Peter Lawwell hails achievements of Neil Lennon

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Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has paid tribute to manager Neil Lennon for ensuring the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations were topped off with a double success.

Celtic – who beat Rangers 5-2 in their first-ever match back on 28 May, 1888 – marked the milestone by claiming the William Hill Scottish Cup for the 36th time with a 3-0 win over Hibernian at Hampden on Sunday.

It followed a season in which the Glasgow club retained their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title and also blazed a trail to the last 16 of the Champions League.

The undoubted highlight was the 2-1 Parkhead success over Barcelona in the group stages of Europe’s top competition. And Lawwell praised the efforts of Lennon and his players.

He told the club’s official website: “Today is obviously a very significant date in Celtic’s history. Our first-ever game took place on May 28, 1888, and 125 years later, the club is still going strong.

“We are the Scottish champions and the Scottish Cup holders and that’s something which, in this historic season, we are very proud of.

“When Brother Walfrid and our founding fathers started Celtic Football Club, I’m sure not even they, with the remarkable vision they showed, could have imagined the success that the club would achieve and the worldwide appeal it would have today. There are Celtic supporters in every corner of the globe, and that is a remarkable testament to the men who founded our football club.

“This season just past – our 125th anniversary year – has delivered great domestic and European success, and for that, Neil, his backroom staff and all the players deserve enormous credit. The backing the team received at Hampden, as has been the case throughout the campaign, has been phenomenal, and it remains one of our greatest strengths as a club.

“To have won the double and reached the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League is a tremendous achievement, and who could ever forget, in particular, our victory over Barcelona here at Celtic Park?”

Brother Walfrid was inspired to set up a football club to raise funds for the poor residents living in the Irish community of the east end of Glasgow following Hibs’ Scottish Cup win of 1887.

Celtic Football Club was established on 6 November, 1887 and, seven months later, marked their first match by beating Rangers at the original Celtic Park.

The club has since won 44 Scottish league titles and became the first British side to win the European Cup when they beat Inter Milan 2-1 in the 1967 Lisbon final.