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PersonalFullname: Robert Auld
aka: Bertie, 'Ten-thirty'
Born: 23 March 1938
Birthplace: Maryhill, Glasgow
Signed: First spell - April 1955 Second spell - January 1965
Left: First spell - May 1961 Second spell - July 1971
Position: Outside left, converted to midfield
First Debut: Rangers away 0-1 charity cup 1 May 1957
Last game: Saint Mirren away league 4 February 1961
Second debut: Hearts home 1-2 league 16 January 1965
Last game: Clyde home 6-1 league 1 May 1971
First goal: East Fife home 6-1 league cup 28 August 1957
Last goal: Dundee away 2-1 league 6 April 1970
International Caps: 3 caps
International Goals: 0
BiogBertie Auld was a midfield genius.
He was born and brought up in Panmure Street in the Maryhill area of Glasgow and would enjoy two spells at Parkhead during an honour packed career which would see Bertie establish himself as one of the most popular characters in Celtic history.
Signed in April 1955 from Maryhill Harp, the boyhood Partick Thistle fan would be loaned out to Dumbarton before making his first team debut for the Hoops in a 1-0 Charity Cup defeat at Rangers on May 1st 1957. The youngster was tenacious and talented, combining great vision and touch with speed and aggression. It was however that latter quality which would lead to Bertie’s exit from the club in May 1961.
Despite the player’s undoubted ability Auld had a temper which he was too seldom able to contain. When faced with a hint of provocation or confrontation Bertie would bite back and he regularly found himself battling opponents and the football authorities. Celtic chairman Bob Kelly frowned on Auld’s antics and despite Bertie’s talent he decided enough was enough and the player was sold to Birmingham. Thankfully for Celtic fans this was only to be an interlude in the tale of Bertie the Bhoy.
Coach Sean Fallon remained a keen admirer of Bertie and knew he had not fully settled in the Midlands and was desperate for the player to return to Parkhead. Bob Kelly was fond of Fallon and so allowed himself to be persuaded in to allowing Auld to return to the fold in January 1965 although Bertie is on record as saying Jock Stein had sounded him out as to his imminent return as manager. Auld set about repaying the faith shown in him by Fallon and Kelly almost immediately. The Bertie who had returned from England retained all the qualities he had previously demonstrated in the Hoops – but he was now a wiser and more mature individual. The fire was still there, but Bertie had by now learned that the best way to retaliate was with the football.
Within weeks of Stein returning as manager in March 1965 Bertie scored five goals in the 6-0 win against Airdrie to prove he was in top form. On April 24th 1965 Bertie Auld had his most important game for Celtic. The young Celtic side under Stein's stewardship faced an excellent Dunfermline team at Hampden in the Scottish Cup final. Twice Dunfermline grabbed the lead and twice Bertie dragged the Celts level. His first goal was a superb effort after a Charlie Gallagher pile driver struck the bar and bounced high in the air, Bertie timed his leap to perfection to head Celtic level. Captain Billy McNeill became a legend that day by scoring the winning goal but it was Bertie's final because without his experience and two goal input the great years of Celtic under Stein may never have come about.
Bertie was instrumental in Celtic winning their first league title for twelve years in 1966. By this time Stein had converted him from a winger to a deep lying midfield player and he struck up a great relationship with Bobby Murdoch. In the summer of 1966 Celtic toured North America for six weeks and the Lisbon Lions were born. The following season Celtic were unstoppable and won every competition they entered. In September Celtic demolished Rangers by 2-0 at Parkhead with Murdoch and Auld scoring twice in the first four minutes to effectively end the game much to the delight of the watching Celtic supporters. In October 1966 Bertie created a wonderful goal for Bobby Lennox which won Celtic the League Cup against Rangers with a majestic 40 yard crossfield pass. In the European Cup semi final first leg against Dukla Prague he fooled the Dukla defence with a short free kick which allowed Willie Wallace to thrash home the vital third goal in a 3-1 win. In the final in Lisbon Bertie's performance was simply majestic as he and Murdoch took total control in midfield and he struck the bar after a run and shot in the first half. Bertie's experience was always vital to the Lions and in the closing minutes he took the ball into the corner, killing vital minutes as the Inter players strived to retain possession.
A week after Lisbon Celtic travelled to Madrid for the great Alfredo Di Stefano's testimonial match. Celtic put on a great show winning 1-0 although Bertie was sent off after an altercation with Real's Amancio in front of a crowd of 120,000 fanatical Spaniards..
Bertie experienced highs and lows in October/November 1967. Firstly he was part of the team that won the League Cup by beating Dundee 5-3 at Hampden and days later he was in the Celtic side that lost 1-0 to Racing Club of Argentina in the World Club championship in Montivideo. Celtic had four players sent off but so bad was the referee's performance that when Bertie refused to leave the field after his ordering off that he was allowed to stay on and play the rest of the game. After the return to Glasgow the Celtic players were heavily fined for their indiscretions in South America, Bertie included. Although he was injured for the run in in 1968 Celtic won their third consecutive title under Stein.
Celtic won the treble in 1969 with Bertie very much to the fore. He opened the scoring in the April 1969 League Cup final in the 6-2 thrashing of Hibernian and three weeks later he was instrumental in Celtic's 4-0 demolition of Rangers in the Scottish Cup final in front of 132,000 fans.
