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Sad passing of Celtic great, Alec Boden

By: Newsroom Staff on 24 Jan, 2011 15:20

EVERYONE at Celtic Football Club was saddened to hear of the death of Alec Boden, who passed away today (Monday, January 24) at the age of 85.
 
The Celtic great wore the Hoops on 158 occasions in the late 1940s and early ‘50s but did so much more for the club than could be contained within his playing years.

After he hung up his boots, he took up various roles at his beloved Celtic Park including coach, trainer and scout, and it was in the latter role in the spring of 1967 that he made yet another lasting contribution to the club.

It was while checking out on promising youngster Vic Davidson that he suggested that Celtic also keep tabs on one of the young player’s Glasgow United team-mates. That other promising teenager was Kenny Dalglish and it was Alec Boden who first alerted Celtic to the potential of this youngster.

Boden’s own Celtic career started on August 12, 1943, the day before his 18th birthday. It was the perfect present for the red-haired youngster, though within four months he would be called up to the army.

His debut wouldn’t come until August 1947 in a League Cup tie against Third Lanark at Celtic Park, which the Hoops won 3-1. Boden only made four appearances that season, including two in a league campaign that remains the closest Celtic ever came to being relegated.

In the event, a 3-2 victory at Dens Park against Dundee on the final day of the season, confirmed Celtic’s status in the top division, though their final position of 12th in a 16-team league was a sign of the decline and fall of the club.

Over the next few seasons, however, Alec Boden would establish himself as a first-team player, making a total of 158 appearances for Celtic, scoring two goals. Both of those goals came in season 1954/55, including one on Christmas Day 1954 in a 2-2 draw with Clyde.

The centre-half was part of the Scottish Cup-winning side in season 1950/51 and that, along with his debut, remained the highpoint of his playing career.

He told the Celtic View in 2008: “It was really tremendous to win that game. There was always the same pressure to win at Celtic in every game we played.

“The first time I put on the Hoops I was excited, nervous and excited at the same time, but once I was on the field I was fine, and the assistance from the other players at the time was great and helped us settle in. Mind you, it did take me a wee while to think of myself as a Celtic player.”

And on spotting Kenny Dalglish, he said: "I was looking at a boy from Glasgow United at a park over in Rutherglen. We had no doubts about Vic Davidson's talent but there were some question marks over his stature.

“I gave a positive report and also gave a strong recommendation about another laddie in the same team. His name had been suggested before but I was quite sure he had a promising career ahead of him".

Alec joined Celtic from Duntocher, St Mary’s Boys’ Guild in 1943 and his Requiem Mass will be held early next week at the same St Mary’s in Duntocher. Further details to follow.

The thoughts and prayers of the Celtic family are with Alec Boden's family and friends at this very sad time.

The picture shows Alec Boden (far left) at the launch of the Official History DVD at Celtic Park in September 2008.


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