John Hughes on Ryan Christie: “I don’t think he’s even reached his potential yet, there’s more to come.”

Paul John Dykes interviewed John ‘Yogi’ Hughes last night in a Longest Forty live event to raise funds for essential PPE for keyworkers (donations can still be made HERE). Big John spoke to him fondly about his time at Celtic. Here, I cover some of the highlights of that very interview…

On the current climate in Scottish Football right now with the Covid-19 situation:

“The clubs at the minute need to look after themselves during the unfortunate situation they all find themselves in… I think Partick Thistle find themselves as very unlucky being relegated but it can’t be one rule for one and one for another so Hearts should get relegated too… My own opinion on it, though, would be for nobody to be relegated.. Celtic, Liverpool and Dundee United definitely deserve to be crowned Champions as they’ve been the best sides.”

What team did you grow up supporting?

“I actually grew up being a Celtic supporter up until I was 14 years old… I then swapped my allegiance to Hibs as all my pals were Hibs fans.. Being a Leith boy as well, it was natural for me to follow Hibs.”

Who were your early heroes at Celtic?

“100% Danny McGrain and Kenny Dalglish.”

What was your proudest moment?

“I have two… Signing for the two clubs I supported, Celtic and Hibs.”

Listen to JOHN MCCULLAGH with A Celtic State of Mind here:

How did the transfer for Celtic come about?

“Bill McMurdo was my agent… I ended up at his house in Uddingston and, when I walked in, there was Rangers stuff everywhere… Red, white and blue blinds, Rangers carpet, the lot… Tommy Burns and Billy Stark were on their way round and I thought, ‘There’s no way they’re gonna sign me here’… TB and Starky walk in and canny stop laughing… Bill asked them if they wanted a cup of tea and gave them it in Rangers mugs! Ha ha.”

What can you remember about the day you signed?

“It was actually the day we played against Newcastle in a pre-season friendly… Rod Stewart was to open the stadium and Bill McMurdo and I had to pick him up from the airport. Unbelievable.”

What do you make of Ryan Christie’s development?

“I don’t think he’s even reached his potential yet, there’s more to come, for sure… His dad, Charlie, has definitely been a huge influence on him… I’d never give him a free kick in the sevens. I’d referee at Inverness but he would just get up with that big smile on his face and get on with it… I kept telling John Collins to go and get this kid as he was as good as anything they had a Celtic… A few weeks later, Celtic put a bid in for him.”

Who was the best player you played with at Celtic?

“There were a few I could mention but definitely Paul McStay… He was the conductor of the orchestra, for sure… A great guy and how he could still play after his ankle injury he had when I was there I’ll never know.”

You can catch the full interview with John ‘Yogi’ Hughes by following the link HERE.

Interview covered for ACSOM by Scott Alcroft @ScottAlcroft

Watch Sophie Millar’s stunning rendition of ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly’:

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