Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Lennon in shock walkout

Controversial Ulster football star goes AWOL from club

Troubled former Northern Ireland football star Neil Lennon was involved in fresh controversy last night after suddenly leaving his club to return to Scotland.

Sources at Nottingham Forest say the 36-year-old Lurgan man - who recently revealed he had been battling clinical depression for years - is missing his Glasgow-based girlfriend Irene McCloy (32) and son Gallagher, who will be two years old next month.

The Midlands club last night refused to comment on reports that the ex-Celtic and Northern Ireland skipper had left Forest for good.

Midfielder Lennon, who joined the Coca-Cola League One outfit on a one-year contract in the summer, was a notable absentee from the team that played Oldham on Tuesday night.

His agent Martin Reilly insisted Lennon had not walked out on Forest - but admitted there were "issues" which needed to be sorted out.

"Neil was given some time away from the club to resolve personal issues, which is why he was not part of the squad on Tuesday night," said Mr Reilly.

"The main factor is simply that while Neil lives in Nottingham, his girlfriend and young child are still up in Glasgow."

Reilly stressed all parties concerned are trying to find a way to resolve the problem.

He added: "Neil remains fully committed to the club.

"He has certainly not left Forest, but I am not certain whether he will be playing for them on Saturday."

Lennon is no stranger to controversy. He quit the Northern Ireland set-up after receiving a death threat before a match at Windsor Park five years ago.

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