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Icons of Football: John Robertson

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Martin O’Neill, Nottingham Forest team-mate and manager at Celtic

He was a beautiful footballer who could play with both feet, terrific ability.

I keep getting back to this word, fulcrum. He very seldom missed football matches and we needed John to play every single one of those games. He’s played his part in footballing history, I think.

When you consider the things he’s won in the game, he’s an iconic figure, absolutely.

John coming back to Scotland to see his family was a really big thing for him. Very seldom would he have got home and he hears this opportunity to come home as an assistant manager [at Celtic].

John really enjoyed his role. He was a special partner, no question about that.

People, for want of a better phrase, bought into John, they really did. There was something about him.

The players had enormous respect for John as a player and anyone who was playing in his position would come and ask John for advice. I’ve heard of players now, top quality players in the Premier League, that have said that John was influential in his advice to him.

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