SCOTT BROWN bowed out in style at Celtic Park last night as the Hoops overwhelmed St Johnstone 4-0.
The 35-year-old departing skipper, whose next game in the east end of Glasgow will be in the colours of Aberdeen, will say a final farewell to the club as a player against his former team Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday.
It was an emotional evening at Parkhead where one of the highlights was produced by the veteran midfielder with a laserbeam pass that dropped perfectly for Odsonne Edouard to bambozzle an opposing defender before knocking a delightful effort beyond the stranded keeper.
That doubled the advantage in the space of a minute following David Turnbull’s cute opener and Kristoffer Ajer, with the aid of a deflection, and Karamoko Dembele, with his first senior goal, completed the scoring in a one-way second-half.
CHEERS AND CHEERIO…Scott Brown congratulates David Turnbull on his goal – with an appropriate sign in the background.
Brown, who was replaced by Ismaila Soro just after the hour mark, was named Man of the Match – surprise! surprise! – but he took the opportunity to praise the efforts of 18-year-old debutant Adam Montgomery who looked confident, safe and secure during his 63 minutes on the pitch before being replaced by Greg Taylor.
Naturally, the club’s onfield leader over so many triumphant years also paid a tribute to the Celtic fans who have been with him during his 22-honour crusade at the club.
Brown, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “It’s a great day. We wanted to win, especially given it’s the last game of the season at home. It means so much to myself, as well, the 14 years that I’ve had at the club means it’s an emotional day.
“But I’ll take it in my stride, we’ve got one game left at Easter Road, where everything started for myself. My last game before I left Hibs was there against Celtic. Tonight was a good occasion, a special occasion for myself and the main thing was we managed to win it.
“We had a debut for young Monty (Adam Montogomery), as well. He was fantastic. I think you’ve got to mention him, too.
IT TAKES TWO…young Hoops Karamoko Dembele and Stephen Welsh celebrate the teenager’s first competitive goal.
“When I walked through the doors at the club, in that first year I was happy to win a trophy and to be part of that and push on. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs since. My career here has been really enjoyable. I’ve enjoyed every single moment of my time here.
“It’s a special club with special fans and it’s just sad that they’re not here for me to say goodbye to them in person. Here’s hoping I get to come here with Aberdeen next season and I can say goodbye to them then.
“My message to the fans is: thanks for your support and for your patience. The main thing was, I came here to win trophies. Celtic fans expect trophies. We’ve done that, although it’s been a disappointing season this season. But, believe me, Celtic will be back and challenging next season.
“There are too many people at the club who work so hard to make sure there are improvements year on year and I think that’s the best thing about this club.
“Plus, as soon as we get the fans back, every single player gets an extra 10 percent from them.”