HARRY HOOD sat frustrated and angry in a hospital foyer on Saturday, waiting for vital medication to assist his recovery from a third surgery in nearly two years of treatment for cancer.

The former Celtic striker was not impressed that he was missing the first Old Firm match of the season and his mood did not improve when he learned that a record he had proudly held for 43 years had been taken from him and he was not even able to witness it happen.

The 71-year-old restaurateur and publican had been the last Celt to score a hat trick against Rangers, famously netting all of the goals in the 3-1 League Cup semi-final victory on December 5, 1973.

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As the decades passed he began to learn the enormity of his achievement as those such as Henrik Larsson, Lubo Moravcik and Georgios Samaras threatened but could not emulate his feat.

Now his reign as the hat-trick king is over after Moussa Dembele produced the most astonishing of derby debuts with his goal-scoring exploits in the 5-1 rout of Rangers.

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Hood, who scored 123 goals in 312 Celtic appearances between 1968 and 1976, said: “I went in to hospital on Friday and I told them I wanted out early on Saturday because I wanted to get home to see the game. I was ready to go but we had to wait nearly five hours for the pills and medications I needed so it was nearly two o’clock before I could leave.

“So I was sitting in the car not feeling too great when a pal of mine called me but I couldn’t hear what he was saying and the call was cut off. Then the phone went again two minutes later and it was my daughter Lisa.

“I’m in a bad mood, of course, because I’ve had to wait for the medicine and I’ve not had the best of days and Lisa says ‘sorry about your hat trick’. So that was the way I found out – it wasn’t the best!

“While everyone was going on about what a great hat trick Dembele scored I wasn’t feeling too happy for him at the time. I got home and I managed to watch the whole game as my wife had recorded it and they were definitely good goals. It was the perfect hat-trick.

“Mine was the same back in 1973 – a header, right foot and left foot. Dembele is still young and he can be naïve at times, but he has made a great impact already. It also shows that Celtic are not a one-man team. Leigh Griffiths has missed two games and came off in another and Celtic scored 12 goals in that time.

“They are a better team now than they were under Ronny Deila. There have been better quality players brought in and existing ones are playing better.”

Outwith Glasgow Cup matches, Harry was one of only six men to score Old Firm hat tricks since the War – the others being Jimmy Duncanson (1949), Johnny Hubbard (1955), Billy McPhail (1957), Stevie Chalmers (1966) and Ally McCoist (1984).

He has dined out on his treble for a long time with supporters greeting him warmly wherever he went. However, it did not come as a great shock to him that someone netted three against Mark Warburton’s Rangers because they are so susceptible at the back.

Hood said: “I had good fun over the 43 years – especially with my customers. Every now and again, someone would say ‘Harry tell me about the hat trick’. It didn’t really surprise me that someone scored three goals against Rangers because they are far too open at the back.

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“I’m no tactical genius but it dawned on me when I was watching the Hibs-Rangers cup final that there was so much space for Anthony Stokes behind James Tavernier. It was the same last Saturday. They were caught out with long balls and sometimes you have to be a little less adventurous.”

Hood is hoping his latest surgery will end two years of treatment for bowel cancer and has become actively involved in raising money for the Beatson Centre at Monklands Hospital. He added: “I’m delighted to help in any way I can.”