Keen Glasgow Celtic fan and shareholder Tony Fearon was the special guest of the club recently when he was the sole spectator at the club’s ultra-modern training facilities at Lennoxtown Castle, north of the city.
Against the spectacular backdrop of the Campsie Hills, Tony watched the manager, Lurgan man Neil Lennon, and his coaching staff put the players through their paces, after which he joined the squad for lunch, and was presented with a ‘hoops’ jersey signed by the entire team.
He was given a run-down of the recently-completed facilities by none other than former chairman John Reid, ex-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who was in the Celtic ‘chair’ during the development of the Lennoxtown project.
And he met legendary left-back Danny McGrain, a world-class defender in his heyday, and now on the Celtic coaching staff. He was also photographed with giant keeper Fraser Forster, who has been capped by England, is heading for the World Cup Brazil in June, and is the fiancé of Dr Leah Totten, the winner of the last year’s BBC ‘Apprentice’.
As well as watching Lennon and Co put the squad through their paces, Tony played a small part in that he was invited to chip a few balls to the likes of Scott Brown and Anthony Stokes, and then he saw a full-blooded practice game just 24 hours before their important league game against Motherwell.
The Celts had the opportunity of stretching their unbeaten run to 21, while ‘Well had hopes of making their winning streak to seven.
“Lennon showed no mercy as he prepared them physically and mentally for the golden 21 games,” said Tony. “I had a chat with him during a break in training and he’s fanatical about his post as Celtic manager.”
The green-and-whites reached the magical 21, with two goals from Kris Commons (one a penalty) and a dreaded ‘own goal’ from Motherwell’s Stephen McManus, giving the Glasgow men an unassailable lead at the top of the table.
“It was a great experience,” said Tony, who is manager of the Millennium Court in William Street. “I was made very welcome by everyone and the signed shirt was the icing on the cake.”