BRENDAN RODGERS was an acclaimed double winner after returning to Celtic in June 2023 following an absence of over four years.

The Irishman marked an extraordinary comeback by leading the champions to their third title in a row – their twelfth crown in 13 years – and also a thoroughly enjoyable Scottish Cup success at Hampden on the iconic date of May 25.

Rodgers won seven consecutive domestic honours during his first spell as manager after arriving in May 2016.

It was a rollercoaster two and a half years before he departed Parkhead.

Life was rarely dull when the charismatic gaffer was around.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE series, we are celebrating Rodgers’ second homecoming by going back right to the start of his Celtic adventure.

Author Alex Gordon, who has had fifteen Celtic books published, including ‘50 Flags Plus One‘, ‘CELTIC: The Awakening‘ and ‘That Season in Paradise‘, opens the pages of another publication, ‘The History Bhoys‘, to chart the progress of an extrardinary character.

Please enjoy.

WITH a calm assurance, Brendan Rodgers surveyed and sifted through his Celtic squad as the weeks ticked by.

The unfortunate Efe Ambrose, a beacon for connoisseurs of calamity, would play one more game before being effectively shown the door.

Others, such as Nadir Ciftci, Scott Allan, Saidy Janko, Kristoffer Ajer, Ryan Christie – all brought to the club by Ronny Deila – would find themselves playing football elsewhere on a loan basis. Little time was wasted on Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen, who was sold to Fulham following one fleeting appearance as a substitute.

UP AND OVER…new Bhoy Moussa Dembele avoids a sliding tackle from Aberdeen defender Anthony O’Connor.

Moussa Dembele, a raw 19-year-old French striker, made the journey in reverse to become Rodgers’ first signing for Celtic, a mere £500,000 in a Development Fee to Fulham changing hands for his services.

The Irishman went into overdrive as he stamped his brand on his side. Scott Sinclair, a lavishly-skilled attacker he had worked with at Chelsea and Swansea City, arrived from Aston Villa in a deal that would rise to £4.5million,

Dutch goalkeeper Dorus de Vries, another with whom Rodgers had a past association during their days at the Welsh club, cost £400,000 from Nottingham Forest and raiding right-back Cristian Gamboa, a Porta Rican international, was signed at the cost of £1million from West Brom.

Kolo Toure, the classy Ivorian central defender, who had a connection with the Celtic boss during their days at Liverpool, joined on a one-year deal as a free agent following his release by the Anfield outfit.

BIG SHOT…Scott Sinclair displays the skills that persuaded Brendan Rodgers to pay Aston Villa £4.5million for the England international forward.

Rodgers further augmented his squad during the January transfer window when he brought in another Ivory Coast international, Eboue Kouassi, a 19-year-old midfield enforcer from Russian side Krasnodar at the cost of £2.8million. The jigsaw puzzle was coming together.

An instant reward was the delivery of the League Cup trophy, won with a flourish and considerable style against Aberdeen at Hampden on the afternoon of November 27, 2016.

TOMORROW: Don’t miss the fifth instalment of the remarkable Brendan Rodgers Story so far.

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