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Rodgers clan hail Celtic and Brendan, the history-maker

By Steven Beacom

The family of Celtic's treble-winning manager Brendan Rodgers have spoken of their pride in his history-making achievements.

In his first season in charge, Carnlough native Rodgers inspired his side to Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and League Cup glory, emulating iconic figures Jock Stein and Martin O'Neill - the only previous Celtic bosses to claim that hat-trick in one campaign.

Rodgers went one step further than Stein and O'Neill because his team had an unbeaten domestic record for the entire season.

As every game passed by, the 44-year-old's family back home in the small Co Antrim village watched with delight.

They recalled the ex-Liverpool and Swansea manager as a young boy travelling over on the ferry to cheer on his Celtic heroes. Now he is idolised by all Hoops supporters.

Cousin Kieran McMullan said the family joy was tinged with sadness because the Celtic manager's parents Malachy and Christina passed away several years ago.

But he believes Brendan's brothers Con, Malachy, Declan and Gerard know their mum and dad will be looking down on their eldest boy with pride.

"I know how proud Brendan's brothers are of what he has done - the whole family are hugely proud," said Kieran.

"The only sad thing is that because Brendan's mother and father have passed they aren't here to see it, but we know they will be looking down on all the success Brendan has achieved and feeling so proud.

"They were both great people; Christina was a champion for charity. That was her passion and she was recognised for that, and Malachy was well respected for his painting and decorating.

"When the boys were growing up in Carnlough there wasn't much money about then, but Malachy and Christina always made sure their sons were right.

"They were two ordinary people who brought up the boys well and it's wonderful Brendan has got to where he is and he never forgets how much his parents did for him and his brothers."

Kieran (52) said Rodgers' success has been "surreal".

"It's only a year ago that Brendan was unveiled at Celtic Park and since then he has won the treble," he added.

"He's a massive Celtic fan and this will mean so much to him. Brendan came over to Celtic matches with us when he was a boy. We would go over on the ferry and then take the coach to Glasgow to see the match.

"We still do it, and now Brendan is manager of our club. It's hard to describe how good that makes all of us feel.

"I know how humbled he is to be Celtic manager. For Brendan to manage Liverpool and Celtic, two massive clubs, shows how well he has done.

"He is a history-maker at Celtic and in Scottish football now. No Celtic fan will ever forget this season."

Kieran recalls his cousin was a well-mannered youngster.

"What makes it so special for us as a family is that we have known Brendan all our lives and know what a great fella he is," he added.

Rodgers tied the knot with fiancee Charlotte Searle on Friday.

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