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Attack was 'tipping point': Lennon

Celtic Football Club manager Neil Lennon has told a court that an alleged religiously aggravated attack on him was the "tipping point" in a season that saw him being threatened with bombs and bullets.

Mr Lennon was giving evidence in the trial of John Wilson, 26, of Edinburgh, who is accused of attacking him at a crucial Heart of Midlothian v Celtic match at Tynecastle Stadium on May 11 this year.

Mr Lennon described the fixture as "a muscling game".

Appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, he said: "It was a huge game in the context of the season, with ourselves and Rangers going for the title."

Mr Lennon said Hearts v Celtic games are "more raucous than usual" but that this particular game on May 11 "had a bit more of an edge to it" with a lot of abuse coming from the stands.

He added: "It was just the usual abuse that you would get - or that I would get - at the majority of the away games. Some of it is personal some of it isn't."

Mr Lennon then described how he had just finished celebrating Celtic's second goal, and ran to the touchline to give instructions to his players, when he was attacked.

He added: "I felt a contact to the corner of my head and then saw a body sort of sprawled out in front of me - and it was then I realised that he had tried to get to me.

"It felt like a glancing blow to the corner of my head," he added, pointing towards his left eyebrow.

"It all happened very quickly, and I sort of went into a defence position, crouching to avoid contact with whoever it was that was attacking me."


From Belfast Telegraph