HISTORY BHOY FORREST

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HISTORY Bhoy James Forrest is the sole survivor from the EIGHTEEN players in the Celtic squad that kicked off the seven-in-a-row title charge.

And the 27-year-old winger, who has been at the Hoops since the age of nine, is likely to start against Livingston this afternoon as the bid gets underway for the Hoops’ eighth successive crown

The spectacular sequence started with a 2-0 triumph over Hibs at Easter Road on Sunday, July 24, 2011.

Forrest came on as a second-half substitute as goals from Anthony Stokes and Ki-Sung Yeung got the Parkhead men off to a winning start.

And the tricky touchline operator repeated yesterday he is keen to end his playing days at his only club, as CQN reported last month.

There have been massive changes at the club since the remarkable run kicked off.

Neil Lennon was in charge back in the summer of 2011, but the Irishman and his backroom staff were replaced by Ronny Deila and his No.2 John Collins in June 2014.

And, of course, the Norwegian and the ex-Celtic midfielder made way for Brendan Rodgers and his assistant Chris Davies in May 2016.

The Irishman picked up his first title as Parkhead gaffer in the capital on April 2 2017 when a hat-trick from Scott Sinclair helped the Hoops to a 5-0 success over Hearts at Tynecastle to seal flag No.6.

Coincidentally, Rodgers repeated the success with another 5-0 triumph in the club’s historic double treble campaign as they overwhelmed Rangers at Parkhead on April 29 where Forrest claimed one of the goals with Odsonne Edouard (2), Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor also on target.

Here are the players who were victorious in Edinburgh seven years ago to get the ball rolling.

LUKASZ ZALUSKA: The keeper, now 35, was signed from Dundee United on a Bosman deal as back-up to his fellow-Pole Artur Boruc in 2009. He failed to establish himself in the first team and was also stand-by for Fraser Forster and then Craig Gordon. He was released at the end of the 2015/16 term and joined Bundesliga side SV Darmstadt 98. Now back in his homeland with Pogon Szczecin.

MARK WILSON: Bought by Gordon Strachan from Dundee United for £500,000 in 2006, the right-back captained Celtic against Hibs in the absence of the suspended Scott Brown. He won a league medal in his final season at the club. After a spell at Bristol City, he returned to Tannadice. The 33-year-old former international played 10 games for Dumbarton in 2015 before being released and had a stint as manager of Airdrie in 2016/17. Now working in the media.

KELVIN WILSON: Neil Lennon brought his former Nottingham Forest team-mate to Parkhead on a Bosman in the summer of 2011 and the centre-half, now 32, made his first appearance at Easter Road. He spent two years in the east end of Glasgow before returning to the City Ground in a £2.5million deal. Left the club in 2016 and had a spell with Rotherham United.

GLENN LOOVENS: The Dutch central defender, signed from Cardiff City for £2.1million in August 2008, was also on the way out at the end of the title-winning campaign.He spent a season with Spanish outfit Real Zaragoza and the 34-year-old left Sheffield Wednesday for League One Sunderland in the summer.

EMILIO IZAGUIRRE: The 31-year-old Honduran international defender, signed from Motagua for around £1million in 2010, lost his left-back place to Kieran Tierney and left a year ago for Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Fayha. He quit for “family reasons” after 11 months at the club..

BERAM KAYAL: The Israeli midfielder cost around £1.5million when he joined from Maccabi Hafia in 2010. An ankle injury kept him out for four months and he faded from the first team picture when Deila replaced Lennon. The 29-year-old dynamo has overcome injury to become a vital part of Chris Hughton’s Brighton team that won promotion to the Premier League a year ago.

JOE LEDLEY: The Welsh international arrived on a Bosman from Cardiff City in 2010 and became a key man for the Hoops. The 31-year-old playmaker was sold for £800,000 to Crystal Palace in January 2014 when he only had five months left on his contract. Now with Championship side Derby County after agreeing two-year deal midway through last season.

KI SUNG-YEUNG: The South Korean midfielder, signed from FC Seoul for £2.1million in 2009, scored seven times for the title-winners and claimed the second goal against Hibs in the 63rd minute. The 29-year-old moved to Premier League side Swansea City in 2012 for £6million and had a loan spell at Sunderland before returning to the Welsh outfit. He left at the end of his contract to agree a two-year deal with Newcastle in June.

KRIS COMMONS: The 34-year-old former Scotland international midfielder, who missed a penalty-kick against Hibs, arrived for a bargain £300,000 from Derby County in January 2011. He failed to make a solitary appearance in Brendan Rodgers’ first season and left at the end of his contract that summer. Commons also had a loan spell at Neil Lennon’s Hibs before calling it a day to concentrate on a career in the media.

ANTHONY STOKES: The Republic of Ireland international, who arrived in a £1.2million deal from Hibs in August 2010, grabbed the 14th-minute opener against his old club, where he spent five months on loan two years ago and helped them to win their first Scottish Cup in 114 years. The 29-year-old frontman left Parkhead in the summer of 2016 to join Blackburn Rovers. After a third spell at Hibs, he was axed by by Greek club Apollon Smyrni after going AWOL. He joined Azerbaijani outfit Tractor Sazi in June.

GARY HOOPER: The striker was an inspired £2.4million signing by Lennon from Scunthorpe in July 2010. The Englishman scored 63 goals in 95 league games before Norwich City paid £5million to take him to Carrow Road in July 2013..The goals dried up in East Anglia and the 29-year-old moved to Sheffield Wednesday in a £2.4million deal in January 2016.

JAMES FORREST: The winger replaced Commons on the hour mark. The rejuvenated international made his breakthrough in season 2009/10, but failed to settle until Rodgers arrived and put him back on track. He is in the last year of his current contract and the Irishman hopes to get him to agree an extended deal soon. He scored a record 17 goals last term, including his first-ever hat-trick in the 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle in February.

GEORGIOS SAMARAS: Came on as a 79th-minute substitute for Stokes. Gordon Strachan signed him for £2.5million from Manchester City in 2008 after the Greek international impressed during his initial loan period. The 33-year-old attacker left in 2014 at the end of his contract and signed for West Brom. Also had a spell with little-known American outfit Rayo OKC and then Real Zaragoza. Signed for Turkish side Samsunspor in August 2017.

SHAUN MALONEY: Had only four minutes on the pitch after replacing Hooper. The 35-year-old was in his second spell at Parkhead after starting out in 2000 under Martin O’Neill and then rejoining the Irishman at Aston Villa for £1million in 2007. He returned to the Hoops a year later for £3million. He left in August 31, 2011 in an £850,000 deal for Wigan and had spells at Hull City and MLS outfit Chicago Fire. Now a youth team coach at the Hoops.

Unused substitutes: Dominic Cervi, Charlie Mulgrew, Adam Matthews and Victor Wanyama.

* IT’S THE BIG KICK-OFF TO THE NEW PREMIERSHIP SEASON! Don’t miss the best match report and top pictures from the Celtic v Livingston opener at Parkhead this afternoon – stay on the ball with your champion CQN!

 

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