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SKIPPER BROONY IS THE CELTIC SURVIVOR

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SCOTT BROWN is the lone Celt from the team that kicked off the six-in-a-row title-winning sequence.

Remarkably, the Hoops skipper is the only survivor from the 18-man squad that hammered Kilmarnock 6-0 at Rugby Park on April 7, 2012 on their way to dominating Scottish football.

And the powerhouse midfielder, now in his tenth year at Parkhead, was the last man standing when Neil Lennon delivered crown No.3 with a 3-1 victory over Dundee United on May 11, 2014 in the east end of Glasgow.

The Irishman left the post 11 days later to be replaced by rookie Norwegian Ronny Deila. His reign lasted two seasons before Brendan Rodgers took charge in May 2016.

However, throughout the avalanche of changes to personnel on and off the pitch, Brown, 32, bought by Gordon Strachan from Hibs for £4.4million, has remained an ever-present.

The fans’ favourite will have the privilege of unveiling the Premiership flag at Parkhead this afternoon before the league opener against Hearts.

He said: “It is a great honour being asked to do it and you couldn’t take the smirk off my face when I was told.

“For us, the huge thing is to try to get into the Champions League group stages, but the first game of the season for us is enormous – flag day in front of our own fans and you can’t beat that.

“The main thing for us is the league. We need to try to win the league yet again and go for seven in a row.”

Back in season 2011/12, Brown was part of Lennon’s squad battling to lift the championship for the first time since Strachan led the team to their 2007/08 success.

The Hoops ran amok against Killie in Ayrshire and were four goals ahead by the interval with two efforts from Charlie Mulgrew and singles from Glenn Loovens and Gary Hooper.

Joe Ledley made it five and Hooper brought down the curtain in fitting style with a sixth in the final minute.

Amazingly, Lennon utilised FOUR captains that day with Brown handing it over to Georgios Samaras when he was substituted in the second-half and the Greek striker passed it on to Mulgrew when he made way for Anthony Stokes.

The versatile Scotland international was replaced by Andre Blackman and Ledley became the fourth onfield leader on a day to remember.

Team: Forster; Wilson, Mulgrew (sub: Blackman), Loovens, Matthews; Brown (sub: Twardzik), Ledley, Ki Sung-Yeung, Commons; Samaras (sub: Stokes ) and Hooper.

Unused subs: Zaluska, Cha Du-Ri, Ibrahim and Brozek.

Brown was the last Celt standing at the end of the 3-1 victory over Dundee United at Parkhead just over two years later.

Mikael Lustig and Leigh Griffiths started the game, but were substituted in the second-half. Liam Henderson was an unused substitute.

Almost unbelievably, those four players are the only representatives remaining from the THIRTY-FOUR who made first team appearances during that campaign.

Gone are the likes of fans’ favourites Fraser Forster, Emilio Izaguirre, Virgil van Dijk, Kris Commons, and Victor Wanyama.

Second-half goals from Stokes, Samaras (pen) and Commons against the Tannadice side gave Celtic their 45th title in front of a crowd of 52,400.

Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven, sold last month to Aberdeen, made late appearances for the Tayside men.

As well as Lennon moving on, it was Johan Mjalby’s last game as assistant manager and it was the final appearance of Greek star Samaras in the green-and-white hoops.

Team: Forster; Lustig (sub: Kayal), Ambrose, Van Dijk, Mulgrew; Johansen, Brown, Twardzik (sub: Pukki ), Commons; Stokes, Griffiths (sub: Samaras).  

Unused subs: Zaluska, Mouyokolo, Henderson, Kayal, Boerrigter.

The turnover has been breathtaking, but battler Brown, who is in his testimonial year, is still leading Celtic from the front.

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