“He was an absolute rascal.”
Graeme Souness has said that John Giles was one of three players he ‘couldn’t lay a finger on’ during his playing career.
Souness was full of praise for the Irish football legend, who was one of the most accomplished midfielders of his generation.
He also said that he was on the receiving end of some rough treatment on the pitch from the Leeds United legend.
Mutual respect between Giles and Souness.
Giles, when speaking on Off the Ball, picked Souness in central midfield in his all-time Scotland XI. The Dubliner described the former Liverpool midfielder as a ‘top-class player.’
The respect between the pair is mutual, as Souness has said that Giles was a ‘master craftsman’.
“Apart from being someone who could very much look after himself, he was a top performer, a master craftsman,” the Scot told Pundit Arena earlier this year.
“You know, proper player but a nasty little bastard. He could look after himself.”
“I caught Bremner a few times but could never lay a finger on Johnny.”
Souness ranks Giles alongside Brazilian Zico and England World Cup winner Alan Ball as the three players he couldn’t ‘lay a finger on.’
“I say to people, there are two players, there is now three. There are three players I’ve never laid a finger on in my career.
“You know, in those days that was part of my job because I was big for a midfield player and one was Zico. Too cute.
“Another one was Alan Ball and I’ve got to throw Johnny Giles in there. I caught Bremner a few times but could never lay a finger on Johnny.”
“He’s given me six studs, a real stinger.”
Souness also recounted the time he was on the receiving end of some rough treatment by the Ireland legend. The Scot was a young player for Middlesbrough at the time.
“He was an absolute rascal,” the Sky Sports pundit said.
“I was a lot bigger than Johnny and I was a lot bigger than Billy Bremner.
“But I remember playing against that Leeds team when I’m 20 years old and I’m diving into tackles.
“I might have been trying to catch Johnny, never did, or Bremner.
“I was a young man learning the trade. I can remember Ayresome Park [Middlesborough’s former stadium], the corner flag and someones put a short corner to me.
“As I’ve played it first time, I didn’t know he was on my shoulder and he’s gone, ‘Hey, have some of that.’ And he’s given me six studs, a real stinger.”