Brendan Rodgers reflects on becoming Celtic manager

BRENDAN RODGERS has reflected on the events leading up to his appointment as Celtic manager back in 2016. Speaking to Eamonn Holmes’ ‘A Pint with Eamonn and the gaffers’ podcast, the Irishman spoke of his realisation in chapel that Celtic had been beaten on penalties before becoming ‘the proudest man in the world’ when he was paraded around Celtic Park in May that year.

Rangers beat Celtic on penalties in the 2016 Scottish Cup semi-final to signal the end of the Ronny Deila era at Celtic Park. The defeat and celebrations from the Ibrox boardroom prompted Celtic to push the boat out and make a statement in terms of their next manager and that man was the ex-Liverpool boss. Rodgers reflects on how he learned about the defeat to Rangers and the realisation about how important that defeat was that spurred him on when he got the chance to become manager.

“I was out of work at the time, travelling around, and I’ll never forget it. One Sunday, I was up in Belfast at a christening. It was the day Celtic were playing Rangers in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.

“So I was in mass, and I’ll never forget this, every time I looked round all the people in chapel were on their phone looking at the scores.

“I remember coming out and actually seeing everyone deflated Celtic had lost. So, it was at that moment I’d seen the reaction from everyone and what it felt like for Celtic to lose.”

Rodgers told Eamonn how he never told his family about the talks with Celtic due to their expected reaction but when he was unveiled at Celtic Park, he was enormously proud.

“Forward it on and I was given the chance to go into Celtic. I didn’t tell many people at all that I was even in talks, but I knew how excited they would be – it would just go through the roof.

“Once I finally signed I spoke to my brother and that first day when I turned up at Celtic Park I was the proudest man in the world.

“You grow up back home in the community where it’s full of Celtic people and Celtic supporters.

“To be out there on that day, it was just absolutely amazing.”

Rodgers’ reputation was partially destroyed due to the manner in which he left the club in February 2019, with the club competing for a Treble Treble; however, his departure allowed Neil Lennon to galvanise the team in order to perform and, hopefully, deliver 10-in-a-row.

Rodgers had been sacked by Liverpool in October 2015, leaving him unemployed for the first time in over five years. He spent two and a half years in Glasgow before leaving for Leicester City, which he claimed was a professional decision – not a personal one.

In years to come, Rodgers’ legacy will stand up as being an impressive one, despite the way that he left the club due to the success enjoyed in his tenure. In particular, the way in which he turned the club around from Ronny Deila’s last season to Invincible in the next was remarkable. It is a season that will live long in the memory of supporters, with moments of brilliance scattered throughout what was a season like no other.


The Celtic Star’s very own Matt Corr – who you may also know as a Tour Guide at Celtic Park – publishes his first Celtic book, titled INVINCIBLE – early next month. This beautiful hardback book will be the definitive story of Celtic’s magical2016-17 season – it truly is wonderful, a real joy to read, and brilliantly written by Matt.

If you have been reading Matt’s regular contributions on The Celtic Star or indeed in the Matchday Programme or in the Celtic View you will know just how talented a Celtic writer he is. The book is published by The Celtic Star and you can pre-order below.

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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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