The launch of The Road to Lisbon took place in Glasgow last night. It was an enjoyable evening with a star turn by the legendary Bertie Auld (above right). At 74, the Lion remains evangelical in spreading his love for Celtic.
Bertie’s storytelling abilities now almost match the memory of his towering football talent. He is the ultimate raconteur but there is pathos as well as comedy.
He ended with a fantastic tale of accompanying Jinky – then in the throes of his battle with Motor Neurone – to visit Alfredo di Stefano in Madrid. The tale began in Viewpark, wound its way through Madrid and ended up in an airport toilet, where a giggling Jinky – who by then had started to lose power in his arms - insisted Bertie help him relieve himself.
As a reluctant Bertie did so, another traveller entered the toilet and stared at the scene in horror.
“It’s alright big man, we’re friends,” said Bertie.
“Aye, you’d bloody need to be!” quipped the man.
The audience erupted, but it was also a poignant tale of an enduring friendship.