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Byline: By Alan Marshall

HEARTBROKEN John Hughes is breaking off a holiday to fly home to attend the funeral of his wee pal Jimmy Johnstone.

Hughes learned of his former Celtic team-mate's death when he arrived in Majorca on Monday.

And he revealed how his first encounter with Jinky sparked a riot when angry women battered him with umbrellas. Hughes, a rampaging left winger, was nicknamed Yogi by Celtic fans during his Parkhead career from 1960 until 1971.

He said: "My wife and I were told the terrible news about Jimmy when we got off the plane.

"Willie Haughey, the former Celtic director, was on the same flight and he immediately aboutturned and went back to Scotland.

"There was absolutely no way my wife and I even considered staying for the holiday.

"We couldn't get a flight for Friday so we are going to Liverpool 24 hours earlier and will make our way back to Glasgow.

"There was not a chance I would miss the opportunity to say farewell to my wee pal - that was never going to happen."

Hughes, who scored 189 goals in 416 appearances for the Hoops, admitted he would never forget his first meeting with Johnstone.

He said: "It was an Under-12 schoolboy match when I played for St Augustine and he was on the wing for St Columba.

"I was a big boy even back then and I managed to hit a hat-trick as we won 3-1.

"The game was watched by a lot of mums and dads from Jinky's Uddingston area and I don't think they were convinced I was under 12.

"I've always been on the large side and they showed their doubts about the date on my birth certificate by attacking me with their umbrellas as I came off the pitch.

"I should have known then that things always happened when Jimmy was around.

"He has left me and many others withsomanymarvellousmemories."


HEARTBREAK TRIP: John Hughes cut short a holiday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 16, 2006
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