Kris Commons insists he was inspired to perform at his best for former boss Neil Lennon because he admired the determination shown by the ex-Celtic manager in the face of unrelenting attacks.
Commons was signed by Lennon in January 2011 for a fee of £300,000 from Derby County and got a close-up view of what his new boss was having to deal with.
Shortly before Commons’ signing, Lennon was sent bullets in the post. Then, in the space of a few weeks between April and May, the Celtic manager was the target of an intended letter bomb, which was intercepted, before he was attacked at the side of the pitch during a match at Tynecastle.
Speaking to Simon Ferry on Open Goal, Commons praised Lennon’s ability to deal with the hatred and remain focused on doing his best for Celtic.
Asked about Lennon being attacked during a game against Hearts, a match in which the player scored, Commons said: “When it happened I was wondering how. Like, for security reasons, why isn’t there someone there stopping that from happening? As the years have gone on, you start to think how ludicrous it is, being attacked.
“Then it was a continuation of threats to his life, bombs, packages, it was just carnage for a few months. No wonder he was in a depressive state.
“It’s quite hard times when your manager is going through that but he inspired me by how well he stuck to his job, how well he still maintained his shoulders-back, chest-out attitude no matter what came through.
“Even with what was attacking him off the park he still had a fight in him. He wanted us to win and he knew how important it was, and how important Celtic was.
“It inspired me, not only to play for Celtic but for Neil Lennon himself.”