MORTON legend Joe Harper paid an emotional tribute to his late parents as he took his place among football greats in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.

The proud 'Greenock boy' dedicated the honour to his dad Eddie and mum Margaret, who were his biggest fans throughout his goal-laden glittering career.

At a gala ceremony at Hampden the legendary striker was surrounded by his family and close friends as he was inducted in to the elite band.

But Aberdeen's record goalscorer also thanked his 'first love' Morton, for putting him on the path to glory.

Proud Joe, 71, said: "It was an incredible night, I am just sad my mum and dad were not here to see it.

"They would have been so proud.

"They were my biggest supporters and without them it wouldn't have been possible.

"My mum and dad taught me to work hard.

"I learned to play on the streets where I grew up.

"They lived in Greenock all their days and they both died in the last three years.

"We lived in Finnieston Street and my dad worked in the shipyards.

"A few years before she died my mum told me a story about getting my first cap for Scotland - it was against Denmark away and I scored.

"The next day my dad's workmates lined up at Scott's and threw their caps up into the air.

"It is some journey for a wee boy from Greenock, to the World Cup, cup finals and scoring goals."

Joe's goalscoring exploits saw him play for the Dons twice, Everton, Hibs and he went all the way to Argentina in the 1978 World Cup squad.

But it all began with Morton, his home town club.

Aged 16 Joe made his debut for Morton in 1963 against Patrick Thistle - and scored the only goal of the game.

Lifelong Ton fan Joe added: "I have to thank Morton because that is where it all started.

"I was part of the groundstaff, in those days there were no subs.

"We had to get the train up to Glasgow that day because we didn't go in the team bus.

"We arrived at Partick Thistle and they weren't going to even let us into the ground at first!

"Hal Stewart came marching up and said 'where have you been? Have you had something to eat? You are playing today.'

"I didn't even have boots - I had to borrow a pair from Partick Thistle.

"We had some great players like the Danish boys like Eric Sorensen."

Joe credits Ton legend Hal as among the biggest influences in his career, along with Aberdeen and Hibs manager Eddie Turnbull and former national team boss Ally MacLeod.

During his time at Cappielow he was part of the famous side that took on Chelsea in the 1968 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

The Greenockian also played alongside some of Scotland's greatest talents, like Kenny Dalglish.

Joe joins other local greats Allan McGraw and the late Jimmy Cowan in the national Hall of the Fame.

Like most footballers of his generation he learned to play on the streets, along with his late friend, the former Kilmarnock player Eddie Morrison.

Joe, who was latterly a publican in the town, added: "We were great friends, we went to different schools but all that mattered was football.

"We played together for the district.

"I always had a ball and we were always out playing."

Joe roll of honour includes the Scottish League Championship, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup during two spells with Aberdeen where he is the club's record goalscorer with 205 goals.

He won four international caps, netted two goals for his country and made an appearance in the 1978 World Cup finals in Argentina in the 1-1 draw with Iran.

His award was presented by former team-mate and friend Drew Jarvie as his partner Sheila and his three children Ross, Laura and Joanna looked on.

Joe said: "It was a very emotional, lovely night for us all at the Hall of Fame dinner."

Pictures courtesy of Scottish Football Hall of Fame.