By the next season Stein used Auld more sparingly and Bertie was kept in reserve for European games and major cup ties. In October 1969 he scored the winning goal against St Johnstone to give Celtic their fifth successive League Cup. The Murdoch/Auld partnership was still one of the best in Europe and they proved it in 1969/70. In November Benfica were thumped 3-0 at Parkhead and in March the Italian champions, Fiorentina, were also beaten 3-0. In this game Bertie scored his only goal on the European stage, a superbly drilled low shot from the edge of the area.
However, in the European Cup semi final ties against Leeds, Murdoch and Auld were to hit their peak. The much vaunted Leeds midfield pairing of Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles were blown away, particularly in the second leg at Hampden in front of an incredible 136,000 crowd with Celtic winning both legs 1-0 and 2-1 respectively. Bertie was pictured after the Hampden game wearing a distinctive Fedora hat, celebrating with the fans. Sadly, Celtic could not carry this form into the final and they lost 2-1 to Feyenoord in Milan.
The 1970/71 season was Bertie's swansong at Parkhead. On January 16th 1971 Bertie was recalled to the side after a period of absence and inspired Celtic to an incredible 8-1 against a strong Dundee side at Dens Park. Many Celtic fans recall this as Celtic's finest display of the Stein years. In March Bertie helped Celtic to 1-0 win over the great Cruyff inspired Ajax team but the lost out after going down 3-0 in Amsterdam. By the time Celtic had won their sixth title in a row in 1971, Bertie played his last game at Parkhead against Clyde in a 6-1 victory. After the game Bertie was carried off the park, shoulder high, by the Celtic players as the Parkhead crowd sang out his name. It was a fitting send off to a great, great Celtic player.
Bertie Auld is easily remembered with his distinctive running style, tousled jet black hair, and huge toothy grin. He had a reputation as a player as a supreme competitor as many will testify. Jack Charlton has often talked of his notorious 'black book' in which he keeps the names of those who have crossed him and it's claimed that Bertie Auld's name is first and foremost on that list. In 1972 with Bertie at Hibs he came up against Nobby Stiles of Middlesbrough, an old foe from many years previously. Stiles was injured after a clash with Bertie and never played again. Many Scottish players still have the memory of coming off second best against Bertie Auld.
In 1971 Bertie moved to Easter Road and, ironically, played against Celtic in the 1972 Scottish Cup final, although he could only watch in admiration as Celtic ran out winners by six goals to one. He went on to manage Partick Thistle and Hibernian with great distinction and many claim he would have been a fine Celtic manager. In 1978 he was short listed for the Celtic managers post but lost out to Billy McNeill.
Bertie, alongside Bobby Murdoch, was the heartbeat of the side that conquered Europe and swept the boards in Scotland in 1967. He could pass, he could tackle, he could defend and he could attack. Bertie loved a battle but he was so much more than a stereotypical midfield terrier. Auld could play. His vision was sublime and his passing pinpoint. He could unlock a defence with the deftest of touches and he could surge upfield before taking out the entire defence with an inch perfect pass. On his day Bertie Auld was a World class performer.
Bertie remains a hugely popular character among the Celtic support. He always has time for the ordinary fan and loves nothing more than retelling tales from the Parkhead glory years. A pundit for Celtic TV Bertie Auld is and always will be a Celtic great.
| APPEARANCES |
|LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
|1955-61, 65-71|| 176 || 31 ||47||25|| 279|
|Goals:|| 53 || 20 || 11 || 1 || 85|
Honours with CelticEuropean Cup
QuotesBertie to Tiny Wharton(Referee) - "If I call you an a*sehole Mr Wharton will I get booked?"
Tiny. - "Yes Mr Auld. You'd be in trouble."
Bertie.- "What if I just thought you were an a*sehole, what would happen?"
Tiny. - "If you just thought it nothing would happen"
Bertie. - "Well Mr Wharton, I think you're an a*sehole"
John Greig (Rangers): 'Whats your bonus?
Bertie Auld: "£5".
John Greig: "We're on £10."
Bertie Auld: "Ours is guaranteed."
Bertie Auld & John Greig ahead of a Celtic v Rangers game.
“Every time I walk in the front door at Celtic Park, I still feel an immense pride, and at the same time an immense humility because of the way the fans respond to all of the Lisbon Lions.”
"What I noticed when I walked into the dressing room was the jerseys hanging on the pegs – the colours seemed special. I think it was the sunlight, but the jerseys seemed like sparkling Green and White like I have never seen before. They looked special."
Bertie Auld before the Lisbon European Cup Final.
On being asked how the (at that time, current) Rangers team that went on to win nine in a row, would fair if they were to play a match against the Lions, Bertie replied:
"If I'm honest I think it would be a draw, but to be fair most of us are in our sixties!"
Bertie Auld to Jim Brogan:
"Jim what was your favourite moment in football,scoring the winning goal against the Rangers or carrying the hamper for the Lisbon Lions?"
At a Q & A at a function at our CSC, when asked "Exactly how hard did you hit that guy in Montevideo..??" Bertie Auld said something like "I'm fae Glasgow, son. How hard dae ye think I hit him...???"
(on infamous game v Racing Club of Argentina, World Club Championship 1967)
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, May 4 2012, 11:09 AM EDT
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