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Bobby Murdoch

Personal information
Full nameRobert Murdoch
Date of birth17 August 1944
Place of birthBothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Date of death15 May 2001(age 56)
Place of deathGlasgow, Scotland
Playing positionMidfield

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Bobby Murdoch (17 August 1944 - 15 May 2001) was a Scottish professional footballer who played for Celtic and was one of the Lisbon Lions, the Celtic team who won the European Cup in 1967. He and Bertie Auld consistently formed Celtic's central midfield.

Brought up in Rutherglen, he lived there for most of his life and attended St. Columbkillle's Primary school in Rutherglen, before moving to Our Lady's High Secondary in Motherwell where although only fourteen he played in the same school football 1st XI as Billy McNeill (his future Celtic & Lisbon Lions captain). During his time at Celtic, he won eight Scottish League titles, four Scottish Cups and five League Cups, as well as the European Cup medal. He also played in the 1970 European Cup Final, when Celtic lost 2 1 to Feyenoord.

His later years with Celtic were marked with injury problems but his importance to the success of a great Celtic team was such that when Jock Stein was asked when he thought Celtic might win the European Cup again he replied "when Bobby Murdoch is fit".

He left Celtic in 1973, and joined Middlesbrough, as Jack Charlton's first signing, and tutored the young Graeme Souness. He made 125 appearances for Middlesbrough before his retirement from active play in 1976. He then took up the role of juniors' coach. He won a total of 12 caps for the Scotland national team, scoring 6 goals.

He had a brief, unsuccessful, spell as manager of Middlesbrough between 1981 and 1982, ending with his departure shortly after the club were relegated to Division Two. His job at Middlesbrough had been made difficult by the fact that the club had sold star players such as Craig Johnston, David Armstrong and Mark Proctor, leaving a badly weakened squad. Of those signings made, only Dutch midfielder Heini Otto proved successful. Murdoch then had an unsuccessful spell as a publican that ended in debt. In his last years he had a role helping at Celtic Park with match-day hospitality.

He died, aged 56, following a stroke, in the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow. He was survived by Kathleen, his wife since 1964.

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