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Daughter of Celtic legend in plea over footage

HIS name remains on the lips of many fans, the Celtic hero whose life was cut short in a tragic accident while he was still in his prime.

ON THE BALL: Doyle takes on Rangers' Alex Miller and Alex Forsyth.

Now Joanna Doyle, daughter of Celtic legend Johnny, hopes that enduring affection will help unearth lost archives and allow her to hear the voice of her father.

Ms Doyle, now 36, was just three when her father was electrocuted as he carried out DIY at the family's Kilmarnock home.

A mainstay of the Celtic team for the previous five seasons, Johnny Doyle was just 30 when he died. But Joanna and brother Jason have few mementos of their father to treasure.

For three-and-a-half decades Ms Doyle has listened to countless anecdotes from fans, club legends like Danny McGrain and her godfather, the late Tommy Burns, about her father, but no archive interviews have emerged from his time at Celtic in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In recent days, a group of Celtic supporters have rallied round to pick up merchandise associated with the winger and one-time Scotland cap, including successfully bidding for a club shirt he wore and returning them to the Doyle family. But, after one fan mentioned that his daughter had no memories of her father's voice, the search for the lost interview was reinstigated.

Friends have approached contacts in the broadcast media in the hope a can of film lies gathering dust in a cellar.

Celtic FC have already checked without success and the search has already spread to supporters with vast private collections of club archives.

Ms Doyle said: "I was three when dad died. It was a different era and players didn't get the same coverage. Hardly were any interviews were done.

"I've some very vivid and treasured memories, like a trick with cola bottles in his ears or coming home from training with his arms open and me running towards him. People say I must get sick of hearing all these things about my dad but I really don't. But I don't recall his voice.

"A couple of people who have been in touch work in the media and they're trying with all their contacts. We're trying also to get reels of tape to trawl the footage. I just hope there's something out there somewhere."

Fans were alerted to the search after a relative posted a Facebook message about the sale of memorabilia from a Glasgow bar, which shut last year. It stated: "Through an unfortunate and tragic set of circumstances Joanna doesn't have anything that belongs to her dad."

Fans on the Huddleboard donated more than £1600 to buy the shirt, while others offered programmes relating to his career. They related to his first Celtic appearance and goal, a game at Ayr where he was sent off for hitting a ref accidentally with a ball, a title decider against Rangers where he was red carded, and the match against Real Madrid where Johnny scored.

According to one prominent figure within Celtic the real chance for a happy ending to the search could lie in some old 8mm or 16mm footage from a supporters' function in the distant past.

Tony Hamilton, chief executive of the Celtic Foundation, said: "In the 1970s the odd player was interviewed before, say, a cup final. I interviewed (Celtic legend) George Connolly on camera recently. It was his first time. Joanna's story is terribly sad. The chances of an interview are extremely slim. It doesn't mean there aren't any but perhaps the best hope is within a private collection. I've seen photos of Johnny with Tommy Burns which look like they're from a home movie. You could have a better chance of winning the lottery but I really hope this falls into place for Joanna."

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