JAMES FORREST could take his privileged place alongside Lisbon Lion Bobby Lennox as Celtic’s joint most decorated player by the end of the forthcoming season.

The 32-year-old product from the club’s academy picked up his 22nd winner’s medal following his cameo appearance in the 3-1 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Inverness Caley Thistle at Hampden on June 3.

That left the sprightly winger just three honours adrift of Lennox in pole position with the legendary Billy McNeill next on the honours list with 23.

JUST CHAMPION…James Forrest and Callum McGregor hold the newly-won Premiership silverware.

It’s a breathtaking haul from a one-club man who is also one of only 30 players to have netted more than 100 goals for the Hoops – a feat he achieved with a scintillating hat-trick in an overwhelming 6-1 league win over Hibs at Parkhead in October last year.

Forrest rarely hogs the spotlight, but in his own quiet way the unassuming lad from Prestwick in Ayrshire has been racking up notable achievements in the game since Day One of his glittering career.

He is one of just seven players across all Scottish clubs to have scored in 13 consecutive top-flight campaigns since the Premier League era kicked off in 1975.

With a fair amount of style, he got the ball rolling on his first appearance on May 1 2010. He was given the nod by Neil Lennon to make his debut when he was sent on as an 81st-minute replacement for Aiden McGeady.

ON HIS WAY TO A CENTURY…James Forrest leaves Motherwell keeper John Ruddy stranded as he claims his first goal for Celtic in a 4-0 league win at Parkhead on May 1 2010.

Six minutes later, the new Bhoy had registered the first of his strikes on the way to becoming a Celtic Centurion when he neatly executed an exquisite first-time lob beyond stranded Motherwell keeper John Ruddy in a 4-0 success.

Forrest hasn’t looked back since.

This evening in the east end of Glasgow, the champions’ fans get the opportunity to show their appreciation to a player who is on his way to 500 outings for the club.

Forrest will be in place when the Hoops take on Athletic Bilbao in an encounter that will also mark the second coming of Brendan Rodgers who will return to the home dug-out for the first time in four and a half years.

It promises to be an entertaining, enjoyable evening in Paradise.

Let’s make it special for an extraordinary club servant.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Athletic Bilbao this evening – only in your champion CQN.


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