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Jinky Johnstone Passes Away

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Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone has died at the age of 61 after a long battle with motor neurone disease.

 

Johnstone was a member of Celtic's Lisbon Lions team, who became the first British side to win the European Cup when they beat Inter Milan in 1967.

 

Johnstone scored over 100 goals for Celtic, won 23 caps for Scotland and in 2002 was voted Celtic's greatest player by supporters of the club.

 

He was diagnosed with the motor neurone condition in November 2001.

 

His son James Johnstone, 35, said: "My dad passed away at 6am this morning. It hasn't even begun to sink in yet for the family."

 

Born in Viewpark, Lanarkshire, Johnstone made his debut for Celtic in 1963.

 

His dazzling dribbles earned him the nickname 'Jinky' and he became part of the team that won nine consecutive Scottish League titles between 1965 and 1974.

 

The highlight of his career came when Celtic came from a goal behind to defeat Inter Milan in the European Cup final.

 

His manager Jock Stein, who died of a heart attack in 1985, said Johnstone - with whom he had several run-ins - was "better than Stanley Matthews".

 

After leaving Parkhead, he played for San Jose Earthquakes, Sheffield United, Dundee, Shelbourne and Elgin City before retiring from football.

 

Johnstone became an active campaigner for stem cell research after he was diagnosed with the condition.

 

Motor neurone disease affects the nerve cells that send electrical signals from the brain, causing the muscles to waste away.

 

About 1,200 people are diagnosed in the UK each year and sufferers have a life expectancy of two to five years.

I've never ever witnessed a Scotsman with the talent Jinky had with the ball at his feet, his dribbling was one of the best i've ever seen, from a country that so rarely produces technical genius him and Dalglish we're the benchmarks, Sir Matt Busby tried to lure him from Celtic but that didn't materialise, i could only imagine him and El Beatle in the same team :)

 

R.I.P Jimmy Johnstone

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