant contribution to the club was the two penalties that he sunk in the League Cup final of October 1965 because this game was the confirmation that Celtic had arrived.

He didn’t always see eye to eye with his Manager Jock Stein, especially after the 1970 European Cup final when he missed a good chance – which he created all by himself – in the first minute of extra time which might have won the Cup, and he was transferred along with Willie Wallace to Crystal Palace in 1971.

But until his death in 2022 he always wanted to be known as John Hughes of Celtic.

David Potter

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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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