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Rodgers scores winner with audio match notes for visually-impaired

By Allan Preston

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has been praised for recording his matchday programme notes for visually impaired fans.

The audio recordings have been a big hit with around 70 supporters who sit behind the manager's dugout at Celtic Park.

The former Liverpool boss, from Carnlough in Co Antrim, said he hoped it could be replicated at other clubs.

"I am delighted to do this for our fans, and if in any way it can help add to the matchday experience for our supporters then that is great news," he said.

"Like many managers in football, I have always felt my programme notes are a very important way to welcome our fans to the stadium, to set the scene for that particular match and explain to our supporters my thoughts on the game."

Speaking to CelticFC.net, Rodgers added: "We are so grateful to all the fans in this section who come to the match, sit behind our dugout week in, week out and support the club so passionately.

"Clearly, these supporters face challenges, but they do so with such courage and such spirit. Each and every one of our supporters in this section deserves enormous praise for their commitment to Celtic and the way they support the club, and I am delighted to become involved in this initiative, which will hopefully add to their experience at Celtic Park."

Ronnie Regan and Jim Lewis help to run the visually-impaired supporters' group and provide matchday commentary for the members.

Mr Regan said: "The programme notes recorded by Brendan have added another dimension to the matchday experience of the visually-impaired supporters.

"They can now listen to the manager speaking directly to them on an intimate level."

He said the commentary had now become a staple for visually-impaired supporters at every game.

"We believe that this is a first for Scottish, if not UK, football and we hope that this gets replicated at other clubs," Mr Regan added.

Mr Lewis has managed the visually-impaired supporters' group at Celtic Park.

"It is very positive the way our visually-impaired supporters are being treated and how well they are being looked after," he said.

"Once other clubs see what Celtic are doing they will follow, but Celtic are one step ahead.

"It is fantastic that the club and Brendan Rodgers are connecting with the supporters in our section.

"It shows the manager is not just looking after the players but he's looking around him and looking after the supporters as well."

Rodgers has a new managerial rival in Glasgow with his former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard taking the helm at Rangers.

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