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‘NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS ‘: BROONY’S RESPONSE TO COMPARISON WITH LEGENDS

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SCOTT BROWN became a Celtic record breaker with the champions’ 3-0 triumph over Aberdeen at Pittodrie yesterday.

The 33-year-old midfielder is now the first man to captain a Scottish side to EIGHT successive domestic trophies – three Premiership titles, three League Cups and two Scottish Cups.

And, of course, Brown can go one better when the holders face Hearts in the silverware showdown at Hampden on May 25, exactly 52 years to the day Billy McNeill led the Hoops to European Cup glory in Lisbon.

The skipper may now be in the history books, but the former Scotland international onfield leader admits he will never be able to be compared with the likes of McNeill, the club’s greatest-ever captain, and Stevie Chalmers, who netted the winning goal in the sunshine of the Portuguese capital to make sure Jock Stein’s team became the first British club to conquer Europe.

Of course, the build-up to yesterday’s triumph in the north east was overshadowed by the funeral of Celtic icon McNeill 24 hours earlier and the news of the passing of Chalmers on Monday.

Neil Lennon dedicated the latest title to the club greats and Brown was quick to respond when asked whether he could potentially be looked upon in the same kind of light in years to come.

The captain, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, answered: “No. Never in a million years. For people to go and win the European Cup, it’s different gravy.

NUMBER EIGHT…Scott Brown is congratulated by chief executive Peter Lawwell.

“What they did, especially all being from within 25 miles of Celtic Park, was exceptional.

“The two of them (Chalmers and McNeill) are absolute legends and to put any player at the club now in the same bracket, you can’t ever do that.

“What they did for Celtic – and what they were still doing for the club right up to their last minutes – was fantastic.

“Their memories will live on forever with the fans. You saw the turn-out for Billy on Friday. It was a great send-off.

“All the players had to go and show their respects and we’ll do the same on Wednesday for Stevie’s funeral.

“They are absolute legends and icons for the club and great ambassadors.”

Brown has now collected nine titles during his 12 years at Celtic following ex-gaffer Gordon Strachan forking out £4.4million to bring him to Parkhead from Hibs.

THE CUP THAT CHEERS…Scott Brown with Mikael Lustig following the 1-0 League Cup Final win over Aberdeen in December.

He has five League Cups on his record, too, and has a crack at picking up a fifth Scottish Cup later this month.

The action man, who agreed a two-year extension earlier this season, insisted the thrill of victory becomes all the more energising the older he gets.

He added: “Especially in the week where we’ve lost two Lisbon Lions, to do it for them means a lot.

“Every title gets more and more sweeter, so this one’s special, especially as you get towards the end of your career.

“You’ve got to enjoy the moment and I definitely am. It’s a lovely feeling. It was just a matter of time before we got over the line and we fancied ourselves against Aberdeen.

“We were feeling pressure, but we get pressure week in, week out. It doesn’t matter if we’re home or away, going for titles, everyone expects us to win.”

 

 

 
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