Tributes pour in for McBride
Tributes have been pouring in for the former Celtic, Hibernian and Motherwell striker Joe McBride, who died in hospital last night aged 74.
McBride, who played for the Hoops between June 1965 and November 1968, passed away at Glasgow Royal Infirmary having suffered a suspected stroke at the weekend, Celtic confirmed on Thursday morning.
Best known for his goalscoring exploits at Celtic between 1965-1968, McBride scored a staggering 86 goals in 94 games for the club.
He won two league titles and a couple of League Cups at Celtic Park but was not part of the famous Lisbon Lions side that became the first British team to win the European Cup in 1967.
He suffered a mid-season injury which ruled him out of rest of the campaign, having already scored 35 goals in 26 games.
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell paid tribute to McBride, who had also worked as an ambassador for the club. "The passing of Joe McBride is tragic news," he told celticfc.net.
"Joe was a very fine man, an absolute gentleman and someone who gave tremendous service to the club over a number of years.
"It was a privilege to know Joe and it was fantastic that someone who gave so much to Celtic was still involved with the club in a number of ways - he will truly be sadly missed by everyone at Celtic.
"The thoughts of everyone at the club are very much with Joe's family at this very difficult time."
Current Celtic boss Neil Lennon also offered the sympathies of everyone at the club.
"The loss of Joe is terrible news. It was a pleasure to be in Joe's company and on a personal level, Joe was someone who was always very supportive to myself," he said.
"I know Joe Junior (McBride's son) well too and on behalf of the whole management and backroom team, and the players, we offer our sincere condolences to Joe's family. We know this will be a very difficult time for them all."
Former Celtic team-mate Tommy Gemmell also paid his respects to the prolific frontman.
"This has come as a terrible shock," he told The Sun.
"Joe was a great lad and we had some wonderful moments together.
"It was easy to see why the Celtic supporters took to him. He was one of their own and a real man's man in the dressing room and out on the pitch.
"Our thoughts immediately go out to his family at this dreadful time."
Ex-Celtic striker Frank McGarvey, who played for the Hoops in the 1980s, said: "It's a very sad day. I loved being in Joe's company, he was very knowledgeable and always a gentleman. "His goalscoring record shows he was one of the greatest strikers ever to play for Celtic but today's not about football, it's about his family and I pass on my condolences."
McBride started his career with Kilmarnock before an unsuccessful time in England led to him moving to Partick and then Motherwell, where he was the top goalscorer for three successive seasons.
It was this form during his time at Fir Park that led to then-Celtic manager Jock Stein signing him.
Motherwell's chief executive Leeann Dempster said fans of the club will always remember McBride's contribution during his time there.
"We were saddened to hear of Joe's death early this morning," she told motherwellfc.co.uk.
"Although Joe will probably be remembered by most in the Scotland football world for his time with Celtic, Motherwell fans who had the pleasure of seeing him blossom will always hold him in high regard.
"We take a great sense of pride in his achievements whilst he was at Fir Park and how players of his quality graced our club in what was a golden era in terms of quality of football and the Summer Cup in 1965."
Following the injury set-back that ruled him out of Celtic's fateful night in Lisbon in 1967 McBride failed to break back into the side and moved onto Hibernian.
He continued where he had left off and started finding the back of the net on a regular basis for Hibs and a statement on their website praised McBride's 'huge impact' during his time at Easter Road.
"Hibernian Football Club is saddened to learn of the death of former player Joe McBride last night," a statement on their official website read.
"A prolific striker, McBride's association with Hibernian was brief - totalling 91 appearances in just over two years - but he made a huge impact and scored a phenomenal 58 goals.
"Our sincere thoughts are with his family at this difficult time - he left a lasting impression on our club and he will always be remembered with great affection."
Partick, McBride's club between 1960 and 1962, also paid their respects.
Their online statement read: "All at Firhill were saddened to learn today of the passing of one of our former players, Joe McBride.
"Our thoughts are with Joe's family and friends at this difficult time."
McBride earned two Scotland caps during his career and also had stints at Dunfermline and Clyde after starting out at Kilmarnock.
Funeral details will be released by the family in due course.