SCOTT BROWN believes Celtic should erect a statue to Peter Lawwell outside Parkhead.

The Hoops skipper insists the outgoing chief executive – who announced he was retiring from the post yesterday – should be honoured alongside club greats Jock Stein.Billy McNeill and Jimmy Johnstone and founder Brother Walfrid whose images proudly stand outside the stadium.

Lawwell, who took over from Ian McLeod in 2003, was in charge as the team triumphed in 29 major honours, including nine successive titles and the historic quadruple treble.

He also oversaw the Lennoxtown training centre and developed the Celtic Way outside the ground.

Now 61-year-old Lawwell will leave the post in June with Dominic McKay, 42, taking over after a 16-year association with Scottish rugby.

Brown has no doubts over the qualities of Lawwell and, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “He should have a statue.

“Peter’s legacy his huge. He’s been a driving force at this club over 17 years – and he’s made us the club we are.

“He’s won nine in a row, won quadruple trebles. He’s built Lennoxtown, he’s improved Celtic Park, he’s always trying to make the club better – and that’s what a good CEO does.

“Peter’s always wanted the best for the club. He’s won 29 trophies in his 17 years here – which is incredible for anyone to have on their CV when they retire.

“We’re devastated he’s leaving. He’s got five months left and we need to make the most of it for Peter.”

BEST OF FRIENDS…Scott Brown and Peter Lawwell celebrate another title success.

It was Lawwell, of course, who signed off the record £4.4million transfer fee to bring in Brown from Hibs in 2007.

The midfielder, who will be 36 in June, revealed: “I probably wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for Peter.

“My relationship with him has been fantastic over the years. He was the one who paid the money for me to come from Hibs, he gave me the opportunity, along with Gordon Strachan and Tommy Burns, to play at Celtic Park.

“He offered me a new deal once they left, which some might not have done.”

Brown added: “He’s been huge for me. I’ve had a few family issues – and Peter was always the first to pick up the phone.

“When there were hard times, he always picked up the phone to make sure I was okay. He would take the opportunity to drive through and see me. Or I could always drive through to speak to him.

“He was always there. A little text message here and there. It was fantastic.

“He’s always wanted this club to be as strong as it possibly can be.”

Brown, sent off in the 2-2 draw at Livingston, missed the 2-0 midweek win over Hamilton Accies and could return to Neil Lennon’s starting lime-up against St Mirren today.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v St Mirren this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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