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  • CELTIC VIEW EXCLUSIVE: Manager's special Christmas Day visit

    CELTIC VIEW EXCLUSIVE: Manager's special Christmas Day visit

    By: Martin Dalziel on 14 Dec, 2016 10:16

  • CELTIC have a busy schedule of games in December, with another three league fixtures before Christmas – home matches against Dundee and Partick Thistle and an away game against Hamilton Accies on December 24.

    Then the players and management will be able to enjoy Christmas Day with their families before training resumes the following day in preparation for the game against Ross County at Celtic Park on December 28.

    For Brendan Rodgers, it will give him a chance to head home to Ireland, and he has a special visit planned, as he revealed exclusively to this week’s Celtic View.

    The Celtic manager will spend Christmas morning at the Northern Ireland Hospice, of which he is an ambassador, visiting terminally-ill children and their families.

    His connection to the Hospice is a strong and emotional one, and he knows first-hand the care that hospices give to people who are terminally-ill and the comfort they offer to families who are dealing with such a difficult situation.

    The manager’s mother, Christina, died in 2010 after suffering a heart attack aged only 53, while his father, Malachy, passed away the following year through throat cancer. And the manager revealed earlier this year that he had donated the sale of his late parents’ home to the Northern Ireland Hospice to honour his mother’s dedication to charity work and to support the Hospice after the care provided to his father.

    “On Christmas Day I’ll spend time with the Northern Ireland Hospice as I’m an ambassador there,” he told the Celtic View. “I’ll spend Christmas morning there with the families and the kids who are terminally ill. Then later on I’ve got family that I’ll have Christmas dinner with and then I’ll fly back first thing on Boxing Day morning as we’re training and we’ll be getting ready for the game.

    “The hospice has just newly opened. I became an ambassador earlier this year. I’d done a number of things before but this has been the first Christmas Day that I’ve had off for a number of years so I’m taking the chance to help the children and families in whatever way I can.

    “You have families that have the hardship of seeing loved ones that are near death. I experienced that with my mother and father dying young and the care they received and the support we received as a family was everything for us.

    “I’m very lucky and very privileged to be managing this club and be in a life in which I’m really happy, and if I know I can share that happiness and bring some sort of support to other families and people that are suffering, then I should do it.

    “If you’ve got a child, a Mum, Dad, brother, sister, uncle, whoever in the hospice then you’re in that hospice for a reason. You’re there because it’s towards the end and it’s not a nice feeling, so any joy or support you can give means more than anything.

    “I’ve been very privileged and lucky to be in a job that I love but the people who work in these hospices are angels really, and to give them the support is something I was brought up with.

    “My Mum was a carer and looked after people, my Dad always looked after people and I was always brought up to think of others and where you can help, you try to do that extra and go that extra mile to do it.

    “Christmas for lots of people is great but for lots of people there’s a sad element to it as well and in my role as the ambassador there, whatever I can do that brings some sort of pleasure and peace to a family, then I’ll do that.”

    Read the full and exclusive interview with Brendan Rodgers ONLY in this week’s Christmas issue of the Celtic View. On sale now.

    To download the digital version of the View, click on the banner below.

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