Ex-Celtic participant nonetheless remembers each teammate’s identify 60 years on – regardless of seven-year dementia battle

AN EX-CELTIC participant nonetheless remembers each considered one of his teammates’ names 60 years on, regardless of an ongoing seven-year battle with dementia.

John McNamee joined Celtic in 1960 and featured for the primary workforce for 3 years till his departure for Hibs in 1963.

Now 82, McNamee has battled with dementia for seven years, leaving him unable to talk a lot and with poor reminiscence.

Regardless of his situation although, the courageous former defender can nonetheless remarkably recall all of the names that turned out alongside him within the 1962/63 season.

John McNamee (again row, second from left) with the Celtic squad of 1962/63.

McNamee from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire signed for Celtic in 1960 from Bellshill Athletic, turning down Manchester United and Nottingham Forest within the course of to hitch the Hoops.

The no-nonsense Scot would go on to make a reputation for himself as a tough-tackling hulk of a centre-back, and would play 27 league video games for Celtic, scoring two objectives within the course of.

He then joined Hibs as one of many first signings of legendary supervisor Jock Stein, who would quickly go the opposite method to start his storied stint at Celtic Park.

McNamee would go on to hitch golf equipment together with Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers earlier than retiring at Workington AFC in 1976 in a profession that lasted 16 years.

Now in a care residence, McNamee is visited by his son John McNamee Jr, who brings pictures of his dad’s enjoying days with him – which to his amazement, his dad all the time recognises.

An ageing, black and white photograph exhibits McNamee lined up alongside his teammates in a squad photograph forward of the 1962/63 season.

John McNamee in his enjoying days.

John Jr shared the image to Fb on Saturday with the caption: “Dad’s Celtic workforce. He nonetheless recognises each considered one of them regardless of his dementia.”

The submit has since been appreciated by over 350 folks and has obtained dozens of feedback from customers left touched by McNamee’s recollections of his enjoying days.

One consumer wrote: “John, dementia is an terrible factor, my father had it (Alan Anderson of Hearts) and they might have undoubtedly performed towards one another.

“I’m certain they’d have had some nice video games again then too and should have marked one another at corners – wishing your self and household the easiest.”

One other wrote: “John, what yr was this? My dad, Stevie Chalmers, additionally within the image, sadly suffered from dementia for a couple of years earlier than he died in 2019.

“I’m wondering what number of others within the pic have/had dementia? Such a horrible illness. Outdated pics didn’t appear to stimulate my dad as a lot as music…significantly Celtic songs.”

John replied: “I believe 62 or 63. Dad is in care now and I take some pictures every go to.

“All the time will get a great response. I do know the care residence performs songs too. My dad remembers your dad fondly. I assume all Celtic followers will do.”

One other stated: “4 European Cup winners in that squad, these are the gamers I began watching as a teen.”

A 3rd replied: “Gents pretty feedback and recollections [regarding] this sickness. You’ll be able to see it brings outdated foes collectively – sensible. Thanks.”

One other commented: “The perfect quantity 5 I ever noticed and I’m 73, completely fearless and [could] header a ball. Some would wrestle to kick it that far.”

A fifth stated: “A merciless illness John. Heard a narrative your dad warmed up at Ibrox on the Festivals Cup tie, carrying hoops.”

John McNamee.

Talking right now John Jr stated: ” I carry pictures of the outdated days at Celtic and Newcastle and Hibs on my visits.

“He recognises his outdated workforce mates no drawback however struggles to recollect folks on newer pictures.

“He has been identified with dementia for round seven years. To be trustworthy his vocabulary solely stretches to names now, he says little or no now.

“Dad is an odd case, soccer was by no means his love, he was simply good at it and obtained noticed, however he by no means got down to be a participant.

“It simply occurred for him after being noticed enjoying together with his associates in a neighborhood workforce.

“Dad remembers the 1963 Cup Remaining vs Rangers. Over 120,000 there. Mentioned it was like enjoying with somebody whistling loud in his ear.”

In a current submit by BBC Sport a Newcastle United fan named McNamee because the hardest participant to ever play for the Magpies, saying: “Probably the most fearsome participant I ever noticed in a black-and-white shirt was John McNamee.

“By no means afraid of anybody and all the time prepared to place himself within the thick of issues. The one participant to frighten Leeds’ Gary Sprake, even earlier than he took the pitch.”

Legendary Manchester United supervisor and well-known hothead Sir Alex Ferguson additionally named McNamee as probably the most terrifying gamers he confronted in his autobiography.

Ferguson – a centre-forward in his enjoying days – got here up towards McNamee in a reserve sport between St Johnstone and Celtic, the place the pair needed to be pulled aside amid a fiery confrontation.

Ferguson stated: “It was most likely unwise to change into warlike with him however we needed to be dragged aside by team-mates.

“John threatened to kill me and, heartened by the proximity of so many gamers and the referee, I instructed him I’d be round on the finish.

” I believed no extra about it till as I used to be combing my hair after being within the tub one of many floor employees instructed me any individual was ready for me.

“Assuming it was a pal I caught my head around the door. I almost fainted once I noticed McNamee standing there.

“Now I wasn’t a coward by any means however this was a monster and a little bit frequent sense was so as.

“So I went again to combing my hair and waited for the noise of the Celtic coach pulling out.”

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