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Celtic’s Neil Lennon gives evidence in trial of two men accused of plotting to kill him

CELTIC manager Neil Lennon today gave evidence in the trial of two men accused of plotting to kill him.

He was giving evidence in the case of Trevor Muirhead and Neil McKenzie at the High Court in Glasgow.

Mr Lennon, 40, answered questions from Advocate Depute Tim Niven-Smith about his playing and managerial history.

He was also asked about his relationship with the late QC Paul McBride, who represented the club on disciplinary matters.

Mr Lennon said he had known Mr McBride in "a number of capacities".

He said: "He was my friend first of all, a very close friend.

"When we socialised together we tried to keep football away from the dinner table and chew the fat on other things."

Muirhead, 43, from Kilwinning, and McKenzie, 42, from Saltcoats, both Ayrshire, deny plotting to kill Mr Lennon, former MSP Trish Godman, Mr McBride and various members of the Irish Republican group Cairde Na Heireann in Glasgow by sending improvised explosive devices to them.

Mr Lennon said he had been left "disturbed" after learning about the threats made to him.

He told the court: "I was made aware that bullets were sent to me in the post in January and there was a bullet sent to the training ground at Lennoxtown at about November or December time."

He added that that he had been told of the parcels by police.

He said: "I was very disturbed.

"I have a family. I have a young son. I have a partner, a mother and a father. I'm a footballing man. I find it difficult to comprehend the lengths that some people will go to."

Mr Lennon also spoke of the threats that ended his career as a Northern Ireland player.

He told the court: "The first time, a home game in Belfast, as captain of my country.

"Two policeman said someone had rung the BBC to say: 'If Neil Lennon plays tonight, he's going to get shot'."