The sad story behind yesterday’s Celtic Supporters Association photograph

Yesterday we asked for some assistance for Mike Maher in identifying the members of the Celtic Supporters Association committee in this photograph from 1988, during Celtic’s centenary season. We are pleased to report that this task was successfully achieved very quickly indeed and Mike is very appreciative of everyone who responded.

From left to right, in Celtic Supporters Association blazers, Isa Bonner.  Francey Hinton, Pat Quinn (head), Jim Brodie and George Delaney. Kneeling Jim Ward, Eddie Devine  and John Hughes . All were Association committee members in Celtic’s centenary season.

Late last night (Celtic Park time) Mike sent a wee update along with a request to pass on thanks to everyone who kindly responded to our request. Mike is centre stage in this photo – he’s the one with the impressive moustache! – and he is shaking hands with Jim Brodie from CSA.

The update mainly concerns the chap behind both Mike and Jim who was also from NZCSC and it’s a very sad story.

“To my immediate left is a member of the NZCSC who was also over at that time,” Mike explained. “I cannot recall his full name – he was also referred to as Jock.

“I was unaware at the time that his visit was also to say goodbye to friends and family as he had a terminal illness and, although he never displayed it, he was in a lot of pain at times. He drank in the Smiddy in Partick but I think he had been in New Zealand for many years.

1988: Frank McAvennie of Celtic celebrates after the Scottish Cup Final match against Dundee United at Hampden . Celtic won the match 2-1. Photo: Allsport UK /Allsport

“He returned to Auckland about a week before me. At the time I was puzzled why he did not stay on for the Scottish Cup Final v Dundee United.

“When I did return I was speaking to another member who was a particular friend of Jock’s and he explained to me that Jock had died on the day after the Cup win. In those days there was no internet or satellite coverage so Jock phoned the friend to check on the score. His last words were  “At least I can die happy”

“The guy standing at the extreme left of the picture is Chic Doherty from Bellshill. He acted as NZCSC delegate for many years. He was very committed to any Celtic cause. Although he did not drive he never missed an Association meeting and immediately on his return he would get a letter off to us in New Zealand with his comments and minutes from the meeting.”

Requiescat in pace, Jock. YNWA.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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