Funeral tributes to Jinky Newsroom Staff



There were tears and laughter as Jimmy Johnstone was laid to rest today, and the tributes to Celtic's Greatest Ever Player at his funeral proved both fitting and moving...




BILLY McNEILL, CELTIC’S GREATEST EVER CAPTAIN

“The wee man was an incredible personality and an incredible footballer. He had unbelievable ball control, as sharp as a tack, as fit as anything, as brave as a lion.

"People talked about Jimmy's fans. Jimmy loved the fans - because he was a fan himself. If he had not had such a talent, he would have been on the terraces with everybody else.

"Wee man - you will never walk alone, son.”



BRIAN QUINN, CELTIC CHAIRMAN
“To see him racing down the wing at full speed, stop dead and leave the pursuing defender to storm past like a bull charging at a matador seemed almost to defy the laws of physics. Twisting and turning on the proverbial sixpence he destroyed entire defences.

"There was no doubting his courage. He was subjected to brutality that sometimes called more for a prison sentence than a red card. But he never dived, never hid, and indeed showed that he could handle himself.

"I saw Jimmy Johnstone play - and we will never see his likes again. He will live for ever in the memory of the Celtic family.”


WILLIE HAUGHEY, CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND

[On Jinky teaming up with Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr] "He thought he had arrived as a pop star. He did mention to me he thought Jim was singing out of key. I said 'I have known Jim Kerr 35 years - how can you tell the difference?'

[On Gordon Strachan] "He went out one afternoon drinking with Jimmy. He lasted an hour - and I don't think he has had a drink since.

"He told Rod Stewart he did not care for his new 'swing music'. Rod told him 'I'm making a fortune from it.' Jimmy said 'I don't care, go back to the old stuff.


RT REV JOSEPH DEVINE, BISHOP OF MOTHERWELL
“Jimmy was very conscious of his shortcomings. But he paid the price for those shortcomings over the past five years in his immense efforts to find funding for research into the disease which brought his life to a very premature end.


"Today is St Patrick's Day. Given the history of the little club founded by a Marist brother called Brother Walfrid in 1888, a team that was created to counteract the terrible poverty of the Catholic community in the east end of Glasgow in that era, I think that our wee genius will be hugely appreciative of the fact that the date of his funeral is the day when we celebrate the feast of St Patrick.”