Bobby Murdoch – A Celtic Colossus


As if to underline the symbolic significance of today in the Celtic calendar, 15th May is also the tenth anniversary of the passing of another Celtic giant, the inimitable Bobby Murdoch.

To mark the occasion, we this morning re-publish our 25thMay1967 poetic tribute to the man of whom they said that, “if Murdoch played, Celtic played”:

Colossus (A Celtic Powerhouse)

A colossus is a giant …

you’ll have heard of the one at Rhodes.

Well, Celtic had our own, back when –

o’er our famous ground he strode.

Although not thirty metres high

he would dominate any foe …

and to his sweet, compelling tune,

every game would ebb and flow.

Great performances orchestral,

be it the Halle or the New York Phil,

are no better than the baton man,

as they strain to his every will.

Our conductor led the music

from his right midfield domain –

directing with a power and poise

that evoked a sweet refrain.

He could make wee Jinky sparkle …

Jimmy said Boab turned him on …

and that famous night, against Red Star,

Murdoch waved the magic wand.

We all know the famous story,

all the fear-of-flying stuff –

how they put the Big Man on the spot,

as they called his Belgrade bluff.

When the trumpet started sounding

for the Lions’ final bows,

Bobby Murdoch took the first one

to a furrowing of brows.

Yet it does seem somehow apt, now,

that a leader amongst such men

should continue where he left off –

our Colossus to the end.

(Copyright 25thMay1967, January 2011)

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