“Yogi was something quite rare,” My tribute to a true great of Celtic


My tribute to a true great of Celtic…The very unique John Hughes who passed away yesterday.

RIP Big Man.

Tom Brown

READ THIS FROM DAVID POTTER…John Hughes, 1943- 2022 – Yogi is well worth his place in the Valhalla of great Celts


He would not have been out of place in the boxing ring –
he was built like a cruiserweight but football was his thing.

John Hughes, forever Yogi, might have seemed like a bear
to many an opponent who had cause to beware.

And though possessed of a truly magnificent physique
this big man had great balance and beautiful, nimble feet.

John Hughes arrived from the Juniors before Jock Stein,
he made his first team debut when he was only eighteen.

He very quickly became a favourite of the fans,
for his spectacular goals and his special brand.

He could play wide on the left or through the middle
and for many opponents he was an enigma within a riddle.

He looked like he was fast and would be strong in the air
but paradoxically Yogi was something quite rare;

a huge man with a light touch and a devastating dribble
not especially quick but surprisingly subtle.

For his goals record for Celtic, he should be revered
but he didn’t always get the credit that perhaps he deserved.

Big John often left big Jock in a quandry –
he never seemed to regard his style particularly fondly.

Stein tended to use him when the going was heavy
whereas Hughes would have said he was always ready

to play at all times whatever the conditions
and so this lead to a low key war of attrition.

Yogi had played in five games running up to the final
but by now Bobby Lennox had announced his arrival.

The big fella had been injured and couldn’t be picked to play
though Stein might not have used him on such a warm, sunny day

But no-one should doubt John Hughes’ contribution –
the other strikers played better because they knew he was pushing.

Copyright TMB 2022

By Tom Brown, first published in, Pride of the Lions. Thanks to Tom for allowing us to publish his brilliant tribute to Yogi at this very sad time.

READ THIS FROM MATT CORR…John ‘Yogi ‘Hughes – Celtic Milestones

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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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