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Jimmy Johnstone's life added to biographical dictionary

jimmy johnstone
Jimmy Johnstone has been named as Celtic's greatest ever player

Footballer Jimmy Johnstone and author Dame Muriel Spark are among 213 people who have been added to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

They have been joined by fellow-Scots including haggis manufacturer John Macsween and writer and broadcaster Tom Weir.

All of the men and women added to the dictionary died in 2006.

No living people are added to the dictionary, which now contains the life stories of 57,258 people.

Dame Muriel Spark is best known for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, whose central character was modelled on a charismatic teacher from her Edinburgh childhood.

The success of the book made Spark a literary star, first in New York and then Italy, where she gained a reputation as a 'queen of letters', while also engaging in several bitter and high-profile personal disputes.

Fear of flying

Her entry in the dictionary, which was written by her biographer Martin Stannard, concludes with an observation on Spark's literary contribution following news of her death: "No other writer has ever come close to imitating [Spark's] special narrative voice.

"In its waspishness, its spirit, its curiously posh Scottish-camp, it is one of the great creations of post-war writing."

Former winger Jimmy Johnstone, who was known by the affectionate nickname Jinky, has been included in recognition of the key contribution he made to the Celtic team that dominated Scottish football during the 1960s.

He won the European Cup with the club in 1967, but had a fear of flying so intense that in November 1968 he arranged with his manager, Jock Stein, that he would be spared a flight to Yugoslavia for a return match if he helped Celtic acquire a three-goal lead from the first leg in Glasgow.

Johnstone duly tore one of Europe's leading teams apart, scoring twice and laying on three other goals in a 5-1 victory. He did not travel to the away tie.

In 2002 he was voted Celtic's greatest ever player, and a statue of him was unveiled outside Celtic Park in December 2008.

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