Tributes paid to Bertie Auld as Celtic legend and Lisbon Lion passes away

Tributes paid to Bertie Auld as Celtic legend and Lisbon Lion passes away

TRIBUTES have been paid to Celtic great Bertie Auld, who has passed away at the age of 83.

The former midfielder was one of Celtic's legendary Lisbon Lions, the first British team to win the European Cup.

Comprising a team of players born within 30 miles of Celtic Park, the Glasgow side defeated Inter Milan 2-1 at Lisbon's Estadio Nacional on May 25, 1967.

Auld also won five league titles during two spells at the club, as well as four League Cups and three Scottish Cups.

Earlier this year it was revealed he had been diagnosed with dementia.

'A giant of a player'

Celtic have led the tributes to Auld, with Chairman Ian Bankier describing him as 'Mr Celtic'.

"The most sincere thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Bertie's family at such a difficult time, following this tragic loss," said Ian Bankier.

"I don't think words can ever adequately describe what Bertie meant to the Club and our supporters.

"He was a giant of a player, a giant of a man and quite simply Mr Celtic.

Auld (third left) at Celtic Park in 2019 paying tribute to late Lisbon Lion captain Billy McNeill (Image:Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

"He scaled the greatest of heights as a player with his talent but it is who he was as a man that made him so much more to us all.

"He enriched all our lives so greatly with his humour, his character and personality and for that we will forever be grateful.

"It was an absolute privilege to have known Bertie and I know just how deeply his passing will be felt by all Celtic supporters.

'A Celtic great'

"Bertie will forever be regarded as a Celtic great and he will forever be in our hearts.

"We all mourn his passing with great sadness and, of course, we offer our full support to Bertie's family.

"May you rest in peace, Bertie."

Auld up against Tottenham's Alan Mullery in a preseason friendly in August 1967 (Image: Allsport UK /Allsport via Getty Images)

Auld enjoyed two spells at Celtic either side of a four-year period with Birmingham City, with whom he won the League Cup.

He returned to Celtic in 1965 and formed a productive midfield partnership with Bobby Murdoch.

Under the management of Jock Stein, who arrived at Celtic a few months after Auld's return, Celtic enjoyed unprecedented success on the pitch.

Leading by example

The pinnacle was that famous day in Lisbon, with Auld leading the team in a rousing rendition of The Celtic Song in the tunnel ahead of the game.

Auld and Celtic won all five trophies they competed in that season to seal an amazing quintuple.

He finished his career at Hibs and later managed the Easter Road club, a well as taking charge of Partick Thistle, Hamilton and Dumbarton.

However he remained a familiar face at Celtic Park on matchdays and regularly attended fan events for years after retiring.

You'll Never Walk Alone.

Bertie Auld