Ally McCoist shares story about Bertie Auld’s brilliant touch of class

As the passing of Bertie Auld still runs raw across the footballing and Celtic world, it has been brilliant listening to the memories of Celtic supporters and ex-professionals of the popular and much loved Lisbon Lions.

It’s at times like these the divide between Parkhead and Govan is bridged as football unites not only in grief, but also celebration.

And that is exactly what former Rangers striker Ally McCoist did as he shared a brilliant story about when he joined a flight to New York and it was choc full of Celtic supporters heading to the convention in Las Vegas.

Speaking on the BT Sports Scottish Football Extra show, McCoist recalled, “I was flying over to New York and it was the worst flight in the world for me. I got my times all mixed up and the Celtic convention was on in Vegas.

“I jumped on that flight, and they were going to New York down to Vegas and I was going to New York.

“I felt like the baddy at the pantomime. They all booed and hissed when I got on the plane.

“At that time I was going through a sort of marital issue, in terms of it ending. I was taking my now wife to New York for a quiet weekend to get away from all the drama in Glasgow.

“There was four or five of the Lisbon Lions sitting at the front of the flight and Bertie was there. I thought to break the ice I’d turn round and to the five of them; Bertie, Billy McNeill, Tam Gemmell, Bobby Lennox.

“I’ve put my stuff up in the locker and said ‘lads, if you give me five minutes I’ll get a ball and I’ll take you on, are you alright with that?’ Which I think is quite a good line. I get a ‘boo’ and a ‘hiss’, dog’s abuse.

“Anyway the flight lands and ‘bing bong’ the pilot comes on. He says ‘we’ve been flying at 35,000 feet, blah blah blah, we appreciate your service do fly with us again’.

“He goes ‘just a special mention, I’d like to wish the Celtic supporters and Lisbon Lions a wonderful trip down in Las Vegas’.

“The whole plane erupts. He then goes ‘and on behalf of Bertie Auld and the Lisbon Lions I would like to wish Ally McCoist and his daughter a memorable stay in New York’.”

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