ALAN STUBBS is poised to play for Celtic again – SIXTEEN years and eight days after his last appearance.
The former central defender, who cost a-then Hoops record fee of £3.5million when he joined from Bolton in August, 1996, made his final appearance for the Hoops on May 20, 2001.
It was the last league game of the season and meant little with Martin O’Neill’s treble-winners picking up the crown a few weeks beforehand.
An Alan Mahood goal gave Kilmarnock a 1-0 victory at Rugby Park – only the champions’ third domestic defeat of an all-conquering debut campaign for the new manager.
Now Stubbs, 45, has signed up for the Henrik’s Heroes v Lubo’s Legends match on May 28 – one day after the Scottish Cup Final.
The Scouser, who led Hibs to their historic Hampden triumph over Sevco Rangers last season, is delighted to catch up with Henrik Larsson, Lubomir Moravcik and some of his other old mates in the charity event at Parkhead.
He said: “Back then, we were very lucky because we were blessed with fantastic players. I had the privilege of playing in a very talented team.
“Henrik was a fantastic player, but he was a great member of the squad, as well, because he involved himself in everything we did as a team.
“We had a great camaraderie. We did a lot of things together and that shone through. We had a team full of ability, but we had a real bond.
”We had a lot of winners. Henrik was certainly one of them. We had a lot of players who wanted the best and drove each other on to be the best.”
Stubbs, who won two titles, a Scottish Cup and three League Cups, said: “Lubo was a maverick. He was a fantastically gifted footballer who didn’t say too much off the park, but he talked with his feet and brain on it.
“He had unbelievable quality and technically was one of the best I have played with. His touch was exquisite.”
Stubbs, who was sacked by Championship side Rotherham this season after quitting Easter Road in the summer, added: “Celtic Park is up there with any atmosphere in the world.
“You just have to listen to top-class players who perform there. It is something that you never forget. It really is a special occasion.
“As a Celtic player, you can feel how much the fans love the club. You are proud to put that shirt on and walk down the tunnel.”
IN THE HEAT OF LISBONIt’s arrived! In the Heat of Lisbon arrived back from the printers yesterday afternoon and the Jock Stein t-shirts are coming today.
Orders will all go out at the beginning of next week.
There’s still time to get the book and t-shirt together for £19.67 for the pair. From Tuesday next week both will be sold individually at £14.99 each. Profits to thank the Lions – order from www.cqnbookstore.com