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Bertie Auld R.I.P. 1938-2021

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic News' started by packybhoy, Nov 15, 2021.

By packybhoy on Nov 15, 2021 at 3:26 PM
  1. packybhoy Administrator Administrator

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    Robert ‘Bertie’ Auld was taken from us at the age of 83 and bhoy did he live each of those years to the fullest to give us a larger than life character. Everyone who came into close contact with Bertie left the company in wrinkles laughing and feeling 10 feet tall. He made everyone welcome and loved to regale the listeners with past stories of glory and the foolery that he and his teammates would partake in. Most of all Bertie loved nothing better than a good aul sing song and he could chant with the best.

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    You would often find Bertie in and around Celtic Park on match day in green and he would stand for ages making sure you got the picture or the signature required. He was always laughing and joking and for many this will be the immortal image that we have of Wee Ten Thirty. Or just Ten as he was called by the other Lisbon Lions.

    Born in Panmure Street 1938 and into the tough area and growing up in the wartime poverty of Maryhill a young Bertie would waste his days playing football in what was a tough beginning but without doubt the reason why he was as hard as nails in his approach to the game. Auld didn’t suffer fools gladly. He recalled the time his mother had bought him his first car but had spent so much she didn’t have money for petrol.

    Celtic came calling for young Bertie Auld after being noticed playing for Maryhill Harps. The Partick Thistle fan put pen to paper in April 1955 and was loaned out to Dumbarton for a season. His debut came in a 1-0 defeat to Rangers in the Charity cup on 1st May 1957. He was known for his midfield tenacity, skill and pit bull-like aggression. This would see him regularly in trouble with the men in black and the SFA and was part of the reason Celtic parted with him to Birmingham City in 1961.

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    Bertie did very well in Birmingham and won a 1963 League cup trophy in a double header against city rivals Aston Villa. What endeared him more to the Blues fans was the time he was sent off for decking English superstar Johnny Haynes of Fulham. He was given his marching orders and as he headed toward the tunnel another Fulham player approached him to remonstrate and he was also decked. Bertie fondly recalled his time with Birmingham but he was never truly settled and longed for Celtic Park.

    His prayers were answered when he was asked to come sign on back at Celtic in January 1965. Sean Fallon was instrumental in the move but Bertie always said Jock Stein had sounded him out and Jock arrived at the club in March of 1965. Auld scored 5 goals in a 6-0 trouncing of Airdrie but his biggest game in the Hoops so far arrived in April of 65 and a Scottish Cup final against Dunfermline. The Pars took the lead twice but the Bold Bertie stepped up with a double and Billy McNeill scored the winner. This game was considered the start of the glorious Celtic era under Stein.

    The league title and league cup double arrived in 1966 and the young Celtic team were starting to look like a real force. Celtic also lost out 2-1 on a tight and rough two legged Cup Winners Cup Semi final against Liverpool but it would give them the guile and experience going forward. Bertie was converted from winger to deep sitting midfielder and his partnership with the no nonsense Bobby Murdoch was born.

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    The 1966/67 season is remembered as the most successful season in the clubs history when we sweeped up the five trophies that were available and the big one was the European Cup. We are all well versed in the achievements of that season and Bertie’s favourite story was how the Italians underestimated the Glasgow Bhoys. As the Celtic players lined up in the tunnel next to this squad of dark skinned men with movie star looks. Wee Bertie started up a chorus of the Celtic Song and all the teammates joined in and left the Italian’s bemused and looking down on these crazy pasty-faced Glaswegians as if they were from another planet. Celtic destroyed Inter Milan but the 2-1 scoreline flattered the Milanese.

    The Murdoch and Auld midfield partnership was among the best in Europe and was key to the dominance of the Lisbon Lions. More League titles and trophies would come under Jock Stein's guidance and he knew that in Bertie he could trust him to hustle and harry the opposition and he could split a defence wide open with his vision to pass. Bertie Auld’s last game for Celtic came in 1971 in a 6-1 victory against Clyde and the Sixth title in a Row had been won. The fans chanted his name around the stadium as he was lifted aloft by his teammates and carried shoulder high. Wee Bertie lapped it up.

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    He would go on to sign for Hibernian where he stayed for a couple of seasons with limited game time until his retirement from the game in 1973. He tried his hand at management, firstly with Partick Thistle in 1974 and stayed 6 seasons winning the First Division title. He moved onto Hibernian to help revive their fortunes as they had been relegated but Bertie helped them gain promotion by winning the First Division title 1981. He also had brief spells as manager of Hamilton and Dumbarton.

    Bertie Auld was a simple old school type of man who always seemed to be buzzing with happiness. His stories are legendary and I could write another account with just those.His razor sharp wit never missed a beat and he was always pleased to talk about his club be it for the media or the ordinary fan. He was one of the club’s greatest ambassadors and carried himself with dignity. His stories and songs will linger around the corridors of Celtic Park forever more and he is an integral part of our history. * Bless you Mr. Celtic.

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    Honours for Celtic:


    European Cup 1967

    Scottish League Title: 5

    Scottish Cup: 3

    Scottish League Cup: 4

    Glasgow Cup: 2


    Bertie Auld passed away after battling dementia on Sunday 14th November 2021. He was 83 years old.


    Thoughts and Prayers go to the Auld family and friends of the great man.

    May he rest in Peace. YNWA


    Love from all at TalkCeltic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
    Heb Celt, The Prof and tarboltontim like this.